June is often quite mild in my part of Pennsylvania. For instance, it is 64 degrees right now, Monday morning. This is a full 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than it was yesterday at this time. I wish the days had been reversed, in which case I might be congratulating myself on a personal record in the ODDyssey half marathon. As it is, I am congratulating myself on finishing.
Yes, it was north of 80 degrees by 7:30 A.M. on Sunday. I did fine for the first bit, finishing the first 6.55 miles at about a 10:20 pace, which is what I wanted to maintain the whole race. Then the heat caught up with me. I finished in 2:25, or a bit above an 11 min/mile pace. I had to walk through a few stretches. I spent much of miles 10.5 through 13.1 counting steps. I would count to 100 and then start over again, knowing that if I did this enough times, eventually the next mile marker would pass.
(Incidentally, I have done this while dealing with an ornery toddler on cross-country plane flights too. It is my way of dealing with uncomfortable stretches of time that I know are finite.)
Not all was terrible. There were big shady trees and, this being June, at times a great cloud of honeysuckle scent would waft over me. While I did not feel wonderful upon finishing, within 10 minutes I felt perfectly fine, and I am no worse for wear today. Just a bit sore in spots. I hosted my niece’s graduation party at my house yesterday and was able to do the various going up and down stairs that required.
But I will confess to wondering, in the middle of the race, why I was doing this. I guess the answer is that I do love running and having a race to train for does inspire me to go a bit farther and push a bit harder than I would otherwise. I just do wish it would have been 64 degrees, not 84 degrees, at least until 10 A.M.
Photo: At the finish line.