Anyways, Chicago was hit with a major heat wave the week before the race--I'm talking record-breaking highs for March. We had weather hitting 90 degrees! It was pretty crazy. Race morning was a nice cool 70 or so when we got up, but by the time we lined up for the race's 10am start, it was already creeping up towards 80. Gorgeous, yes. Hot, yes. Were our bodies ready for hot weather running? Well, considering that just two Sundays before the race I did my long run in SNOW, slipping on icy sidewalks the whole time, I'd say no! But more about that later...First, the attire. Because I can't resist an excuse to dress up for a theme, Katy and I sported these awesome knee socks in spite of the sizzling heat. I am already trying to think of an excuse to wear them again...
This was Katy's first 8K (not counting our swampy-mud crawl-joke-of-a-race, the Cross Country Challenge, which let's be honest, Katy and I would prefer to pretend never happened...), and the first race of the season for both of us, so we went into it just planning to have a good time and finish strong. Of course, because I am always wishing for a PR, a little part of me had been hoping to shave a few minutes off my Turkey Trot 8K time, but as soon as I realized how warm it was going to be, I kissed that dream goodbye!
We started the race strong, but I have to be honest, it pretty much went downhill from there. I am not afraid of heat--I run all summer long. Buuut I'm not sure my body was quite acclimated to hot weather running yet, and even though a 5 mile distance is typically no big deal to me and actually a favorite distance to run, just finishing this race was a challenge. After about two miles, my legs and body were just tired! There wasn't much shade, and we were sweating buckets the whole way. My legs seemed to get heavier every mile, and our "walk breaks" seemed to get longer...We did manage to accomplish our goal of actually smiling and getting good race photos though! (I love when there are photographers at a small-ish race!)
I call this our, "We're tired...but we're still moving!" pose
This is my, "If I can't get a PR, at least I will get a good picture!" post
Katy: "No energy left to smile..."
Amy: "I'm laughing because this race is so awful it's funny..."
My personal favorite: Our, "Okay, let's do this..." pose
We ran the race using my trusty 3/1 run/walk interval method, which almost always helps me save up my energy and pull our negative splits, but like I said, this just wasn't my race. By the last mile, I'm pretty sure the sun had soaked up all my energy and the ever increasing pace on my garmin was depleting my happy mood. I know, that's terrible, but I'll admit it--I got a little negative by the end! I'm really glad I had Katy with me, because I would have been having an awful time if I'd been running this one on my own. Even bad runs are fun with a buddy. :) We did manage to dig deep and finish strong, crossing the finish line holding hands--only to collapse in the grass and refuse to move for at least 15 minutes... I'm pretty sure the only thing that got us to get up was the promise of a cold Guinness waiting for us at the post-race party.
So, it definitely wasn't a PR and wasn't our best race, but we had a great time. And, after finishing my first race of 2012, I have the racing bug again big time! I am already counting the days until this race...
I'm also trying to decide whether or not I can get my act together in time to do a sprint tri on June 10th...I had been planning on doing my first tri at the end of July, but I just found out the race I had picked out, the Iron Girl sprint tri in Racine, WI isn't happening this year! Bummer, right?? Anyways, June is a little earlier than I'd been planning, but I think I can do it...I will definitely need to get in the pool and on my bike a lot more often, though! Any thoughts, triathletes?
What races are you most looking forward to this year?