The heat, my goodness how am I going to run in this heat?
That was my thought yesterday afternoon as I headed out in 100+ heat index for my run.
I learned last year that running in the heat is an acquired trait. It is similar to running at a high altitude. The reason being that the body sends extra blood flow to the skin to cool itself down. This flow takes away from the blood flow that it is used to using during a run to give energy and help muscles. Therefore running in the heat is sometimes similar to running through mud.
Fortunately, eventually as with running at a high altitude, the body compensates for this extra blood needed to cool itself by creating more blood (I think I have this correct, but I am about as far from a doctor as you want to get). So after a few weeks of running through mud, runs get easier and this can actuality help you run more efficiently in cooler weather.
I haven’t been running much lately. Just life getting in the way. Yesterday I went out and felt okay. It as HOT, but I ran the first two miles well. I left my Pebble watch at home so that I wouldn’t be looking much at my pace.
By mile 3 I melted. I went from an 8:30 average pace to a 10:00 pace and had to walk about every half mile for a minute or two. Last year this would have devastated me. Not only did I not understand what was happening to my body as it got hotter, but I also began training for my first marathon in this heat. What a mess. Yesterday though, I took it easy. No pressure. I know now that I have to take some time to get used to this heat and build up some endurance.
In the end, all will be well. Summer will fade into Fall and running will become fun again. Football will begin and my favorite time of year will make an appearance. Here in the South the weather won’t turn cool until the last half of October, so I will just have to push through until then.
It is similar to life. Sometimes life is like running through mud. Those days make us stronger and then when the good times come, we appreciate them all the more.