52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 27: Red-faced, white hot, and blue

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!

4K on the 4th

Best race sign ever.

4K on the 4th

I’m never getting up.

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 …

4K on the 4th

Lovely setting for a run.

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.

4K on the 4th

Eighty-year-old John in the blue shorts was outpacing me most of the way! He is slow, but unlike me he NEVER stops to walk. Inspiring.

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 event: 4K on the 4th
The location: Concord, NH
The date: July 1, 2012
My time: 29.20 (pace: 11.48. Yikes!)
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

18 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 27: Red-faced, white hot, and blue

  1. heat is h*ll! i did a try in Kelowna once and sucked so bad on the run…bike ok swim ok…run thought i literally might die…i was redder than a beat…thank goodness the run here will be in the morning….there is not way it will be scorching..we just don’t have it in us.

    • I REALLY hope it will be as nice as I think it’s going to be over there. It’ll be just our luck that a freak heatwave will descend on Vancouver that weekend! Well, as the weather over here shows no sign of cooling down, I figure I might eventually get used to it. Kinda. Maybe … 🙂

  2. I am with ya S&J, the heat and the humidity are run killers. I was actually longing for a 30 degree morning as I was running yesterday…how sad is that?

  3. Stride and Joy’s word of the day: bloviate
    Beautiful. Great post.

  4. I would be dead on the ground right there with you! They saying you have to acclimate your body to running in the heat… I say screw it and run indoors sometimes!

    • I get soo bored running inside, but you’re right. Sometimes it’s just not worth it. This was officially my first run where I just couldn’t stay standing at the end. I have never been so happy to be sprawled out on the ground. 🙂

  5. *Love* the “collapsed” photo, perfect illustration! Oh, and I have a friend with an 80+ runner dad like those guys, just incredible.

    • Those 80+ guys are amazing!! Lou, the 87-year-old, always shows up wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, no matter what the temperature. He always finishes. When Andrew ran Mt. Washington a few weeks back, there was a 90+ guy doing it. Wow.

  6. I don’t think we ever really get used to the heat here in New England. It’s been a scorcher this year so far, and it’s only early July. Great job dealing with the heat!

    • Can you believe how hot it’s been. I mean, I remember that scorcher week from last year but it didn’t last much longer than that! Gosh I wish I had chosen swimming or something cooler to focus my energies on! 😉

  7. I hate running in the heat, too! Drains you! I was wondering where Lou Peters (87 year old man- runs for MVS) was! Was he wearing his “uniform” of his long blue sweatpants? I get warm just looking at him……as he runs right by me! LOL! Love the picture of you on your back….it says it all! New England is NOT typically this hot this early!!!

    • OMG, his uniform! It cracks me up. When he showed up in it this weekend I almost died. How does he run in that?!! I am amazed at his endurance. What’s your next run? Getting ready for the Wine & Dine? We won’t be able to do it this year, sadly.

  8. Scorching East Coast!! Hot and dry and I can’t run 1 km without feeling parched!!

    • OMG, I really feel for you. I have Ottawa’s weather on my iPhone for some reason and I have been astounded at some of the temps you guys have been getting. In some cases it’s 5-7 degrees hotter than it is here, and it’s HOT here. I am so impressed that you are getting out and running at all. I think I’d be putting the kibosh on the whole thing! 🙂

  9. We’ve had a rubbish summer in the U.K. (cool and wet) which would probably be ideal running conditions for you. Today it is 16C (62F?), and we’ve barely gone higher than 21C (72F). Would you like to relocate here for a few cooler weeks? (Good conditions for Olympic runners in a couple of weeks too if we continue at this rate)

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