I felt really good heading into the race. The Don Valley was nicely shaded when I arrived, parked and did my warm up. I lined up at the start and decided to stick to my plan and bail out if the heat started to affect me. My first kilometer was mostly shaded and felt good. Four to go. The second was slower but perfectly in line with what I would need for a PB. Although I'd pre-hydrated well, my throat started to feel very dry and raspy. I had it in my mind that the water station was at the turn around point and but alas it was closer to 3K. Between the turn around and the water station my energy started to diminish and my quads started to ache which typically never happens to me in a race. With each of the next three kilometers, my pace slowed slightly. My effort remained the same, but I just couldn't hold the pace in the heat.
I managed a final burst at the end and crossed the finish line. Everyone else crossing looked the same...hot and exhausted. I downed some much welcomed water, a banana, chatted with a few friends and then made the trek back to my car and cranked up the AC for the drive home.
Another learning experience. In talking with my coach Michelle about running in the heat, she reminded me that our bodies are programmed to protect us, so will only let us push so hard before waving the caution flag.
There is always next time--and hopefully it won't be as hot!