Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nine Mile Run

This morning's Team in Training run was north of Nashville in hilly Sumner County. I joined the full marathon group, all three of us. Some TNT-ers were injured, some out of town, some perhaps smart to avoid the heat. Given my low mileage production for the week, I needed to run.

We started from Beech High School. The area is a combination of beautiful countryside and new developments. Along the way, I saw a "Rooster for Sale" sign, a chicken taking her chicks for a walk, two pigs that scared the fire out of us, lots of country dogs (some unfriendly), a sign to "Dicky's Hickory Pit BBQ and Sports Bar," and plenty of cows and farmland. The mixture of poverty and affluence was striking.

I started the run with Jessica, a 30-year-old whose grandfather is battling cancer. Coach Tilghman, who has a triathlon tomorrow, rode her bike alongside us for some of the run. Another TNT-er, Rhonda, started behind us, but stayed close to our 9:25/mile pace. The first 4.5 miles were mostly uphill, but thankfully in the shade. I thought we started too late (6:45, an hour after sunrise). I was hopeful we'd have shade the whole way. Dewpoint was 71 degrees and humidity 87%. I was drenched after three miles.

Jessica has run four full marathons, one of them eight months after having a baby. I liked running with her; she's positive and we talked most of the first 5.5 miles. When Tilghman caught up with us, we were at the second water station. At 7.0 miles, we hit the sun. Bad. I needed to stop, and walked a third of a mile. All three ladies went ahead while I got my HR back in check.

My average pace went immediately from 9:25/mile to 9:45/mile. I hit the shade again, felt better and resumed the run. At 8.0, I hit a three-quarter mile stretch of gradual incline, all in the sun. I made it to the shade, but was toast after that. I walked for a minute, finished the 9.0 mile run in 1:28:58, or a 9:53/mile pace. Calories burned - 1471; total ascent - 1382 feet; total weekly mileage: 19.8; total training mileage: 120.

The temperature rose from 73 to 80 over the course of the run. When I drove back through Nashville at 9 a.m., it was already 84. Running in this stuff is very hard, but I'm glad I did it and did it smartly. I need the miles right now, not the fast times.

Here are more photos from the July 4 celebration.

No comments: