Definitely not a week for the record books.
I was in the Newmarket-Aurora Ontario area this weekend for Polo for the Cure, in which my daughter Tori was participating. Since her team's Friday win got them a ticket to the Sunday final game, I figured I'd run on Saturday. But the forecast all weekend was 'hot and humid', so I figured I'd be best to head out as early as possible.
Coach Brian wanted me to do 18 miles, with the last 5 miles at race pace.
I went out at 6:30 am. Our hotel is on Yonge Street, and as I left I knew I want to be doing as much as possible of the race-pace section of my run on flat or downhill grade. Flat was out of the question. In the Newmarket-Aurora area, there is no such thing. Everything is rolling hills, and lots of 'em. So I headed south from the top of Newmarket, through Aurora to the top of Richmond Hill before turning around.
I kept my pace slow for the 'long run pace' section of the run -- targeting 5:30/km (8:51/mile) and had no problem knocking of the kilometers. I had to work hard on the uphill sections, but could take a breather on the downhill sections. Again, there was nothing that resembled 'flat'.
Here are my pace times per kilometre, according to the GPS:
With 8 kilometres to go, I felt pretty good and I stepped up the pace. Again, targeting race pace of 4:52/kilometre (7:50 per mile):
As you can see, the wheels fell off of my plan. The problem was a combination of the heat and the hills -- probably in equal proportions.
You can see the elevation chart here:
The last 8km was a net 50 m uphill, but with lots of ups and downs in between. Pretty good Boston-type training terrain, if you ask me!
Oh, and I forgot to mention. I took a break with 4 km to go in a shady spot for about 2 minutes. And then with 2 km to go, I took about a 5 minute break -- maybe longer (I had to try to puke, which took a bit of time). I just got to the bottom of the last long hill and couldn't face it at that pace.
So, two crappy runs in a row this week! One saving grace is that when I was training during the summer back in 2007, I was running into the same heat related issues. I can't wait until the nicer (read:cooler) weather arrives!