Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3 Run 2, Week 1 (BOHR): A 30-Minute Run in the Sun!


Today's run, which began at 8:52 am, was more of a "slow, wet limp" than a run. It wasn't that my legs were giving me problems; rather, the rest of me felt like I was going to melt into the pavement! I had started with a normal level of energy, but about mid-way through my run, began to feel like the sun was just "beating" it right out of me. It wasn't even that hot by the usual weather standards of this area -- only a mild 72 degrees, but it was really humid outside & the sun felt blazing hot!

My finishing time reflected my "melting" too! I ran 4 laps (2.96 mi.) in 36:32, or at a 12:20 pace. That's a few minutes shy of a walking pace, & is almost a minute & a half slower than the pace I've been running over the last few weeks! Oh well.

In my defense, I'm not used to running in the morning (this was only my second morning run, my first being The Race for The Cure last Saturday), or in tremendously humid (or hot!) weather. Plus, it's been the first run since last Saturday's race. Mind you, these aren't excuses; just an explanation of why I possibly ran slower today.

Even though I've lived in this area for years, my body still just can't seem to get adjusted to running (or doing anything!) in this area's heat & humidity, which can start as early as May and can sometimes continue well into early September. It never has. It's mostly my lungs that have problems with the muggy air. But I also get overheated very quickly; I'm hoping that when I lose more BF%, it'll help solve my internal "coolant" system issues. ;-) I'm not technically overweight by standard height & weight charts, but I am slightly "overfat" in terms of my BF%. A while back I read a health & fitness article about how losing body fat can help improve overheating issues; the idea makes logical sense -- body fat loss improves circulation &, so let's hope it'll really help!

I can tell you that the "melting" wasn't due to dehydration either: I drank almost 1 & a 1/2 (1/2 liter) bottles of water before running, but still felt sapped in the heat & humidity.

Speaking of which, I just found this article on this very subject, & it looks like I'm already following many of these suggestions; it looks like I probably just need to eat something salty beforehand, & also carry sports gel packs & water with me on my run. (The only catch with the gel packs is that I just need to find ones that don't contain refined sugars; wish me luck!) Also, I forgot to put on waterproof sunscreen with SPF, so that's something I've got to remember for next time as well.

Also, it didn't help that I got a late start this morning: Although I'd originally planned to run by 8 am this morning, I didn't get out the door until almost 45 minutes later! So much for my attempts this morning to run early & thereby reduce the heat & humidity quotient!

(Part of the reason for the delay was that I absolutely needed to refresh the tunes on my iPod -- it was time! -- & plus, Erik had just bought some great new albums that I just had to hear. OK, so maybe it wasn't the most opportune time to swap out tunes, but I just couldn't take listening to the same old songs any longer!)

By the time I'd started my five-minute warm-up walk, it was about 8:42 am; this five-minute warm-up walk soon turned into 10-12+ minutes, as I decided to do an entire lap around the lake in an effort to overcome an upset stomach. (The nausea set in after I took vitamins & a glucosamine chondroitin on an empty stomach! I certainly won't do that again!)


Note to self: Make sure you follow all of the above suggestions & also get on the trail by or before 8 am!

It's clear that if I want to run in the morning that I'm going to have to get up much earlier to avoid "melting." I'm not typically a "morning runner," nor am I typically a "morning person," although out of pure necessity, my new job is turning me into both. ;-)

Due to the irregular hours of my work schedule (i.e., no two days are the same!), I've also decided that I'm either going have to run super early in the morning or in the evenings (i.e., from 5 pm on). Ideally, I'd prefer to run in the morning, since the air quality is better & the sun is usually not so hot. Sometimes this isn't always going to be possible, but I'm going to do my best to fit in my runs & the rest of my life around my new schedule.

And since I'm not a coffee-drinker (I don't believe in drinking the stuff -- it does horrible things to my blood sugar, metabolism, & stomach, & makes me really irritable!), these early AM runs are going to become my "morning coffee" equivalent. ;-)


tootie said...

I'm going through the same thing here. It's crazy hot, so I've been getting up crazy early to run.

Let's hope we both don't melt this summer! :)

Andrew is getting fit said...

It seems to me that you've figured out everything that went wrong already!

I hope the next run is better. I hate humidity as well and I suspect it's also because of the bodyfat issue.

Run Amok said...

Oh, how envious I am of all the heat and humidity you're talking about! Out here, in Portland Oregon, we're in what we call Junuary. It was 47 degrees this morning when I got on my bike. we still turn the heat on in the house. I long for the days of fans, long cool drinks, turning your pillow over to the cool side. So think of us freezing out here on your next run!

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