Easy. Run a 7 mile race very hazy, very hot, and very humid weather. This morning I ran the Survivor Harbor 7 in Baltimore. This race is to support the Active Survivors Network. I was more than honored to make even a small contribution by participating in this race. I admit that I am not a Survivor of any severe illness, disease, or injury, so I face nowhere near the challenges of living an active life that a lot of people do. Other than occasional kidney pain for 36 hours or so, every 8-10 months or so, I have no known concerns. I feel I have quite a bit of appreciation of others face challenges that I may not.
However, that does not mean that this race was not difficult for me. The toughest one for me by far in my brief racing career. I started this year, have run a couple of 8K and 10K races, 7 miles: from a distance standpoint, not a big increase. However, none of those races were run with heat indicies near and probably over 100 degrees. Yeah, it felt like it was 100 degrees or more at 8:15 am this morning. I'll browse the web for recaps but it was as hot as it's ever been when I've tried to run further than to the bus stop. That's why today's race was extremely difficult. Before the weekend, my goal was to finish this race in under one hour. After running a 5K yesterday in similar conditions, my new goal was to participate in the cause and jog the seven miles as slowly as I need to in order to finish.
Running through Fort McHenry was a real treat, when you're there you feel like a real part of American History. I had ridden my bike through there in the past, never ran. But by about mile two, when I was still running at a good clip considering the crowds and narrow, I realized that there was no trying to get doen in under an hour. But that's okay. By mile five, to be truthful, all I wanted was some ice water and to be finished, but I was not going to stop if I could still run, thinking of those who face greater struggles beyond jogging seven miles on a hot day.
I did get through the finish line at 1:07:37 clock time, maybe 1:06:00 or so Net Time, since I was quite a bit towards the back of about 1,500 runners at the start. It was tough but worthwhile. I probably looked like I was about to collapse at the end, which would be an accurate description of how I felt. A quart of water, a 20 oz SoBe Herbal Life Water, and a 12 oz Tava (similar to Enviga - sparkling water drink) but still a bit dehydrated when I got back to my B@B to check out. Won't stop me from going to the pool later to swim a bit though now that I'm back in DC. All in all a great weekend. Set a personal best in a 5K by 9 seconds on Saturday, ran for a great cause today, really enjoyed the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore (more on that later), and my cable came back from a brief crash just in time for the second half of Germany-Poland in Euro 2008. It's all good.