Humidity, Training, and Race Sign-ups

Another humid week has come and gone. Yesterday morning’s group run had us slightly missing the cold winter runs. You know it’s humid when it is announced by the pace coaches at the first water stop that we will be slowing down 10-20 seconds per mile to keep everyone’s heart rates down in the extreme humidity. Yesterday’s humidity was the sneaky kind. Just being outside it didn’t seem too bad, but after 1.5 miles everyone was drenched and the air felt super thick. As much as I hate running in the heat and humidity, I do know it can do great things for training for cool, fall races. Also, as I am continuing therapy for my tendinitis, it has been great for forcing me to take things slow. Morning runs have been done at a 9:30-10 min/mile pace to keep my heart rate down and I don’t at all feel tempted to push myself for a faster time.

9run5 (9:15) pace group at a water stop during Saturday's training run.
9run5 (9:15) pace group at a water stop during Saturday’s training run.

Here’s what my week looked like:
Monday: 2 mile Monday morning “Shake out” – 9:41 average pace
Tuesday: 4 mile run – 9:29 average pace
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 3.1 mile run – 9:22 average pace
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 5.8 mile group run – 9:21 average pace

I’m actually not sure what the exact total mileage was on Saturday. We were supposed to do 6, but I stopped my watch at the last water stop and forgot to start it back up again so I sort of guesstimated based on the average pace up to that point. That has been my longest run since taking time off and, despite struggling with the heat, my leg/ankle/foot held up pretty well. After the run, I had a chat with my pace coach who is seeing the same PT for the same issues. It actually made me feel a bit better knowing that his seemed to be worse than mine and he is training for a full.

It is a bit disappointing to not be training for the full, which is what I had originally been thinking about doing before this all began. However, there are goals for my half marathon that I didn’t have the opportunity to attempt when I had to back out and I would like the chance to achieve those first. Also, I want to go into my full training coming off of some strong half marathon training so I can ensure the strongest race possible. After this past winter, I really think I’d rather run my first full in the fall instead of the spring to avoid any winter-weather setbacks. I know I likely won’t be running a sub-4 for my first marathon, but I still want to make sure I have my best first marathon experience possible.

That being said, I have been happy with the progress I have been making in PT and signed up for a few races this past week. One of the great things about training through this time of year is that there are plenty of races to compliment the long-run schedule, so I can get a medal just for doing my regularly scheduled run! I registered for the Emerald City Quarter Marathon at the end of August. I have 9 miles on the schedule for that weekend, so I will likely do a 2ish mile warm up and then do an easy run through the course. There is also a half marathon component that many of the full marathoners run as part of their weekly mileage. I’m sure there are people that actually race, but in my opinion it’s a bit to hot that time of year to be trying to push too hard.

The second race I registered for is The Ohio State 4 Miler. I have 5 miles on schedule for that weekend so this works out perfectly. The race is in September, so depending on the temperature I will either use this as a speed workout or just a nice easy run. I also have the distance relay a few weeks beforehand which I plan to do at a 9-9:30 pace to use as my long run and avoid injury. We haven’t picked runner order of the race yet and have to do so by July, so I am leaning towards either an easier 3 leg or a moderate 2 leg position.

I hope everyone had a great week and is staying cool. Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and if you’re running for longer than 45 minutes take in something more than water such as Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun, Scratch Labs, etc!

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