This weekend I was to have raced in Winston Salem at the Beat the Heat 5k, but life has a way of redirecting us sometime. Instead I found myself standing at the starting line for the Gastonia Grizzles 5k.
My car registered a temperature of 100 degrees, and with a 6 PM start time, it was not going to dip much below that during the race.
We started down the 3rd base line, and we ran across home plate on our way out of Sims Park. Not necessarily the best of starting locations. The edges of the mats were sticking up making everyone watch their step or risk tripping. Then, there was the 4 ft wide gate through which we were to exit. Ok, one, two, maybe 3 runners could pass through at the same time, but it soon backlogged up with runners.
Once outside the park, we ran up a gravel road to a side street. From there, we ran down to the local greenway. On the greenway, it was a two out and backs sections.
There was a bunch of people in front of me as we entered the greenway, and it was hot. My legs felt like they had already run 20 miles. But it wasn’t just having an effect on me but on everyone else too. They were slowing down. I passed this young kid who was leading about half way up the long incline to the 2nd turn around. However, once I was by him, he stuck to me like glue. I couldn’t shake him coming back. Then, at the steep hill just before we entered Sims Park, he made a great move which I couldn’t cover. He got out about 15 seconds on me. Between the gravel road and the grass around the outfield, I couldn’t muster anything to catch him.
This may well have been the hottest race conditions for a 5k that I have ever raced.
A couple of hours later, I was setting down to eat, and I just looked at my food. I wasn’t even hungry, but I was tired. All I wanted to do was sleep.
After a certain point, the heat seems to zip all of my energy. Leaving me with the feeling, I am going through the motions.
Before ending, I do want to give a shout out to all of my Gaston County Running Buddies. They turned out in force for this race, and it was good to catch up with them.
The Cool Down Runner