Whew! Sunday’s 8.5 mile run was brutal. The appropriate adjectives to describe the heat and humidity we have been experiencing here do not exist. ‘Tropical’ sounds too fun and vacation-y, ‘hot’ is an understatement, as is ‘sticky,’ and ‘muggy’ sounds too cute- like something you might name your pet pot-bellied pig. At 6:00 am on Sunday, temperatures were already creeping into the 80’s and the cooling trade winds were nowhere to be found, so when our group gathered at 6:45, nobody was feeling all that enthusiastic.
Our Sunday morning run times are a bit of a double-edged sword; the later the time, the better you feel about it when you set your alarm on Saturday night but the worse you feel about it as you struggle to get your sweaty body into a sports bra on Sunday morning. Luckily, we gathered at the Kalapawai Cafe and were promised snacks (free snacks!) at the end of our run, so we had some good old fashioned incentive to motivate us.
Unless this is the first blog post you are reading, I probably don’t need to tell you that 8.5 miles is the farthest I have run. If this is, in fact, your first post, then welcome and 8.5 miles is the longest I have ever run. We started out as an unmotivated cluster of 15 or so
crazy people runners, and we remained a cluster longer than normal. Usually by our first turn, the faster people have broken off to blaze the trail for us slowpokes, but I think the heat, the length of our run, and the daunting hill we were approaching encouraged everyone to take it easy. Don was the first to steam ahead and by the time I started to ascend the hill, he was out of sight.
The first 5 miles felt pretty good. Yes, I was panting and so shiny with sweat it looked like I had just stepped out of a spray tan booth, but I was keeping up a good, steady pace and hadn’t stopped for any walk breaks. My energy started to wane as we began mile 6, and I had to remind myself to maintain proper form. When I tire, my instinct is to shuffle my feet and slouch my upper body causing me to look more at the ground directly in front of my feet and less at where I am going- not ideal for running on roadways shared with cars. During one of our weeknight workouts, Mike demonstrated proper running form and introduced us to some drills to help us work on ours; remembering what good form felt like and trying to emulate that feeling helped get me through the last 3 miles of our run.
I’d like to say that I ran the entire 8.5 miles, but in the middle of the home stretch, I briefly slowed to a walk and happily guzzled tepid water from my water bottle belt. I am disappointed that I took a walking break, but I felt much better about it when Don admitted he walked the last quarter mile or so. I am pleased that I felt strong for the majority of my run, especially after the hill which is steep enough that when I’m driving and see other people running up it, my heart breaks a little for them. Now that I have experienced running it for myself, I think I’ll pull over and offer them a ride.
I’d like to leave you with a video Mike shared with us this week. Not only is it a good kick in the pants for those of us who can get a little lazy in our workouts (ugh, guilty as charged), but it is also an interesting example of the phenomenal things the human body can accomplish. Enjoy!