The Sunday Eliminator

Published in Running - 3 mins to read

Today is Sunday, which means one thing - it’s long run day. I signed up for the “social” Greenwich Tunnel group run with the running club I’ve been going to, a route which is roughly 18km and is a fun one. Despite being “social” and therefor, in theory the slowest of the groups, it can be pretty quick depending on who shows up and feels good that day. I also planned on doing a little bit of a warm up, in order to bump my total distance to just above the half-marathon mark and get up to 50km for the week.

To make things a little spicier this week - it’s 30 degrees outside.

I showed up with not only my 2l bladder full of water, but also two 500ml soft flasks, and felt very overdressed compared to some of my groupmates, who had bravely turned up with nothing at all. Fourteen of us set off at an optimistic pace, and everything wasn’t too bad up until Greenwich Tunnel, everyone held on, we took a long break in the shade, people that hadn’t taken any water with them bought some. The route back along the north bank was a little more eventful, when the heat and dehydration really started to kick, with the temperatures rising and the air completely still. People were dropping like flies, and I felt beyond vindicated at my decision to have brought so much water with me, even though I was struggling to drink it fast enough to stay hydrated. At one point I asked my buddy Tom if he been to visit his hometown recently, and his reply seemed incredibly unenthusiastic compared to his previous response, sure enough, 5 minutes later he announced he was throwing in the towel and walking it in.

Miraculously I was one of only five people who finished still as a group, making it round the whole route without walking or taking a break other than the one at the tunnel. We even did a lastest k fastest k, although that definitely was not my idea and I was clinging on by the end. I’m pretty proud of this run, I think getting the distance done in this heat and being fine (no heatstroke, no meaningful dehydration) is a much bigger testament to my fitness than necessarily going a lot further or a lot faster. It’s obviously good practice for hot races, and given what the weather looks like for the next week, if I want to keep training as normal, it looks a lot like I’m gonna have to get used to running in these kinds of temperatures.