Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hot, Humid & Humbling


This has been the story of my life this week in running!

After a tease of cool, perfect running temps last week (who'da thunk in July we would be running in the upper 50s/low 60s in the mornings?!), summer made a grandiose return this week. Temps are soaring into the upper 90s and low 100s during the heat of the day. This means that the overnight lows aren't getting down all that low - they're more like crouching down instead of falling on the floor. Add high percentages of humidity (for Kansas - I don't even want to think what the South feels like!), and it's not too desirable outside!

That being said, this time of year is humbling on the running department. I'm forced to slow down my pace. Maybe even include some walk breaks in running so I can finish strong.

Running in these types of elements requires the body to work more - it's a no-brainer. Yet prideful, running mama me thinks I can conquer the elements. That I'm some sort of superwoman when I'm not.

Last year a fellow running mama shared a great chart about the changes in pace your body endures with every 5 degrees above an "ideal" running temperature (around 60-65 degrees) and various percentages of humidity. I was shocked to see that the elements I often ran in during those mornings in July and August (temps in the upper 70s and into 80s along with higher percentages of humidity) were slowing down my pace anywhere from 30 seconds to 1-2 minutes per mile.

Gulp.

It's not about the pace right now, folks. It's about protecting the body and finishing strong - and stripping away the pride of 8:15-8:45 min/mile training pace to a slower, more sustainable pace that my body can handle in the heat and humidity. Walk breaks included. :)

Happy running and hang in there, running friends! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And stick to the dreaded treadmill or cross train more if you have to (or want to!). It's not worth injuring yourself or experiencing something worse (heat exhaustion and stroke) all to try to prove to yourself that you can beat the heat and humidity.

Go get 'em!

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