Friday, August 7, 2009

hot and humid and hard

I arrived at Jackson Station on Thursday morning for the group ride. I brought my backpack so that I could continue the ride to the university. I usually put my bag in someone’s car because riding with a backpack – especially in a pace line or sprint is not much fun. Well, I hung out at the Station for a few minutes and it was deserted. Mike’s car was there but he is an early morning rider. He probably got there about an hour earlier. No one showed, not a big deal but that meant that I would have to ride back to the house to drop off the pack. Even before I got home I had already made up my mind to scrap the ride. I 86’ed it! I really did not have purpose for the ride other than camaraderie so I poured myself that second cup of coffee. No regrets – I had a long run planned for after work.

Having done strength training the day before and the run planned for later in the day and the pool being closed this week – there was nothing to do at the gym for lunch. Jodie and I went for a walk and ran some errands around campus (checking book prices for classes). I had a good time at lunch.

I met up with Jim shortly after work. With the heat and humidity I have discovered that my running shorts (the ones with the liners and stuff) get completely saturated during a long run. This can cause some chaffing to occur – not fun at all. So, on occasion, I will wear some tight compression shorts underneath the shorts. I have had these compression shorts for years – they are white and tight and keep everything in order. I originally got them for softball and for a cup – short stop – necessary protection. But for this run I pulled on some triathlon specific shorts from Zoot. I don’t wear these often – they are a nice blue silver color but the color of the fabric darkens with water. You start to show exactly where you start to sweat – kind of gross – kind of reveling. This would not be problem on a longer run – the shorts would have a uniform color by the time I was done.

Jim and I left campus along the Long Leaf Trail and we were looking for anywhere between 12 – 18 miles. We would pass my house at mile 6 and continue on – If I were running by myself this would have been difficult. My legs were so heavy during this run. We were running at an easy pace – my heart rate was in my low-low recovery zone but the perceived exertion was much higher. I think that this was because of the heat and humidity and also the accumulated fatigue of the past year (I am really hoping for this super compensation thing with my taper this month). Jim was looking strong.

A couple of months ago I was strides ahead of Jim but tonight he was stronger. A couple of months ago Jim would challenge me and he would turn around a mile or so from a station and let me go on. I cannot back down from a dare. I would sprint out hard, reach the turn around and then catch Jim. These were some of my best runs – throwing a hard tempo run in the middle of a long run – valuable.

Well, I had to turn the tables on Jim. Jim was a bit stronger than me at this point and he was starting to run a little faster. I was not willing to hold his pace – I was starting to fatigue and there were still miles to go. Between mile 10 and 11 (1 ½ miles from Epley) I turned around. I did not walk but I took a gel and continued my pace. Mile 11 felt like the longest mile even though it was not any slower. At mile 12 I felt better – instead of the long gradual incline to Epley I was now on the long gradual decline home. I was running just a bit faster but it was much easier. I took another gel at Clyde Station and looked back for Jim – he was nowhere in sight. I really did not expect him – He was running 3 extra miles and I was not walking. There was no way he was going to catch me.

I got home having clocked 15.5 miles and cleaned up and had a blue berry smoothie. Jim arrived a little bit later with 18 miles under his belt. He was a little stronger than me tonight but we were both successful – no joint or muscle aches or pains. It was hot and humid and hard but manageable.


Marci said...

It's ok that you weren't the strong one out there... the most important thing is you got what you needed to get done! Nice job!

Missy said...

Not every workout is better than the last. Sometimes, those it's not our day to be strong. The heat is ON down here and that is zapping everyone for sure. You got it!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Your next one will be better :)