Whoever conceived of a July evening run in Albuquerque must have been crazy. The hundreds of people who showed up for the 5K, 10K, and kids K, must have been even crazier Sure, runners at the “Chunky Monkey” run were promised free ice cream, bread, and pizza at the finish line. But was a starting race temperature of 95 degrees worth some empty calories?
While I was crazy enough to run a 5K in extreme heat, I knew enough not to attempt the 10K.
Today marked the first time in almost two years that I ran a 5K for time. Over these years I have run several half marathons, two marathons, and an ultra. But, since I have been training for endurance, I have not done a lot of speed work.
Nonetheless, I ran the first two miles of the 5K rather effortlessly, averaging a pace of 8:12 per mile. The heat started to get to me in the third mile and I slowed to an 8:38 pace more out of caution than anything else. However, as I turned the last corner I broke into a sprint and finished the last tenth of a mile at a less than 7 minute per mile pace, crossing the finish line at 11mph.
I crossed the finish line slightly disappointed, knowing I had a lot left in the tank and could have run much faster. However, my 8:18 pace tied my previous personal record—not bad considering it has been a long time since I have done any speed work and it was 95 degrees. All in all, sometimes it is better to be slightly cautious in the heat than reckless and sick.