Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

Sunset 5K Run/Walk in the Park

Posted by msdon9 on June 5, 2010

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful and unique parks on Long Island is the Nissequogue River State Park. Built on the grounds of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center, the park includes many beautiful hiking trails alongside the scenic Nissequoge River as well as boasting the very unique feature of housing many architecturally beautiful (abandoned) buildings that were once a part of one of the largest mental institutions on Long Island.

So call me crazy, but this is one of my favorite places to hike.

Because of the nightmare that is the New York State Government, many of our state parks have been on the chopping block for closure due to a lack of funds. Without getting political, I’d like to say that one of the reasons I chose to participate in this very special run is because all proceeds were going to be donated to the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation to help preserve and protect it. This park, after all, was one of the many that Governor Patterson wanted to close.

I convinced a few friends from work to sign up for the race with me, both of whom are experienced runners that I have been looking forward to entering a race with! Unfortunately, on race day – the weather was not cooperative. The forecasts had predicted some rough-and-tumble thunderstorms for the afternoon and early evening, but they never came. What we were left with was intense heat and humidity. I think the weather was around 85 degrees as we lined up to begin the race. Unfortunately, I wasn’t NEARLY hydrated enough to cope with this, and I made a bad decision to eat a fairly big lunch earlier in the day. It was not a good run for me at all.

I think part of my problem is that I started way too fast out of the gate. I run a very comfortable 11:45 minute mile on average, but my first mile (according to my Nike+ run system on my iPod) was at a pace of 9′ 25″. This was a bad move on my part because I died shortly after that mile…slowing down to a 16 minute mile walk pace and was not able to bring it back up at all. In fact, when I DID start to run again I started to feel dizzy and overheated.

I worked up enough energy to run the very last leg of the 5K and cross the finish line still running, but it was way more effort than I expected. My poor showing at this run discouraged me a little bit, but at least I was able to understand why.

So – the next time I run an evening race, I will HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE during the day, and NOT eat a big lunch. On high heat/humidity days I will wear a hat and keep it moist to cool myself down. I will NOT sprint out of the gate, and I will not assume that after training for a half marathon that a 5K will be “easy.”

Hot, weary 5K participants after the race was over

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