Sunday, June 8, 2008

Undistinguished...

I ran a dramatic personal worst 10K on Saturday--in fact it was slower than any other NYRR race I have ever run, including the half-marathon I did in May as a training run. It was utterly awful! Looking at the race statistics, I see that the temperature was only in the 70s, but with super-high humidity, and it felt insanely hot--I was already covered with a sheen of sweat as I stood in the sun at the start, and I realized about one minute in (while running smack in the midst of a thick and non-weaveable-through pack of very pleasant but not especially speedy women who were moving solidly forward at 9:30-9:40 pace for what was by far the flattest and easiest mile of the entire course) that I was going to be running rather than racing with a time goal.

Final results: 1:00:01, 9:40 pace, and every minute of it quite horrible and full of the most intense self-flagellation and self-reproach of really quite baroque range and elaboration....

I do not think I can really have lost so much running fitness, heat and humidity just make a huge and depressing difference (plus two intense full-body workouts earlier in a week of the most intense stress and sleeplessness). I am probably a little slower than I was in the fall and early winter, but more like :10/mile slower rather than a minute and a half. I had to remind myself very earnestly that being able to run is a privilege, not a punishment--I've got several friends right now who can't run due to illness or injury...--but this weather is definitely a minor trial!

(The NYT coverage says the winner's time was the slowest in 10 years and that humidity was 84%--all I can say was that I felt pretty awful the entire time, though the last mile offered the consolation of it soon being over and the final 400 yards prompted a certain grim satisfaction at the notion that a really gruelling and mentally unpleasant race is probably good practice for the bad moments in future serious long-distance triathlon training and racing!)

On a brighter note, a friend of mine working in Africa has a happy outcome after a bicycle-related mishap....

6 comments:

Levi Stahl said...

Never underestimate how much heat and humidity sap your strength, Jenny. It's amazing how much harder they make even a relatively brief run. You're most likely still in fine shape--just wait for a cooler, drier day and you'll see.

Wendy said...

What Levi said!

Becca said...

I was running in Riverside Park probably around the same time and it was godawful. But this morning in Central Park was even worse--I had to stop, I thought I was going to keel over.

Spokane Al said...

The difficult, tough races make the good ones that much sweeter.

Congratulations on pushing through.

Danielle in Iowa said...

All bets are off when it is that hot and humid!

Leah said...

Don't let this get you down. You got out there and did it. Most people were sitting on their butts at home blasting the A/C!