You’d think after all these years of running in Savannah and all these miles this summer – that I’d temper my expectations.
They named it the Savannah SUNBURN after all.
Savannah Sunburn 10K 2017
I added a couple of races to my training leading up to my fall goal half marathon in November. Tropical Storm Irma landed earlier in the week, and I’m grateful for the race organizers’ hard work to keep the race on as planned. (I had a simple 5K scheduled for 2 weeks after the storm, but it was cancelled quickly without reschedule and the bulk of the email requested I donate my race fee to them… but, I won’t get into that…)
With the storm behind us, 70 degrees greeted us (but with wicked humidity). In my head racing in that weather was a dream, but there, it remained.
They didn’t call it the Savannah Sunburn 10K for nothing.
The course went west, majority east, then west again with no shade except for a blessed curve in the road where we all cried sighs of relief.
And many crazy people looped again for a half marathon. They might still be out there for all I know.
Not knowing the ratio of 10K to half marathon racers (or at least in denial), I lined up towards the back, got caught up in the crowd, and lost 20 seconds that I desperately needed before the sun fully came up.
I was running a “cut-down” or progression run – starting conservatively and getting progressively faster until I let loose (or in this case, endured) to the end.
I ran miles 2 & 3 a handful of seconds longer than prescribed – fine. I’m still trying to figure out how to use my GPS watch during a race anyway (when to correct, when to ignore). But mile 4 looked a lot like 2 & 3. And so did mile 5.
Then, I push.
Wait – I’ve been pushing this whole damn thing.
I managed to break 9 minutes. 8:54 min/mile for mile 6. 8:27 for the last third. (I would like to note my Garmin calculated an extra tenth of a mile – the disgrace!)
57:16 – miles from my PR, but whatever, just kill me there. I was so done – and not in a “Wow, I left everything out there done”, just a “Dude – this sucks. I’m done.”
Excuses are OK?
In this race and the last, I often lost focus. If I wasn’t pushing, I was slowing down. And the heat & humidity was sucking the life from me.
A couple of times, I asked myself, “Am I giving my best?”
I just wasn’t sure.
The race conditions were not optimal, but I also didn’t want to be full of excuses at the end of the day.
After this summer of hot, hot running, I wanted to blast through this race and show myself how far heat-training had taken me. But 100% humidity is the same – always. And running into the face of the sun… sucks.
And even as I write this – I still feel they are excuses. But, it is what it is. And I can only use this result to guide my training for my goal.
May November be cool.
Please, please be cool.
The storm rescheduled my float at remedy float to later that day.
“Floating” is a spa-like experience where you float in a tank of ridiculously-epsom-salted water inside a sensory deprivation tank (completely dark and sound proof) with the water at skin-temperature.
It was my first 90 minute float (typically 60 min) and I went in with the word “reset” in mind.
Hurricane Irma – evacuating – coming back early when the hurricane shifted trajectories – sitting out the storm – the chaos at work around it – races rescheduling… it was time to relax and release some stress. And I was grateful that I could.
Training races are training races for a reason. It’s OK to doubt our capabilities. It’s OK to come up short. How else will we know when we succeed?
It’s time to get back into routine, if just until the next storm hits. Until that’s routine, too.