Monday, September 5, 2011

Milford 30K - Hills, Heat, Humidity, Hooray!

Milford 30K - Milford, Mi
September 3, 2011

Texas summers really do a number on my head. My pace is slow. I struggle. I feel like I'm going backward, not forward. Plain and simple, I do not run well in the heat. More than anything, it makes me question my ability, where I am at in my training, and is a serious blow to my self confidence.

Before summer came, I made the decision not to race in Texas in the summer. It does nothing for me but screw with my head. So I'm been racing every other place I've been for work or pleasure this summer. If I'm there and a race interests me, I try to make a go of it.

Last time I was in Michigan, I tried to PR a 10K. Well, it was 87 degrees and 80-something percent humidity and it was a disaster. Like the kind of disaster where you puke all over yourself. At that race, I saw a little flyer for the Milford 30K on Labor Day weekend. Knowing I was going to be visiting Steve that weekend, I kinda wanted to do the racing. Surely it will be cooler, right? BWAAAAHHHH!!!!!! Wrong. So very wrong.

Every time I kept looking at the forecast, it kept getting hotter. Friday night I arrived in Michigan and it was hot and humid. I didn't sleep well because I was so hot.

Saturday morning, race day. It's close to 90 degrees and feels like a damn sauna. I wanted to run a marathon pace run. I felt good, despite some pretty high miles earlier that week and a knee that was acting up.

I went out the gate and knew today was not going to be a sub 9 day. So instead of fighting it and having a miserable race, I told myself to let it go and just enjoy the race. I slowed my pace and took it easy.

I am so glad I did! I loved this race. It was probably the hilliest race I have ever run. It was mostly on dirt roads and so pretty. I powered up all the hills, but one and had a great time. At mile 15, it looked like the Batan Death March. Everyone was walking or shuffling. Yet, I was still running, allbeit a bit slower because it was getting very hot and there was no shade at this point in the race. But I was running, not shuffling! Wahoo!

I figured Steve was worried about where I was. Originally, I was targeting a 2:45 finish. It was getting close to 3 hours and he was a little worried and about ready to hop in the car and find me. He was waiting at the finish line with a little surprised look on his face. I overcame the hills, heat and humidity and in the end had a great training run.

It best thing this race did for me was give me the confidence I need for Long Beach. Prior to the race, I wasn't sure of the pace I wanted to run in Long Beach. This race gave me the confidence I needed to put all my self doubt aside and run the race I know I am capable of running.

Next week, I'm racing the Dash Point Trail Half Marathon in Seattle. Unless the earth suddenly spins out of orbit and lands next to Mercury, I think I'm going to have some good weather!

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