I keep hearing “fast” associated with me. Lately, I have not been feeling fast at all. The heat, a different schedule, a crazy sleep schedule, and basic lack of structure seem to hinder my ability to be fast. Would you run fast in high 90 degree weather with even higher humidity that puts the “feels like” degrees at or over 100? Probably not. At least you don’t think you can. I didn’t. My warm-up mile at the Strider Summer Series Round II was completed in 9:00. I don’t think I have run a 9:00 minute mile all summer. It was so hot out yesterday that they were telling people to stay inside during peak hours. Forget peak hours. After that warm-up mile, I was dripping like I had run ten miles in the sun and heat. It was gross. Imagine a waterfall that turns on from your head the minute your body is no longer in motion. That was me yesterday.
Then comes the actual race. Yesterday, we were placed into groups of 3 to complete a 3 mile relay. I was the third leg of a group that had what I consider fast people. Both of my group members pulled off wicked fast miles- team member 1 in 6:20 and team member 2 in 6:19. We finished our 3 miles in 20:49. That puts me, the anchor of our relay, at a solid 8:10. That, my friends, is not too damn shabby for the ridiculous heat and humidity and after having run mostly ten-ish minute miles this summer. Not only was I stoked when I saw the time as I crossed the finish line, but also because I knew that there was no ten minute mile for me today! I felt every step of that mile as I pushed my way through what felt like a series of heavy, wet blankets. I gave it everything I had because I realized before the race that I hadn’t been keeping up with my running a mile regularly to see where I was pace wise. This is a perfect indicator that I haven’t lost the speed that was kicking around this winter. My mile in January was a 7:33 in fairly chilly conditions. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this Fall when I take on the Richmond marathon. I know the hard work this summer will pay off!
After the race, I went running on the boardwalk with great company, and did another 3 miles. I felt so good that these “easy miles” turned into quick ones. I wish I had timed them, but knowing I felt good after already pushing hard in the previous two miles, and tackling the last 3 in similar heat was all I needed to go with what my legs felt like doing. Bring it on 26.2 I got this!
Live. Love. Run. Passionately!