Ah but for the want of racing one week earlier. Last weekend was bliss, this one was a sauna. The Czarina insisted that we run the Tropicool 5K in Naples this Sunday morning.
Sometime on Thursday the humidity which usually arrives in late March finally got its claws into Southwest Florida. The heat kicked in on Friday and the temperatures have been climbing everyday up to 93 today.
The fun started at 7:30 a.m. It was probably about 75 degrees at the start with a nice breeze out of the south off the gulf. The humidity was at least 90 percent and given that we were just a half mile from the water, probably higher.
The course was a nice, flat, double loop. I got out amazingly well hitting the first mile in 7 flat. It felt easy and I was still catching people in the second mile. I couldn't see my split at mile two but I thought I had run 7:03. Boy was I wrong. The heat and humidity was hammering me, I just didn't realize it. I didn't see my three mile split and when I turned the corner for the last 70 yards to the finish my heart sunk when I saw the clock. I hit the finish line in 23:06, my slowest time of the spring. Mile two had been only 7:28 and mile three took 7:38.
I didn't feel like I had slowed that much. A really good woman competitor who I know and usually runs right with me experienced the exact same phenonenom. She finished about nine seconds behind me. We had hit the first mile together and she told me that the effort had felt the same all the way to the finish.
The Czarina didn't fair much better running 25:15, but she did win her age group, while I wasn't even close to the podium. The race had 500 runners, up about 350 from the year before, go figure.
Racing is done until the fall for me. I'll also start to cut back my training runs except for the weekly long run. Seven and eight mile runs take too much effort so it will be four and five mile efforts for the next few months. The long runs will be interesting. I think I'll join a Saturday morning group effort that goes out at 6 a.m. I hate getting up that early but I'm going to need all the support I can get the next few months to get ready for St. George.