Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Too Hot, Too Fast, Too Far

Yesterday I was feeling great.  I ate well, my legs felt fresh.  I felt tonight would be the night I could go out and have a time run.  Would I be able to officially break the 40 minute barrier for my 5 mile run?

Living in the desert environment, from about May 1 until November 1, we receive no rain.  It is all sun.  It is finally starting to get warm.  This weekend was the warmest we have had all year.  I am not usually affected by the heat.  I keep hydrated.  I spend a little bit of the afternoon in the hot sun to get acclimated to it.

Usually, by nightfall, it starts to cool down and there is a nice breeze.  Not last night.  It was still into the 90’s when I went out.  As soon as I got out there, I thought, maybe I should put the watch away and try again another time. But I had my heart set on it.  I started out for the first mile.  I did not take music, because with the heat, I wanted to pay attention to my body and not artificially go too fast.

I was flying.  When I reached the first street, it was not even 9 minutes yet on the watch.  I was at a 7:30 or 8:00 min pace.  When I got to the next check point, it was 12:30.  This was a spot, where if I used to make it in 15 minutes, that was considered a fast run.  I then hit the 2 mile mark in about 16:30.  The heat was starting to get to me. I knew I would need to slow down at some point, but I did not want to. I made it to the turnaround spot in 21:30.  This was a new record for me.  I thought I should cut it short and only go 4 miles, but my stubborn self, decided to turn around and go for 5 miles. 

I slowed down.  I was keeping track where the water fountains would be if I needed to refill.  I kept pouring water on my head and drinking as well.  Once the watch hit 35 minutes, I knew I would not have the record tonight, so I turned it off and slowed down my pace to keep going. 

I was not as disappointed as I thought.  I knew I can do it based on the first half the run and slowed down so I would not hurt myself.  The first half was completed in about 8 min miles and the second half in 10 min miles.

If I did not have the watch last night, I would have been ok.  I would have gone a lot slower at the beginning and slowed down during the run.  On days like yesterday, the only purpose of the run is to get out there, not break records.  I also need to start freezing my water bottle when it is half filled.  I find this keeps me with cold water throughout the run. 

With the summer heat right around the corner, I find I may be putting the watch away and will time myself come fall. 

How do you adjust your running when the weather gets hot?

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