Yesterday I set out for my 12 mile marathon training run even though it was hot and humid up here in New York. I left my house to start running at about 6:30am after stashing water bottles both in my front yard and at my father-in-law’s. My route was a 6 mile loop that took me past my father-in-law’s after 3 miles. I knew that if the heat was getting to me I would be no further than 1.5 miles from safe places to crash. If nothing else I should be able to walk that far.
The first 3 miles were somewhat tough. I was finding it difficult to get loose and into running mode. I have to admit that I was a little worried because it generally only takes me 1 to 2 miles to feel into the run. As I stopped to switch water bottles at mile 3 I knew I just had to keep going. I was hoping it would get better soon.
Amazingly I did start to feel better. The next 3 miles went by easily and soon I was back at my house for a quick water pit stop and a brief bout of, “Mommy, aren’t you done yet? Stay home, Mommy.” Then it was back off for my second 6 mile loop.
As I started I was worried that I’d get really tired or that the heat would sap my energy too much, but my worries were unfounded. I had no problems with the first 3 miles and as I switched water bottles again I thought about how my 12 mile training run last year had seemed so long and tough. Now, it seemed like a good distance, but not a big deal. It felt like I was just getting into my training on my way to the true long runs of 17+ miles.
I finished my last 3 miles and felt really good. I was hot and very happy to pour ice cold water over my head, but I wasn’t overly tired and my legs still felt fresh. They weren’t aching. I even made myself pick up the pace for the last mile to help train my legs to respond when they’re tired at the end of my runs.
My time overall was slow, over 2 hours, but it was pretty good for such a hot and humid day. I wasn’t too far off a sub-5 hour pace and I know it is far easier to run long distances when you’re not sweating through every ounce of your clothing after you take 10 steps.
I even had a great time later at the beach with my family as my father-in-law kept telling me to go swimming with my girls because, “I needed to get my exercise for the day.” As I headed into the water I threatened to get him out on the road with me for my next long run, but he just laughed. Maybe I’ll see him as I switch water bottles at his house. One can always hope.