September Heat Wave

The temperatures climbed into the 90’s again yesterday and today, so my hottest Friday FAC 5k of the year was in September. 96 degrees and clear skies and I learned a lesson I already knew well; Donald is a cold weather animal, more husky than camel. My 5k time was a stumbling 32:45, including almost 2 minutes of sucking wind and gulping water less than a mile from the end. I managed a great kick to pass one of my struggling co-workers in the last tenth, but it cost me; I couldn’t run the mile back to my car and had the walk of shame all the way back.

As I’m training for 2 half marathons this autumn, falling apart at 4.4 miles on any run, no matter what the pace, isn’t confidence inspiring. If nothing else, this makes me glad I signed up for an early October and a November half, not a September one! Plus it gives me a lot of sympathy for those runners during the Boston and Chicago Marathons in recent years when the temperatures were in the 80’s. I’ll take more seasonal temperatures, thank you kindly!

I had another (easy) 5 miles planned for today, and I’m thinking that in the spirit of easy, I will spare my system the 95-feels-like-100 weather and go do it on the treadmill at the gym. Tomorrow the forecast is for a much nicer day for my 11 mile long run, and that’s my real priority for the week.

With 4 weeks until the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, 9 weeks until Stomp the Grapes, I’ve established a 5 days a week schedule with 2 easy, 2 workouts and a long run. The workouts are a “tempo run” on Fridays (which I’m still figuring out how to do right) and intervals that alternate between 800m intervals and hill repeats on Tuesday. I feel like I’m in shape to run a half-marathon, and the Brooksie I just plan to run, but the real question is whether I’m in shape to race by November for Stomp the Grapes. I want to beat up that first PR from Pittsburgh and earn my magnet in style.

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