"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hot as bells

I don't deal well with heat. During college, when I lived in Pittsburgh during the summers and would visit my then-girlfriend in Centreville, I would try to run at the same time as I would in Pittsburgh and it was a total disaster. It was just so hot in Virginia. Well, I thought by living here in the spring I would adjust incrementally. To do that, however, I would need the temperature to ease upward, not jump to the mid-80s. Unfortunately, that is what happened.
Monday, I met up with Melissa for a jog around the cherry blossoms. The 1.5 mile jaunt from my office to our meeting place on the Mall, however, left me panting and parched. I invariably went too fast for the conditions, which she rectified, because she now only runs when we meet up. The heat was too much for her, too, and we truncated the run and I extended a little by running around east of the Capitol on shady streets that were thankfully light on traffic.
Tuesday I tried to explore Pimmet Hills for the first time since my awful December Saturday run. I first had to drop off a long-overdue book at the library on Leesburg Pike, so that part was pretty awful. I also had a weird sensation in my right hip, and that was making running uncomfortable. I ended up skipping one of the out and back loops and heading back to my apartment.
Wednesday, I foolheartedly showed up at B-CC for a 2.5 mile surge on the Capital Crescent Trail. After a warmup during which I really didn't feel like running and was already thirsty, we reached the appointed starting point- right in front of a bridge climbing over a road. Uphill starts blow. I tucked in between Klim, Murphy, Matias, Dirk and Mike and decided to just hold on as long as I could. They were shooting for 5:05s, I hadn't run that fast for one mile in months. Thankfully half-mile markers made the segmentation of the workout mercifully easier. We went through halves in 2:33, 2:30 (for a 5:03 mile, my season's best) then 2:33 again and about a minute before I started to drop. I was just so dry... I tried to spit but there was no fluid component and the detritus spread over my shoulder. Dirk encouraged me to stay focused, and I did, just at a slower pace that I would have liked. 2:35 for my next half, 5:08 for the second mile. Everyone else picked it up from there, so I lost a lot of my pack mentality, and they were too far ahead anyway, but even though my pace slowed to 2:37 for the last half mile, I dug in. I didn't run through the line as much as I would have liked, probably adding an extra second I really didn't need to be running, but I finished in 12:47. Lost in the agony of running in that heat was that it was technically a PR for an open distance, even though I obviously went much faster en route to 5ks, but the last time I ran about 2.5 miles was at the 2004 Peters Township 4k, when fueled by the fury of having gone off course the year before and maddened by the heat, I ran 12:51. I'll take it. The cooldown was brutally slow, and I was light headed as all get-out- stopping was always a bad idea on the way back.
Jimmy said his GPS watch indicated the second mile was long, so I had that going for me, which was nice, but he is a Delaware track alumus and thus an associate of my arch frenemy ELI, so it might be a clever ruse to lull me into a false sense of confidence..

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