Yesterday’s temperature hit about 80 degrees with an average humidity of 78%. Not a day for running fast. In the past, I’ve tried to battle the heat, and attempt to log a decent time regardless of the temperature. In the past, I was stupid. After many nausea-inducing, dizzying, dehydrating runs in the heat, I have finally learned to respect the heat (humidity as well garners my utmost respect).
Yesterday I put my wisdom to use in an 11 mile run. First of all, the fact that it was an 11 mile run in itself is testament to my experience: It was originally a 12.25 mile run, which I quickly revised upon stepping out the door into a wall of heat. But besides for shortening the run, I also decided from the get-go that I would not care the slightest about my time. My goal was to keep a comfortable pace and not run into any trouble (no pun intended)- not to run fast.
And though at the end I did try to speed it up a bit (I didn’t know what to do with myself, I felt so good), for the most part I took it slow and easy. And it was the most comfortable I’ve felt on a long run in a while.
I also drank early, which I don’t do as often as I should- and it made a huge difference. With only one water bottle, I actually managed to get through the run in the heat of the day (it was about 1 pm) without any water-related problems.
As an extra boost on the way back, I also made sure to get sprayed by a sprinkler I had noticed on the run out. Granted, I must have looked strange as I ran onto someone’s lawn to soak myself with their sprinkler, but keep in mind that any dignity I may have disappears once I don my running shorts.