After my comically crap showing at the Squantum 5 last week, I was ready to redeem myself. (Funny, I think I may have written that line before.) I figured a nice, easy 4K ought to do the trick. I’ve got this 5K thing down (sort of), so a 4K should be a piece of cake. Right?
In the words of the running gods: HA!
The occasion of my latest display of badness was the 4K on the 4th (which confused me by not actually being on the fourth) in Concord, NH. With the eastern states in the grip of a heatwave, it was a helluva hot morning for a run. Whipping up some pre-race bacon and eggs on the hood of our car wouldn’t have been out of the question.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a terrible runner in hot weather (to the point where you’re all probably wishing I would shut the hell up about it and go bloviate about Lululemon or something). I know I am not alone in this affliction. But looking around after this weekend’s 4K was over, I couldn’t see anyone else who had been reduced to a pathetic, quivering, jelly-legged wreck (see photo).
Maybe they were just able to hide it much better than me …
So, yes, I performed hilariously poorly despite the abbreviated distance.
I wasn’t too tired. I wasn’t dehydrated. I was dressed in as little as I could without being indecent. But it was still an epic fail. (My asthma inhaler came out numerous times and I developed an awful stitch.)
Last time I ran a 4K was in Australia in November last year. It was my ninth run and I did it in 28.01, which I remember thinking at the time wasn’t that great. This run was my 40th, 40th!, and I only managed a 29.20. So, either the Aussies don’t know how to measure, or I am literally getting worse by the second.
It makes me laugh.
I did read recently that the heat will add 20 seconds per mile to your running pace. This made me feel slightly better, although in my case it’s more like adding a minute and a half. Or an eternity.
The 4K on the
4th 1st was great fun, though, despite me winding up flat on my back on a step. It had a combination of trails, paved bits and fields, which added an extra challenge (just what I needed, yes?).
But mostly, I loved that two veterans of the New England running community came out for it: John, who is 80 and was beating me until right at the end; and Lou, who is 87. Eighty freaking seven. These guys have attained minor celebrity status and we see them often at runs in New Hampshire. When I start whining about the heat and about how it’s too hard and blah blah blah, I just think of them. Now that’s what I call endurance.
Twenty-seven runs down, 25 to go. Back on track!
Happy Fourth of July week to all my American friends! Belated Happy Canada Day to my pals up north. And to the Aussies, er, back to work!
The location: Concord, NH
Hubby’s time: 16.33 (pace: 6.40)
The cause: New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Lynx Cross Country Team
The T-shirt: White tech tee with July 4 rocket on the front
The aftermath: Bananas, Larabars, cookies, brownies