June has been a month of surviving heat. Month started on National Trails Day and I ran 20 brutal miles on the first day of the month. This was the RVRR "Train" run along to towpath canal. For me it was filled dehydration and multiple sessions of vomiting .. LOL.. This run was followed by a week of salvaging my tired and depleted body. I had made a commitment to run three NYRR 5 mile races in an attempt to get a guaranteed entry to NYC marathon in 2014. Ran first 5 miler at Portugal Run on Jun 16th finishing with a personal best (for the distance) at 9.3 min/mile. That was followed by a Stratton Faxon Fairfield beachfront half marathon on Jun 23rd at Fairfield CT. This was the hottest race I have ever run and temperature was close to 90 degrees. Not a day to PR but managed to finish in 2 hr 22 minutes. This was slower by 20 minutes compared to my other half marathons run in early spring or fall. To wrap up the month I ran two consecutive NYRR 5 milers 29th (Front Runners LGBT Pride run) and 30th(Achilles & Hope run). The best I could do on both races was to finish in 10 min/mile pace. As of now I have finished 4 NYRR races. Need to squeeze in 5 more by end of the year and volunteer for a race to get myself an entry into NYC marathon 2014. Overall heat and humidity just nailed me this month. All the three 5 mile races were at Central park. Those rolling hills really got my quads. Getting humbled by heat and doubt my abilities as a runner has become a tradition for me. I have vowed not to fuss about pace and avoid categorizing runs as good/bad. I guess I have no choice but to treat this month as a series of lessons and move on. I saw couple of my friends finish Fairfield half under 1:40. And couple of super ultra runners ran 100 mile races this month. Their level of strength, conditioning and determination just blows my mind.
Last year I mostly avoided running in the heat by getting all my runs very early in the morning. One change I made this year is to push myself to go out there early evenings when temps are still in the 80s. One another addition has been to get hill repeats at Rutgers stadium once a week. In addition to Pilates I have added Jordon Metzl's Iron strength workout session at least once a week.
I’m so looking forward to my upcoming vacation next Saturday. I’ll be off to Glacier National Park Montana. Goal is to backpack 6 days , Rafting for 2 days followed by day hikes for 5 more days. It’s been my wish to visit Glacier ever since Idid a road trip across Yellowstone national park in 2006. Glacier is a hikers paradise. Hopefully I’ll stay healthy to do justice to the location. I will try to squeeze in few runs especially if I encounter Grizzles. I will surely miss running with my RVRR friends during these two weeks.
Have a great summer everyone & happy July 4th as well.