running in the heat {training}

this morning, i set my alarm for 6, and it woke me up at 5:30 (i use sleep cycle, which claims to note when you’re most awake in your sleep cycle, and wakes you up at that point in a given 30 minute span…so apparently at 5:32, i was awake). i rolled over and went back to sleep, because 5:30 is early and dark.

i really, really wish i’d just gotten out of bed and made myself run. because when i hit the street at 6:30, i basically turned into a puddle.

the temperature was 80, and it was solidly swampy out at barely 8 am

the temperature was 80, and it was solidly swampy out at barely 8 am

also, see that “excessive heat warning”? yeah. that sucks.

i got all excited about "advisory cancelled" and then realized that was to make room for the warning.

i got all excited about “advisory cancelled” and then realized that was to make room for the warning.

to quote my mom, “i worry about you in the heat. remember after the 4-miler one year, you fainted?” – and yeah, basically. i don’t think i lost consciousness, but everything went swimmy and i ended up in the fetal position in a field with my head in a strange woman’s lap while my mom found gatorade and a banana and someone else shoved ice down my shirt. trust me. heat is no joke.

this morning’s run was a beast. 45 minutes – just shy of 4 miles. i could have hit 4 exactly, but turns out, sometimes, you need to put “not vomiting on strangers” ahead of “hitting a goal pace”. i’m not an expert runner, but i do know myself, and i know this heat (i grew up in Central Virginia, and heat and humidity are like obnoxious siblings there). after 2 miles, my legs felt fine, my breathing was fine, but my stomach was like, hey, lady? STOP IT. so i took it slow the rest of the way. i ran some, walked some. the last 8/10 of a mile, as i aimed for home, i did intervals – two minutes running, one minute walking. not ideal, but i felt instantly less like dying.

so crucial, these toys

so crucial, these toys. also, DINOSAURS.

i recently purchased the Garmin Forerunner 10, which i will write more about later. i also just got a handheld water bottle from Nathan Sports. it’s a bit awkward to carry, but basically, since actually holding things when you run can tense up your shoulder muscles and is generally a bad idea, this was designed to strap onto your hand and just hang out. there’s a pocket for my phone (which i bring with me in case of emergency or good photo opportunity), and an ID card i need to fill out. today’s run was my first carrying the water bottle, and THANK GOD i did. whenever i stopped to wait for traffic, the Garmin automatically paused, and i took a swig of water. on the way back, i doused my head twice, because cold water is magic. and when i got home, i downed some Nuun (i’ll definitely write about that) and took a cold shower.

so. in an ideal world, it would never be this miserable when i ran. but my priority is my pace unless it’s like a sauna out, and then my priority is hydration and listening oh-so-carefully to my body. as i get to be a stronger runner, i think i up the risk of thinking i’m doing great on a hot day, then passing out. so i need to trust the signals i get, and carry water, and slow it down as needed. and so do all of you, if you run. being a healthy and safe runner is WAY more important than being the fastest runner or the one who goes the furthest.