Weekend days are a godsend to a runner because unlike packed week days, they offer ample time to fit in a long run. (For perspective, I was due for 15 miles today which takes me approximately 2.5 hours to finish. Ain’t nobody got time for that during the week.) The challenge with weekend days is that they are also prime time to go out with friends and sleep in, two activities that usually don’t jive with running because it is easier to run before the sun is in full force.
The most committed runners are diligent about going to bed early and waking up early when they’re training. They know like I do that running, especially long runs like the ones I’m currently scheduled for, are more painful at peak heat. But, let’s get real—I have gotten pretty lackadaisical about my Paris Marathon training in the last few weeks so it comes as no surprise that I didn’t wake up at 7 a.m. this morning. Instead, I rolled out of bed to make coffee circa 10:30 a.m.
Snoozing my alarm at 7 a.m. felt fantastic. Waking up at 10:30 a.m. to realize I would have to train in 80-degrees, not so much. I spent a good hour stewing over my options until Betsy saved me with a pitch to join her and our friend Thais for a short run on the beach. Her proposal was exactly what I needed to avoid the trap I have been falling into since I started training: the all-or-nothing conundrum. There is no way I would have survived 15 miles at noon so absent Betsy’s offer, I probably wouldn’t have run at all. Something is better than nothing.
At 11:30 a.m., Thais, Betsy and I drove up to North Beach. We took off running northbound on the beachwalk from Allison Park with the goal of completing 4 miles nice and easy. We took off at a 10:24 min/mi pace. Thanks to my ankle situation I limped the entire first mile, eliciting concerned looks from both Betsy and Thais who asked, “Are you sure you should be running?”
Running at noon is the worst. We ran the second mile one minute slower as the reality of the unbearable heat finally caught up with us and we started to desiccate. (It was so hot that Thais touched her brown hair around mile 2 and burned her hand.) Speaking of things that are the worst, we also slowed down because our fearless leader Betsy made us run through the soft sands of North Shore Open Space Park once we reached the northern end of the beachwalk and it took all of my energy to not be swallowed by the ground. Luckily, we took advantage of the shaded sidewalks inside the park on the way back so we closed out the run at a sub-11 min/mi average.
Despite the harrowing conditions, I had a lot of fun running with Betsy and Thais. And, while I’m not proud that I didn’t have the discipline to wake up and train like I was supposed to, I consider it a small win that I ran any miles at mid-day. Here’s to hoping I learned my lesson and wake up early next weekend.
Playlist: My “Guadalajara Half Marathon” playlist on Spotify