Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training--Week 2; Race Against Hate

2 weeks down, 16 to go!  This second week of training was tough but good.  Though I am not running particularly early in the morning before work, I am still trying to adjust to running shortly after waking up.  It takes a while for my body to get in the groove and realize what's going on.  On Wednesday, my second run for the week, I was hit with a pretty serious cramp in my right side.  It took me about half the run to shake it but I was able to finish on a stronger note.  Thursday's run was much more pleasant; I felt a lot stronger and the weather was cooler which definitely helped.

Then this morning, for my long run, I headed up to Evanston for the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial 10K Race Against Hate.  T. ran it as well and we met his friend J. when we got to the start.  This was our first time participating in the race and I was looking forward to it.  It was definitely on the smaller side (the 10K had less than 700 people participating) and the start was quick!  T. and J. immediately took off; I almost simultaneously to crossing the start line felt a sharp tightness in my right hip.  I knew that I wasn't going to be able to push it so I started off slowly.  By the time I got to the end of the first mile, my hip was feeling better.


I'm not going to lie... this race was tough.  The course is gorgeous--an out and back through Northwestern University and along Lake Michigan--and it supports a very important cause.  I, however, grossly underestimated the humidity and the heat.  It was already so warm at the race start and the temperature only rose higher.  One other factor?  There was absolutely no wind.  It was so lovely to run right next to the Lake on the peninsula, and it would have been the perfect spot for a breeze except there wasn't one.  Needless to say, I struggled a bit.  I saw J. and then T. a little further back during the first part of the course on the trail, and I was very grateful for the first water station.

Right around mile 3 I found myself struggling with a pounding headache, and I slowed my pace only slightly and pushed through it.  I was listening to my body, but I was feeling pretty miserable.  I knew it was probably due to the humidity and feeling quite dehydrated.  I kept it up, even though by mile 4 I was pretty much ready to be done.

Miles 5 and 6 felt like the longest ever, and at that point, the 10K had joined with the 5K run so especially during the last 1.5 miles, I had to do a lot of dodging of walking and slower runners.  I was incredibly relieved to cross the finish line, and ended up with a time of 01:09:33, which I was pretty dang happy with considering how bad I felt for most of the race.  I did a little bit of research, and my finish for the Race Against Hate is 4 minutes faster than my last timed 10K, the Chicago 10K last August.  Pretty pleased with that progress!

...and after.  We were hot.  And tired.

We went out for coffee after the race, and then later, once T. and I showered, we went out to lunch and did a couple miles' worth of walking.  I consider this to more than fulfill the requirements of my training for the day.  I will definitely sign up for this race again; it is great that something positive has come out of such a terrible event and I am glad to help impact the community in this way.  Plus, it was a nice course and it was well organized.  Week 3 of marathon training includes a step back in the long run, with 5 miles on the calendar.  So far, so good!

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