Monday, June 13, 2011

Cool weather

For the past several weeks, the thermometers in DC have all been stuck north of 90 degrees. I've been pushing my way through long runs and short runs, but my pace never seems to improve.

Today, though, a cool breeze blew into town and by the time I arrived home, the temperature was in the low 70s. Even though I was still sore from my 18-mile run this weekend, there was no way I was going to stay inside. So, I went out and ran 5.5 miles at an 8:42 pace.

I know that doesn't seem so fast to y'all, so let me put it in context. Prior to today, the fastest pace I've ever maintained for longer than 5 miles is 9:13. My fastest 3 miles was only at a 8:45 pace.

Unlike Eric, I find running in the heat to be very tough. But it seems to be doing wonders for my conditioning. I'm looking forward to seeing what my times are like come November.


  1. I couldn't agree more. As I intimated the other day, I find running in heat difficult to do, if only because it's so difficult to cool off. In many ways, its why winter is easier to deal with than summer: while you can always put on more clothes in winter, there's a limit to the amount of clothes you can take off in summer. (And this limit may be lower than the limit that others wish you would choose...)

  2. My favorite running temperature is about 45 degrees.

    I've read that the best way to deal with the summer heat is to wear something that is long-sleeved, so long as it is lightweight, light-colored, and wicks away sweat. Apparently, you'll stay cooler that way than if you have the sun hitting your skin. I've not yet had the faith to try it.

  3. my goodness, 18 miles!! in heat nonetheless!!?

    that's seriously impressive. and, 8:42 is nothing to scoff at. my 5 mile run from the weekend was 8:30 pace...

    something tells me an ultra is happening in fall.

    for me, running in the heat is all about how long it takes me to warm up and how injury prone i am. when it's warm, i'm warm faster.. much looser... and since i sweat so much, it's a rare time when i benefit from my faucet/pores. even in the humidity i feel ok... the biggest problem i have is staying hydrating, and on workouts longer than an hour, cramping. how are you hydrating yourself on an 18 mile run? are you taking salt pills?

    when doing bricks (bike/runs) in the heart of the summer, i have once or twice tried salt pills... in addition to gatorade (8 oz per 15 minutes when going over an hour, always diluted with water). it's much harder when you're just running, as you don't have the cages on the bike to carry beverages.

    do you have one of those running packs? or one of those fuel belts?

    also, are you running that long on pavement/concrete? ouch!! my goodness i hope not. you should try some trail running!!

  4. The Saturday morning runs have really been nothing more than slow jogs, so they're not impressive. But the slow pace means I'm out in the sun even *longer* so hydration becomes that much more important.

    Generally, I drink a quart of Gatorade about 30 mins. before I start my run, along with a bunch of chia seed, which I really think does help. Then, when I set out, I carry a 22 oz. Nathan Quickdraw Elite handheld bottle, filled with half-frozen Gatorade. I love the Quickdraw, because with the velcro strap, it just stays on your hand without having to grip it.

    I usually try to drink 2-3 oz. a mile, and I'll refill the bottle once along the way, either from a water fountain or by dashing into a convenience store and grabbing more Gatorade.

    So far, I've not been using salt pills or eating any sort of food along the way. I've been thinking of playing around with some gels or chews for some added calories. The Quickdraw has a small zip pouch, and my shorts have a zip pocket in the back, so I think I can continue to manage without any sort of belt.

    Probably about 2/3 of any run is on pavement/concrete. I take various routes, but I usually manage to work in some parks that have trails, too.

  5. I managed an 8:26 pace over a 4.7 mile course today. Not sure how much longer I could have kept it up, though. That may have to be my record for a little while, since the heat is coming back. It was 81 degrees during my run today.

    In other news, congrats to Beckett, who was one hit away from a perfect game today. And he managed it with only 97 pitches, against a very capable opponent. The best game of his career, and all of Boston was tuned in to a hockey game instead....