As we find ourselves into August, we find ourselves getting up there in distance again. Today was the first 30km run of this training cycle, with a few more 30+k runs to come. Today’s planned route was a more friendly one compared to the past few weeks. Our group tends to run more “scenic” routes, which at the time seem challenging and difficult. As we have always learned from the many fearless leaders, these routes only make us stronger for the marathon.
Today, our map guru decided to give us a little bit of a break and hand us a flat route. After yesterday’s temps around 33 degrees (feeling like 42), I was worried that we would find ourselves in the same situation for the long run today. This mornings forecast was calling for high humidity and thunderstorms…great, perfect long run weather, NOT! Just like every other Sunday, the first thing I do in the morning is check my iPhone at the current weather. I stepped outside and it was like a wall of hot air slapped me in the face! I knew it was going to be an interesting run. My pace group was quite small, with many members being away on holidays, but was glad to have Lynn (clinic instructor) back with me today. We headed out through the side roads of Newmarket on our way out to Mt.Albert. The first 10km were rough, the air was so heavy and I felt quite fatigued. My already small group got smaller. We ended up looping back a number of times to grab fallen members. Lynn and I knew we needed to keep everyone together today. After 10k, we started to settle in and surprisingly felt better! We continued on, and cranked the pace slightly. We had a planned water stop at 20km and I couldn’t wait to get there. I was completely dry at 18.5k and was in need of some more fuel! We re-filled and grabbed a few orange slices which hit the spot. We left one of our group members to get a ride back to the store, so the final 4 of us were ready to get ‘er done. We got caught in a nice breeze and a downhill back towards the store. With 3k to go I was completely out of all fluids again. I felt like I had nothing left. My feet were barely lifting off the ground, I was struggling. Lynn said “We run until your watch hits 30k, then we’re walking in!” We fought to make it up the much-loved Charlotte, Amelia, Hillview streets and finally hit 30k. Lynn and I congratulated each other for just getting it done. We took a much deserved walk back to the store. We ended with 30k in 2:50 – 5:40/avg pace. I was pleased to have held a great long run pace despite the crazy humidity and conditions today.
A character builder, the return of a leader and friend, sticking it out together until the end…this is why I run.