Two weeks ago, I was pretty pissy-pants about the Pumpkin Spice Latte coming out at Starbucks. It was fucking August for crying out loud! Why were we breaking out the fall flavors already? Wasn’t it bad enough that the Back To School sales were already taking over Target before the local summer camp even started?
Then summer became a douchecanoe and I welcome the crispy leaves and apple cinnamon scented or pumpkin flavored everything. Why? Because the nice, moderate summer we had been having decided to switch gears and turn the atmosphere into a broken-dryer-like environment. Anyone who’s had a broken dryer knows what I am talking about- everything gets really warm, but nothing dries ever. The last week+ has been nothing but 75°+, which ordinarily wouldn’t be all that bad, but add in the at least 78% humidity at ANY time during the day and it becomes a runner’s (or at least this runner’s) worst fucking nightmare. Give me AUTUMN!!!
Let it be known that I LIKE running in the cold. All the way down into the single digits. The snow doesn’t bother me. It’s awesome- I feel like I’m a Yeti and love the funny looks I get when people seeing me running during a blizzard. The only sucky thing about winter running I’ve found is when the sidewalk and streets are covered in 3 inches of slush. That’s just a plain old slip and fall hazard and I sure as hell don’t need to slipping and falling into oncoming traffic.
So why am I bitching about the weather in a post that should be a race recap? Because this race sucked giant donkey balls for me solely because of the evil weather pattern that settled on my area for the time leading up to and including the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region General Montgomery Day 8K.
In the week leading up to Saturday’s race, I ran ONCE. That’s it. One 11 mile long run on Monday morning that kicked my butt to the point that I thought I was going to vomit, pass out, or both while driving home from the Rail Trail and for at least an hour afterwards. When I headed out, the weather was beautiful- low 70’s and mostly sunny. Halfway through, all the water that had ever been on this planet decided that it would be really great to just sit in the air in front of my face. According to the weather section on my running app, it was 100% friggin’ humidity! I didn’t too well in Earth Science (only science I ever got less that an A in during high school- I got an A-), but doesn’t that mean it pretty much should be raining?!
That’s how the weather was for the rest of the week. I had a hard time breathing just walking between buildings at work, let alone trying to go out to run- so I didn’t. I just used all my energy in hoping against hope that it would clear up for the 8K.
It didn’t. The forecast called for mid- to upper 80’s and 90+% humidity. Fabulous.
Jay and I went to the packet pickup on Friday night and got our swag.
The United Way gave us sunscreen (which I, of course, failed to use,) ShopRite provide water and a magnet, UNFI gave us refrigerator clips and pens. The race tee was long sleeve cotton- I doubted anyone would wear this for the race. ShopRite,other local businesses and Road ID tossed in coupons and such, as well. Pretty nice for a little local race.
I hydrated like crazy in preparation for this race. I spent more time in the ladies’ room than in the lab at work that week. That morning, I drank a whole bottle of water before even getting to race location (10 minutes from home.) Once we got there, I started sipping on my handheld hydration bottle loaded with Nuun Strawberry Lemonade. I was sweating just standing at the trunk of our car getting my sneakers on, so I knew I would need all the water I could get to get through this.
UNFI, a company new to the area, must have been trying to get on people’s good sides, because they were handing out full sized cartons of Harvest Bay Coconut Water to the runners and walkers. I chugged one of those back before the race started. It was delicious and I started to feel less mucky.
We lined up at the start line and the announcer kicked it off. I started off really well. My first mile was done in 10:12. It was all downhill from there (figuratively- actually it was a fairly hilly course.) The temperature rose and my energy fell. My second mile took 11:05. I couldn’t breathe. My inhaler did nothing for me. Mile 3 was 11:46. I was overheating and feeling nauseous almost the whole time. At all 3 water stations, I dumped my cup of water over my head. I had a goal of finishing this thing in 55 minutes. That was gone. My new goal was to be under an hour.
By the last mile, I was so beaten down and pouring sweat that my new goal was to just not have to be pulled off the course by an EMT- mostly because, being a local race, I knew a lot of the first responders and didn’t want them seeing me all dead and stuff. There were EMTs and police officers all over that course- it was nice to know that they were there if I really did need them.
It took everything I had to get to the end of that race. Nothing was left in the tank. My official time was 56:37.
The finish line was manned by volunteers with water from ShopRite and Propel Fitness Water. And the supermarket was also handing out the bananas and such. The local ShopRite is always there at community events- cookies for the kids’ Easter Egg hunts, burgers at Maybrook day, and they are always there for our VFW and youth athletics.
It was a really nicely done event and I know I would have really enjoyed it had I not been such a mess from my poor performance. I also would have enjoyed the after-race offerings better had I not had to immediately get ready for the parade that me and the X-man had to march in. That will be another post, I’m sure.
I’m hoping that things will be cooler and less muggy for this Sunday’s Surftown Half…