Race against the sun

Marathon training has finally started to get real again. During the week I have two shorter runs, in addition to a medium run, and then I run longer distances on the weekend. Last week the schedule was 3,8, and 4 miles, with a 16-miler on Saturday. I also cross train on the bike and in the water. Last week I also had the thrill of doing this in the middle of a severe heat wave, the kind where you hear about some moron who was outside and passed out and you can’t feel bad for him because it was 110 degrees with the heat index.

Even though I HATE getting up early, especially on weekends, I decided to get an early start on the 16 mile run before the heat kicked in too much. Now I know people who woke up at 4 a.m. to run–they’re hardcore. Some start at 5 a.m.–they’re pretty smart. I started around 6 a.m.–I’ll rate me as not completely stupid. Too much later than that and you’re fighting a losing battle. That sun is relentless.

The first 9 miles went really well. My friend Sarah kept me company and we kept 8:40 miles. After 9 Sarah bailed. She’s no quitter, she just already did her marathon for the year, so she didn’t need to beat herself up. But the last 7 is when I really needed the company. That sun was brutal.

I swear! It looked exactly like this!

I’ve provided a photo of what the sun looked like that day. Now some of you skeptics might be thinking, “Hey! That’s the sun from Super Mario Bros. 3 that chases you and tries to burn you up.” It’s true they look similar. I’m also pretty sure the sun that day was picking on me and repeatedly moved in closer to burn me up. That’s just how bad it was getting. And there was no starman or raccoon tail for me. No sir. I just had to use good old fashion running to get me away from it.

Really, the instinct might be to slow down quite a bit or even take a break, but that’s not a great idea. The longer you’re out there, the more opportunity that sun has to make life even harder.

Good run overall. My average end pace was more around 9 minutes, but given the heat, I’m going to call it a victory. Yeah that’s right. I’m saying I came out on top against the freaking sun!

Anyway, despite the difficulty, it’s actually a good training opportunity. Race day in Chicago could be a hot one too, so it’s good to deal with it a bit now.

Beach Palooza on Saturday and 17 miles scheduled for Sunday. I’ll also get to try my new running shorts. It’s shaping up to be a good weekend.

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