Ohhhhh, we’re half way there. Ooooh-OH, living on a prayer! These past nine weeks have truly flown by. Week nine was tough and I’m starting to get really tired. I think a big part of that is due to the heat. Last summer was fairly mild, but August is back with a vengeance. My husband pointed out that it won’t be long before the mornings being to cool off again and the 10 day forecast is beginning to look promising, but I’m not sure how much more I can take of these 3+ hour runs in the heat/humidity.
Monday morning was beautiful. The September-like weather hung around for the day and it’s amazing how cool temps in the 60s feel in early morning after 70s-80s in the morning. I did my faster pace run and my heart rate was in zone 2, so that seems promising for when the weather cools off.
Thursday I had plans to go out to dinner with some friends after work so I decided to move my longer run to Thursday morning in case I was out late. This run was hot, but uneventful. I didn’t end up staying out that late at all, but Friday morning I was really glad I had done my longer run on Thursday. When I went out at 5am to run it was already 81 degrees. I got half way through my run and called it quits. The heat was just too much and I knew a few miles short for the week wouldn’t make or break my marathon. There was a 101 heat index for the day I was more concerned with my long run the next morning and didn’t want to over do it when it was forecasted to be another hot morning. Since I was done early, I spent about 15 minutes with my legs up and then did some stretching. I am confident this was the right decision for the day. I went out with intentions to do my entire run and in the end only came up 2 miles short for the week. That’s the only run I’ve cut short and I’ve only missed one run overall this entire cycle which was when we were traveling last month. I think that’s pretty good considering I’m half way through already.
So then came Saturday. I had 17 miles on my schedule and headed to our meeting spot around 6am to get some miles in before the group run. There were quite a few people there getting their miles in pre-group run which didn’t surprise me because it was hot and the forecast was calling for potential storms a little later. The humidity was a little better and there was a slight breeze, but it was about 80 degrees already so I decided to jump down to a slower group and take it easy. I’ve found there seems to be a common misconception that the midwest is nice and cool year-round, but Columbus truly has all four seasons. This is wonderful at times, but it also means we get both super heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. I’ve been doing a lot of sports-bra running, but I kept my Nike Breeze tank on so I had somewhere to wipe the sweat off my face. About 11 miles in it was just a wet rag so I ended up taking it off and a few other girls in the group followed. If you’re not confident about running only your sports bra let me tell you, this has nothing to do with confidence or feeling good about my body and everything to do with it just being too damn hot to have a wet layer on me for no reason! Our training group provides water stops, but I’ve been carrying my handheld with Skratch Labs in it and refilling at the water stations along the route. I probably drank 64-80 oz of fluid during this run.
Our spot this Saturday ends with a half mile up-hill finish. There is a water stop right before it, but I prefer to just push through to the finish. My friend Katie stuck with me and when we got back to the start point someone had brought a cooler with cold, wet towels and ice pops. It was the best thing of the entire run. For the rest of the day my sugar and hydration was all out of wack. I took a solid nap and fought off a headache, but it took me the entire day to recover. With that I am official over this weather.
My husband and I went out for an early dinner that night and then when I got home I decided I really just wanted a short soak in the tub.
It rained Saturday night and I was hoping it would still be rainy Sunday morning, but it wasn’t. Instead it was more intense humidity for my Sunday morning run. Of course, about 2 minutes after I got to my strength class it began to pour and continued to pour for most of the day. Despite my tough runs in the heat, I felt really good during class and was able to get in a good workout. One of the store employees is in my Sunday class so she turned on the TV so that the marathon was on in the background as we got to work. I was able to get home in time to watch the last hour and see the finish. When I got home my husband filled me in on how all of the Americans were doing which I thought was pretty awesome of him. I also had a voicemail from my coach with some things to keep an eye on while I watched.
Right now I’m just tired. So tired. To be 100% honest, running 6x a week is tough. My rest day is a week day which means the latest I sleep in all week is 6 am. Add the heat on top of that and I am exhausted by Monday night and of no understanding to people that dread rest days because I savor every moment of extra sleep and no activity. The next 9 weeks are going to be hard. A friend of mine reached his taper today and sent me a message that said something along the lines of, “I’m pretty proud of myself because I did a thing!” It made me laugh and reminded me again that training for a marathon is a feat within itself. I am proud of the work I’ve been putting in and that I continue to push myself even when I’m tired and don’t want to go out. After those first 6ish weeks of training the “honeymoon phase” wears off, fatigue sets in, and all that’s left is that daily determination to push through.