Week 12 Sunday Run:
It was HOT. Very HOT. Probably not 98 degrees but it felt like it! According to the forecasts, the highs were in the mid-90’s. People even said that it was the hottest in Santa Monica in YEARS. Why? Why during one of our longest runs of the season??
Our Santa Monica/Palicades/Brentwood 17 Mile Route started on Ocean at the entrance of the Santa Monica Pier, worked our way North through the Palicades, down San Vicente, then back up San Vicente up to the Brentwood Area then ran all the way back down to where we started, and then some. There was a steady incline in the beginning of the course, but 6 miles of it was just too much for me, even with hill training earlier this week! I ran out of energy quick!
This is my third season with the Team, and it was definitely one of the hardest training days of my life. I believe some of the 20 milers in the past were easier because of the flatness of the course, and the weather. I was a bit frustrated at my run because I prepared very well for this run – I did not go out, I had a pasta dinner, I did not drink alcohol, I had a good night’s rest. During the run, I struggled to keep up with my pace group. We did our usual 7 minute run / 1 minute walk intervals, but towards the end I’ve never stopped so much for walk breaks. I’ve never cramped up so badly during a run. I’ve never ran out of breath so quickly. I’ve never been so hungry at mid-training. Luckily, I ran with Erin, who we kept each other company during the run, because it was just one of those bad days for us.
The weather affected me in so many ways than one. The pavement reflected the scorching heat of the sun, making it terribly difficult to stay cool. The air was too hot to even breathe in. Every opportunity I could get to a shade, I took it. At the water stops, I would pour water on my head and to the back of neck to cool down. I tried so many ways to regulate my breathing and temperature – every little bit helped. In the end, I enjoyed a simulated ice bath in the freezing beach water of Santa Monica. It helped out a lot because I’m not as sore today than I usually would.
Even though I felt this was my worst training run ever, I’m happy I finished 17 miles with a higher pace group than usual, and again, I’m not here to win any medals. This was definitely a Personal Record (PR) for me, not for time, but the challenge. I felt beat up, but not lost. It’s just one more step towards the goal, coming up in a few weeks!