Since I haven't had a chance to post since Wednesday, I have a little bit of catching up to do! Bear with me...I've been awake since 3:45 am, so I may not seem coherent. :-)
I ran Thursday night with the Night Crawlers at Luke's. As I was driving to Luke's from work, my car's external temperature gauge stayed between 100 - 101. HOT! When I arrived at Luke's the heat was the topic of conversation with everyone. I noticed that the group was much smaller than usual...the smart people had stayed indoors. I wondered to myself what in the hell I was doing out there when I had a treadmill at home in the cool A/C.
As Felix was giving us instructions, he said to foget the tempo run on the training schedule...just go easy. The heat was more extreme than it had been so far this summer, so he warned us not to worry about the pace and just finish the 35 minutes slowly. He also mentioned that with the heat index the temp was somewhere between 108 & 111...I wasn't sure if he was serious or just kidding, but I wouldn't have been surprised if that was true.
We ran from Luke's to Allen Parkway and followed the trails along the bayou. There were only two of us slower folks that showed, so we stuck together. We made it all the way to the bat bridge, then turned around and headed back. I don't particularly like the heat, but it is much more bearable when you have someone running with you. Plus, on the way home I felt pretty darn tough. What do they say...what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger? Hmmm...who are "they" anyway?
Today the HouFit fall group was scheduled to run our 15-miler. It's one of those big milestone runs to help us prepare for our marathons. When you're training for the Houston Marathon, you get to run the 15 miler in the nice fall weather, usually in an actual race with cheers from spectators and a great finishers shirt to take home to show off your accomplishment. Unfortunately, when you're running a fall marathon, you have to do all your long runs in the summer heat.
As I was driving to the park at 4:15 am, I was reminiscing about my younger days when I might have been stumbling home from a crazy night out at that hour. Perhaps after going dancing with the girls and then stopping for breakfast at a place that we'd never visit during the day while sober. Then I realized that I must be getting old, because I thought to myslef that I'd rather be up at 4:15 am to run than crawling into bed at that hour only to wake up with a hangover a few hours later.
We ran from the park to Shepherd. It's only about 2 miles, but for some reason, it felt like the longest 2 miles ever. I wasn't the only one that felt this way...I heard a few other folks moaning and groaning. Must have been the heat. Once we made it to Shepherd, the run felt a little better. We made our way through the streets of River Oaks and then to our 1st water stop at Luke's Locker. Next, we would head to Rice. We were supposed to do the Rice Loop before heading back to Luke's, but Mother Nature had other plans. Back at the park, some of us spotted lighten way off in the distance. As we got closer to 59, we realized that the lightening was getting closer and closer. By the time we arrived at Bissonnett, we saw that the faster runners were already making their way back. The coaches told us to turn around and head back toward the park. If we could beat the weather there, we might be able to squeeze in a loop at the park instead of doing the loop at Rice.
So we did just that. We headed back to Luke's for more water, then through River Oaks and back to the park. We were able to squeeze in a loop at the park. We did cheat a little though...the overachiever, die hard runners passed the 1st Picnic Loop turnoff and ran all the way down Memorial, past the volleyball courts and did a full loop. We took the shorter route and turned right at the 1st picnic loop turn, headed past the pool, Beck's, the tennis center, etc. I'm not sure of the exact mileage, but I think it may have been closer to 14 miles. Overall, I felt good during the entire run. I did get tired toward the end, which was to be expected. I was a little bummed that we couldn't do the entire route, because the 15 miler is usually my hardest run. And, after checking my school schedule, I realized that I will be missing the group runs for our 18 & 21-milers. I'll have to do them on my own, which will not be fun.
We'll we're off to Galveston in the morning for a couple of days of R&R before starting school next weekend. Hope you have a great weekend!
Conditions - 81 w/some humidity (lightening)
Total run time - 2:49:20
Distance - ~14 miles?
Pace - ~12:06 - 12:30?
Run Long & Livestrong!