The Outside World, In and Around Duluth

Western Waterfront Run

Wow, it was hot last night.

I’ve run this race now for several years, and I’ve gotta say that it’s not my favorite venue. This is a five-miler, out and back. My biggest problem with this one is that it’s flat and straight. And my problem last night was that it was hot. I’m clearly not acclimated to the heat – it’s a good thing I live up north!

So I took off at what I thought was an easy enough pace, but my splits just went downhill, mile by mile. By the time I got to the turnaround, I was so parched and beat that I had to start taking walking breaks.

I recently heard that people who are able to distract themselves from their suffering are able to perform at higher levels, so with that in mind, I started trying to imagine something, anything to keep my mind from how miserable I was feeling. I tried identifying the birds I was hearing, but I couldn’t stay focused on them. I started counting to 100, but after my 2nd or 3rd round, I think I totally skipped the forties, so that was out. Eventually, I found distraction in my heart rate monitor. When my heart rate got up to 180 bpm, I walked until it went down to 160, then I ran until it went back to 180.

That kept me occupied until I actually met up with another runner, and I walked with him for a while, until we got close to the finish, then we ran it in.

The heat was the worst, but the worst of the worst was that the water was all gone when we finally crossed the finish. Agony! So, I had a lukewarm root beer. Better than nothing, I suppose.

My dearth of running this spring sure does show, especially at these crucible events. I said last year that I needed to keep running over the winter, at least once per week. I didn’t do that, but I figured (and hoped) that lunchtime aerobics would be enough of a proxy to make up for it. Guess not.

Next week is Chester Bowl. I’m up in the air on that one right now. That’s a classic suffer-fest: uphill both ways twice. We shall see…


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