I don’t run all that well in the heat. I’ve survived it a few times. I finished the 2007 Chicago Marathon. I slugged through 32 miles at the rather steamy (not that kind of steamy) CRUD 8-Hour last May. I’ve dripped though some long, hot training runs over the years. But I definitely do not run well in those kinds of temperatures.
So it is with great concern that I peruse the forecast for the coming week. My date at the Burning River 100 still won’t happen until the end of the following week, but for now the entire Midwest is set for a serious heat wave that will last, at least, the next 7 days.
I am lucky the race is scheduled for the following weekend and not this next. Weather.com currently forecasts a high in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, on Saturday the 23rd of 91, with rain, which means high humidity. Just three days later, on Tuesday the 26th, the high is forecast to drop to 81. I can only hope that trend continues into race weekend on the 30th and 31st.
I plainly recall the growing dread I felt in October 2007 when each morning I checked the heat predictions for Chicago Marathon race day, and each day the temperature forecast went higher and higher and higher and still higher. You can see your quality race performance slipping further and further away, totally out of your control. I trained for, and expected run a 3:45 marathon that year. My final time was 4:48. I’m trying not to think what effect similar heat could have on my 100-mile attempt.
I’m not panicking. I choose to think that we’re getting this super hot week now, because a cooler, more temperate week is destined to follow for us on race weekend. That, and I also remind myself that it IS a thing beyond my control. I’ll get in my final training miles, try to enjoy my taper weeks, and keep my mind as bright as possible, doing my best to ignore the darker (hotter) peripherals. With any luck the title of this race won't become any more apropos.