High heat, high humidity and 18 miles?? Yes, please!

I’m back with a short little training log to let you all know how my Chicago Marathon training has been going. With just over 5 weeks to go until the race (thinking about that never fails to unleash the butterflies in my stomach) I’ve logged a few pretty long runs, including my second 18-mile and first 20-mile run of the season. The weather has been obnoxiously hot and humid the past few weeks, which means that I’ve been getting up at a truly uncivilized hour to get some miles in before the sun comes up. As I was slogging through 18 miles a few weeks ago, I thought I would attempt to give you an idea of what goes through my mind during a 3-hour run in crazy heat. And it goes a little something like this:

Miles 1-4: Lord, it’s early. Why am I breathing so hard? This is hard…how am I going to go 18 miles? Have I always been this slow?

Miles 5-10: Hmmm, I’m feeling great now, just needed to warm up, I guess. Pace is still a bit slow, but considering that the air feels not unlike a steam bath, I’m going to relax on pace requirements today. Golly, now that the sun is up it is really HOT and it’s just going to get hotter. Yikes, this is not good.

Miles 10-16: Still truckin’ along. Good pace. Definitely a few moments in this chunk where when we stopped for water my legs were trembling and I wondered if that was, perhaps, not a good sign. Pace starting to slow and I am at the point where I just want to dunk my head in a tub of ice water. I think I’ve sweated out all the sweat I can possible sweat (I realize this doesn’t make sense, but that is truly where my head is at this point).

Miles 16-18: This is horrible. I can’t do this. Yes I can. No I can’t. Yes I can. No I can’t. Oh look, I’m walking…didn’t mean to do that. Just one more mile, start running and you’ll get there faster and then you can go to Tim Horton’s and get your beloved post-long-run iced cappuccino. I can do this…just don’t think about the fact that this distance is still 8 miles short of a marathon!

So there you go – there is a lot of mental cheerleading that goes into those final miles, especially when the sun is up, temperature is somewhere around 85, and humidity is at 98%. I am pleased to report that my 18-mile run the following week (in considerably cooler temps) was MUCH more successful and way less soul-crushing.

Update: The best news yet?? Two weeks ago I ran a 20-mile race after receiving over $1,100 in donations from YOU!!! I practically skipped through those 20 miles, I was so inspired and humbled by your generosity. So much good can (and will) be done with your donations…I simply cannot thank you all enough.

What really gets me through is the prospect of having every mile I run get EOR one step closer to providing much-needed medication to the kids at FOVC. With your help, every step I take in Chicago will help to provide basic medical supplies to kids who desperately need it. Please consider pledging even just $1/mile. A little donation goes a very long way to improving the health and lives of some amazing children. My goal is $2,000 and we are so close!! Click on the link below and help me get even closer to my goal!

https://ethpnor.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/AlisChicagoMarathon/tabid/489788/Default.aspx

Thank you!!

Ali G.

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