It has been hot here lately, even for the deep South! For the last week we've had temps in the mid to high 80's! And the humidity? Fuggetaboutit! It does get hot here in May but we don't normally have temps this high until mid-June.
Yesterday, I decided to do my long run for the week after I dropped little brother off at pre-school. I thought that if I got it in I could get a little extra sleep on Saturday morning, and who doesn't love that? By the time I made it home it was around 9:30. It was already 81 degrees outside and humid, but I reasoned that I had hydrated well the day before and all morning so I thought I would be good. In addition, I was wearing my new Nathan Fuel Belt and had it loaded with Cytomax. My plan was to do 10-13 miles depending on how I felt. Mile one felt good, a nice warm-up in my neighborhood. I was listening to my ipod and felt strong. However, as I was leaving my neighborhood I felt a little nauceous but nothing major. I have felt a little queasy at the beginning of a run before, but in most cases it goes away quickly. Mile 3 rolled around and the sick feeling had settled in. At this point the feeling went from bad to worse. I did everything possible to make it go away. I took deep breaths, I slowed my pace, nothing. My legs began to feel heavy and my pace slowed considerably. The heat became unbearable. I started to walk a little and try to take deeper breaths but the humidity was making it extremely hard. I started to try to make this a mind over matter situation. I thought that I could make myself feel better and make it to the 10 mile mark if I just thought positively and slowed my pace. I really wanted to get 10 miles in but by the time mile 5 rolled around it was clear I wasn't going to get anywhere near that number. Luckily our town is layed out in a grid pattern so most of the time I can make a turn down a street or two and be less than a mile from home. Feeling sick, tired, extremely sweaty and let down, I walked into my driveway at mile 7. After I got a good look at my lap paces, I was even more sick. Here is the break-down:
Mile 1 - 9:11 (strong warm-up)
Mile 2 - 8:59
Mile 3 - 8:52
Mile 4 - 9:16 (uh oh)
Mile 5 - 9:18
Mile 6 - 10:22 (this is with some walking, I felt horrible at this point)
Mile 7 - 10:04 (I had picked up the pace a little just to get home sooner, I was in misery!)
I knew I could do better, but the heat had really gotten to me! So, this morning I knew I was going to do an easy 4 mile run. I started at 5 am before the heat took over and turned the asphalt into lava. Just to show you how heat can affect a run, here is the comparison on this mornings EASY run.
Mile 1 - 8:51
Mile 2 - 8:28
Mile 3 - 8:24
Mile 4 - 8:42 (cool down mile)
Needless to say, I felt MUCH better about this mornings run. There are so many things that can affect your runs. Heat, cold, mentral cycles, hydration, nutrition, lack of sleep, ill fitting shoes, ill fitting socks, clothing issues, you name it! Yesterday it was the heat, next week it might be something else. Although I hated the way I felt, I'm glad I got in at least 7 miles! I'm working hard on not being too hard on myself because of course there was nothing I could do yesterday about the heat. I want to run because I love to run and being hard on myself about something I had no control over is pointless.
Question of the day: How do you get through a bad workout? Do you push through, or cut it short in order to avoid injury? Are you hard on yourself for not performing at the level you know you are capable of?