Long Island half forecast: NBL trending toward DNS

With NBL meaning “not bloody likely” and DNS defined as “did not start.”

Well, now I’m very glad that I didn’t spend the entire winter training to race the New Jersey Marathon. We’re due for a freak heatwave this weekend. Not only was I smart (or just doubtful) enough to defer my entry until 2011, but we also decided to do a race — a half — closer to home to avoid the expense of a hotel room. So instead we’re scheduled to run the Long Island Half, which is about 45 minutes from our house by car.

The worst of the heat is going to be tomorrow, with a predicted high of 84 and high dew points to go with it. But Sunday’s not much better, with predicted conditions at race start as 69F and a dew point of 64, with thunderstorms predicted at noon, along with a high of around 80. I race badly in heat/humidity even when I’ve had weeks to acclimate. While I’m resigned to the likelihood that I will be doing some of these shorter efforts (1500-5000m, possibly a 10K) in warmer conditions than I’d like, that’s not the same as trying to race a half marathon in the stuff.

No, I’ve had enough horrible hot weather races to have learned my lesson. While I don’t enjoy throwing away a race registration fee, I enjoy losing control of my bowels, running with a massive headache, and crawling in at 11 minutes off my half PR (only to then run like garbage for weeks afterwards) even less.

As FB runner friend Cristina pointed out — while posting about her own decision to scratch her half in DC this weekend — conditions like these aren’t that far off what felled runners in the 2007 Army 10 Miler and Chicago Marathon races, both of which should have been sponsored by E-Z Bake Ovens that year.

We’ve got until 6PM tomorrow to pick up our race packets. I figure by then it should be obvious if the weather muppets are on the money this time around or not. I’ll probably do a longer run on Sunday anyway. But not a fast one.

Sometimes I regret not having created a “weather complaints” category, as I’m sure it would have been the biggest keyword in my category tag cloud by now.

11 Responses

  1. Last year I baled on the Rye Derby (which has moved from an afternoon to a morning start this year) because of the heat, and I’ve skipped at least one planned XC race for the same reason. So I hear you. Call me a wuss, but I’m on the side of the sane, exemplified by my DNF in NY 1984.

    So, were it me (particularly with a lack of warm-weather acclimation, I’d probably be in the no-thanks-I’ll-fry-closer-to-home camp.

  2. Heat is horrible after spending a summer training in it. Heat now is a formula to turn anything into the Baatan death march. And if you ask me (and nobody did…), I think heat over a long race isn’t something that you can just shrug off for a variety of reasons.

    So yeah. I hear you loud and clear with this one. Probably better to bag it given how horrible the forecast is. I’m feeling bad for everyone I know running in Cinncy or Pittsburgh this weekend. Yikes.

  3. My, but you people are quick on the draw. I step away for handful of crackers and my screen is all aglow with sympathetic comments upon my quick return.

    As I learned last year, running hard in heat screws me up for weeks and weeks. Plus it sucks as an experience. I can find nothing attractive in the prospect.

    Baatan death march is right.

    • If you wanted sympathetic comments you shouldn’t have started a blog.

      As an aside about the 1984 death-march marathon (in which the winner stopped 10 times). for, say, the sub-2:40 folks the universal question was “Where’d you stop?” Most of the people I knew DNFed. Yet overall the race had like a 97% finish rate. A lot depends on your expectations going in. (I had a back-up marathon that I never got to when I threw out my back a few weeks later.)

  4. I’d DNS, too.

  5. Oh well, Maybe there’s another half you can run in the next few weeks.

  6. Running nj sunday. Supposed to be 82 but we go off at 7 so I doubt it’ll exceed low 70s during the run. Still warm but whatever — get the skirt off.

  7. DNS is better than CFR for the next 6 weeks.

    That’s the good thing about track 15s, 3s and 5s over summer — the heat is less of a factor. Who’d be a marathoner?

  8. “losing control of my bowels, running with a massive headache, and crawling in at 11 minutes off my half PR” – I hate to say it but that describes the half marathon experience I had today to a T. I swear, this is the last time i sign up for a long race in May.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do tomorrow

  9. Heh — you already know how I feel…

    Thing is, I’d run hot races if it was just an issue of a) feeling lousy, and b) slow times. But it’s not just that. It’s the “running like garbage for weeks after” that dissuades me.

    Every time I’ve experienced heat exhaustion, it’s resulted in a training setback of about 2 weeks. I don’t like training setbacks.

    (as I noted on FB — past bouts of heat exhaustion have also cost me well over $1K, which is another reason to take care to avoid them).

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