So I was very glad that yesterday was a recovery day and my intention today was to run as soon as I woke up. Since I've been having so much trouble sleeping, that ended up being slightly later than I would have liked considering that the temperature for today was to climb to 78 degrees. I first got up at nine, when it was 66 degrees and cool enough when I let the dog out that I thought I would be okay to go back to sleep a little longer and then head out. But when I finally left the house, it was 72 degrees, and definitely humid. I knew I was in for a tough run.
Remembering that heat and humidity always seems to really affect me, I started out slow, aiming for an 11-minute or so pace. Within a few minutes, I was already overheating - there was almost no breeze, and with no shade, I was running in the direct sun. I kept telling myself it was only four miles and I could make it. I was focusing on the thought "This is hard, but it makes me stronger" and that actually kept me going.
As I got closer to the water, there was a slight breeze, which I was so grateful for. The clouds overhead were floating around, but only seem to shade the road just ahead of where I was, never right over me. Eventually, I did get to run through some shade patches, so I would take off my hat to let the breeze cool me off a little. It was too hot to try that in the direct sun, which just seemed to zero in on my dark hair.
I made it to the two-mile marker right at my halfway point time-wise, which I was happy about. But the second half of the run didn't give me a lot to smile about. I was so hot, so thirsty, and so tired, I was sure I was going to have to stop to walk. But I am also really stubborn, and I just wanted to run the full 45 minutes today and not take any walking breaks.
When I hit 16 minutes left, I started to become a clock-watcher again (even though I know roughly distance-wise how much run I had left). I kept thinking that if I could make it to ten minutes, I'd be able to finish without taking a walking break. I was really struggling though, so I tried to focus on my music, think about the big glass of water I was going to have when I got home, anything except how much running was left.
With five minutes to go, I thought, this is it, I can make it. I decided at that point that I would stop after 45 minutes, whether I'd made it back to my starting point or not. Then, there was four minutes left, and it felt like so much time. I told myself I just needed to get to three minutes. When I hit that, I told myself I just needed to get to two minutes, and so on. Finally, with sixty seconds left to go, I told myself to think of the first week I started running, when I only had to run sixty seconds at a time. I tried to tell myself that a minute was all I had to do and I just about made it. I don't know when I've ever been so happy to stop and walk!
My body felt okay during the run, but I think I was so focused on how overheated I was that I wasn't thinking about anything else. As soon as I stopped to walk, I could feel my joints aching again and my muscles tensing up - the muscle soreness I never mind, because it reminds me all day long that I pushed myself, but the joint soreness I could do without.
I'm considering this a tough, but successful run - I ran 3.86 miles in 45 minutes, which is an 11:34/mile pace. Slow, but I did run the whole time without stopping, so I've got to consider that a good thing! Tomorrow, I've got a 35 minute run, and I'm hoping it will be cooler and less humid. At any rate, I've already gotten in two good runs this week (well, an okay run, and a great run, so they even out) and I think tomorrow's will be a good one too. We'll see how it goes!