Saturday's forecast was hot and sunny, with a likely heat index well above 90. It was also the first of only three really big runs the Hansons have me doing (each 16 miles). I could sleep in and risk the likelihood of gross weather and suffer. Or I could wake up super early and do it before the sun was at its highest peak. Neither option excited me.
I set my alarm for 5:30 and made it outside ready to run a few minutes before sunrise. It was already warm and humid, but very peaceful. There were virtually no cars and I only saw one person who wasn't running (he was watching his dog tinkle lol)
My first mile was 11:40 - slow. Whatever. The second mile was 11:00. Better, but still not great, yet I hadn't walked any. It was definitely hot and humid, but aside from sweating buckets, I felt really good and just kept going. In mile 9 when it was really hurting, the clouds and a little fog rolled in. It was like watching a movie - I was running into the sun and could watch the clouds cover the sun quickly and completely. Aaaaah! The temperature immediately plummeted!
Well past halfway I still hadn't walked! I got to 13 without walking, 14, 15, then finished the entire run without walking!!!! Granted, I stopped three times to refill my water and a few times to cross the street, but no walking!!!!!
Towards the end my thighs had chafed a little but I could have kept going several more miles. After showering, I was happy to tell my friend that I was tired and worn out, but nothing hurt! I spent the afternoon wearing my compression sleeves and I feel great!
Not only that, I negative split by 2:21! The last two miles were both under race pace :) Overall I averaged 50 seconds slower than race pace, but I'm not too concerned because I was alone and had to manage my own water, which added about eight pounds of weight and bulk to my waist.
Best run ever? So far!!!