It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity. And the crappy race times.

Ah, summer.  What a great time to run.  If you’re in San Francisco.  Here, it’s hot and humid.  Like a toilet.  With hills.

On the 4th, I ran the Putnam County Classic, a 8 mile run that I’ve enjoyed doing both last year and the year before.  I am sorry to report that I’ve been running this race slower each year.  And let me tell you, it’s getting under my skin!

The day started off well enough.  The start is about a half hour away from home, left at 6:30 for an 8am start.   Had a good warmup on the track.  It’s great seeing som many friends at race, the warm up, and the cool down, are rocking.  We joke.  Complain.  Complain about running.  Complain about not running.  It’s perfect.

Gregg and I were going to run together as we did pretty well in the half marathon last week.  In this case “pretty well” means he was massively disappointed with his race, and my toe sprung a bloody leak and I lost a good 3 or four minutes.  I also taked about running with my friend Tim, who is a great runner but claims he was looking for a slower but usual pace.  So that would be perfect for me.  In turned out Tim was feeling pretty good.  What a freaking liar.  I tease.  Because I love.  And I hurt.

I was worried about my blister prone toe, so I didn’t wear my racing flats.  I wore my two year old training shoes.  Why two years old?  Because I’m having shoe issues and have to buy a new pair of something soon.  I’ll blog about that.  That’ll be a laugh riot.  ShoppingGreg goes Shopping with RunningGreg.

Knowing I had a crap race last week, I wanted to just go out and hold on to some friends, not injure myself, and enjoy the day.  By and large, that’s what I did.

We are talking about 6:50 pace.  I don’t know why I even write this stuff down since I was so far off.  The gun was off.  Gregg and I started off with our friend Bill.  First mile a 7:02.  We should have been faster.  Second mile has a nasty uphill, 7:16.  At this point, we had spread out a little bit, and I saw my fellow Taconic Jin about 50 yards ahead of me.  “Hold on to him,” I thought.  Jin has near perfect execution in races, sticks to his pace.  Stick with Jin!

Mile 3, 6:53.  Sticking with Jin!

Mile 4.  7:10.  Not 100% sure what the hell that was all about.

Mile 5 , 7:04.  feeling like this is my new pace.  I’m pretty much alone, but with Jin and a few guys off in the distance.

Mile 6, 7:07.  For fucks sake.

Mile 7.  7:03 — I’m trying hard to pick it up.  Don’t have anything left.

Mile 8 6:37.  OK.  I had a little bit left.

I felt like it was a good race.  I was off my pace but I didn’t fall way off and my last mile was faster.  I was feeling pretty good.  Then I look at last year’s time of 55:46.  This year was 56:38.  7:02 pace.

What the hell is that all about?  Well, I wasn’t wearing light weight shoes, so that could have had something to do with it, but I think the lesson learned here is I should have looked at last year’s splits a little closer and tried to exceed them — just a little — for each mile.  Take advantage of what I knew about the course and pulled it together.

I do like that I’ve run three races in three weeks — racing is awesome.  Not posting great times, not so awesome.

Both Tim and Jin did great — finishing about a minute ahead of me.  Next time, I’m going to tie a short rope to those guys to keep me closer.

In other news:  I signed up for the Philly marathon, so now the blog will concentrate on the stress of marathon training.  WHAT COULD BE MORE INTERESTING?  I guess we’ll see.

Photo: Marguerite Weeks

Written by Greg Cohen

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