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The Heat Is On August 29, 2008

Posted by thepixelsuite in Running.
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A little relief

A little relief

flikr photo by keltane

Mr. Sun outdid himself yesterday and brought some really hot weather to the city. I had a short run on the schedule, which I could have skipped since it was so hot. Instead, I decided to take advantage of the heat and do a little warm weather running. I might have waited until after sunset to run in the cool of twilight when the temperature had dropped a bit, but I decided to use the hot weather to challenge myself.

For many reasons I’m fortunate to live here in San Francisco. But when it comes to training for long-distance running, you just can’t beat the weather. There’s never any humidity (unless, of course, it’s raining). When it does get warm the fog rolls in and cools things down, and even on the hottest days there’s usually a steady breeze. Personally, I love blazing, hot weather, but I know it’s difficult to train and run in. In fact, my first attempt at humid, hot weather running was almost an epic fail, when I tried to get in a few miles on a trip to New York City. After a strong start, I had to slow down and then walk for about a mile before I could pick up my pace again in the cool shadows of the tall buildings on the tip of the island. I certainly learned something about acclimatizing myself that day.

Yesterday I chose to run in the face of Mr. Sun’s onslaught because I thought it would be important to train, however briefly, outside of my comfort zone. While I’d always like to race under overcast skies and in cool temperatures, there are going to be times when the weather doesn’t cooperate, and race day will dawn on the warm side. You only need to look at what happened at the last Chicago Marathon to see how conditions can change from year to year. I stretched, strapped on my waterbelt, and stepped off running at a much slower pace than I usually do. To me it was important to get the miles in under sunny skies without overdoing it. By the end the sweat was really pouring down, but I finished and felt pretty good. I couldn’t see, though, how I could possibly go a whole 26.2 miles in conditions like that.

Of course, there was a time when I couldn’t see how I could run 26.2 miles at once, and now I know I can.

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