95 Degrees

MONDAY, JULY 26, 2010

95 degrees. That was the temperature at the starting time of my second race. This one was in Lakewood and it was a full-fledged 5K. 3.2 miles. And my world, was it HOT!

I’m talking hot! Hot, like, you sweat standing. Just standing. There were huge beads of sweat rolling down my back and I hadn’t even moved yet. It was hot.

It was me and about 140 other insane souls who decided to do this run. I knew I was in trouble. With a crowd that small, there’s no where to hide, and when you come in near last, there’s no hiding that, either. (And yes, I came in very near last.)

I made a “friend” right off the bat. This woman… for no reason… out of the blue… decided she’s going to hold my hand and braid my hair as we run. Oh, and towel me off apparently, too. That is how close she ran next to me. I’ve read that people will latch on to you during races some time to pace. I get that. It’s cool. But I’m not kidding when I say we bumped shoulders on multiple occasions. At one point, she really did offer me her towel to soak the beads of 95 degree sweat that were pooring down my head. First of all: GROSS! And second of all: GROSS!

The first mile was awesome. My split was 10 minutes and some change. Wooohooo! (Except for pacer lady, who was still shoulder to shoulder next to me.)

At a mile and half, I started seeing the leaders double back. I’d later come to realize just how freakin’ far I was behind them! I had FOREVER to go until I got to turn around and they were basically on the home stretch. This is when I really start to dwell on the embarrassment factor of me being in this race. But I forged on.

I… err… WE approach mile 2. I’m still cruising! My split was 20 minutes and some change. Holy cow, I’m running 10 minute miles! I was so very pleased. And then I hit mile 2.2’ish….

I’m not sure what happened at 2.2’ish, but it felt like 20.2’ish. The heat was really starting to get to me. (For some history, when I was 9, I used to sit in an air conditioned car in between innings of my softball games. That’s how well I’ve been able to manage heat in the past.) I started getting the chills. Yes, the chills. In 95 degrees. I started running through the warning signs of heat exhaustion/heat stroke and decided to take it down a short notch and walk for a few driveways. Coming in 135th out of 140 instead of 134th was NOT that big of a risk for me at this point.

I walked for 6 driveways, then started running again. Then came more chills… 3 driveways of walking…. running… chills… walking. When I got to the point where I could see the finish line, I sucked it up and ran the whole time. Chills be damned! At this point, I just needed to be done with this day and get in my air conditioned car. (Ahhh, how times have changed?!)

I finished in 34 mins, 20 secs. Not that great, but considering the heat and the lady I was carrying with me, I found it to be a huge success. My goal for my next race is 30 minutes, but I’d be pleased with 32 or less.

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