Sunday, May 24, 2009

How Will I Survive the Summer's Humidity??

Although I was supposed to run yesterday, when my alarm went off, I was just too darn tired to force myself out of bed.  Plus, it was Saturday!  So I gave myself a break and slept in a little instead.  I also knew it was crazy humid yesterday and was hoping that a thunderstorm yesterday or this morning would cool things off nicely.

Um, not so much.

There hasn't been a thunderstorm yet, so when I headed out this morning at 8 (admittedly, an hour later than I wanted to run), it was humid, humid, humid.  Only 70 degrees, but with the sun shining on me the whole way, and the moisture in the air, I was not loving running today.  

Today's goal was a 55-minute run, the longest ever.  And boy, did it feel that way.  I knew I had to run slowly if I was going to make it the entire way, since I've learned that my body doesn't react well to the humidity.  I was hoping that giving myself 55 minutes would mean I'd FINALLY hit five miles.  Getting to five seems to be impossible for me.  It's like I've hit this wall, and I just can't get to five miles.  I know I will eventually, but in the meantime, it's been very frustrating.  

My body was feeling okay today, not too much soreness in the joints and only a little muscle fatigue, so from that perspective it was a good run.  Although, it could just be that I ended up so overheated that I couldn't think of anything except stopping and getting some water.  The first mile was okay.  I really slowed myself down, to probably around an 11-minute pace and just concentrated on running the whole way.  The second mile got a little tougher, but I just kept thinking about getting through that next stretch to get to two and a half before I turned around.  I did the math before I left (because I can't run and divide time at the same time), and figured that my halfway point would be 27:30.  I passed the marker that would be the halfway point to 4.65 miles that I ran earlier in the week, and thought I was in good shape.  But by that time, I was so unbelievably hot and tired that my mind totally stopped working.  I got it in my head that I had to turn around at 22:30 instead and made it to 25:45 before I realized that I should have turned around already.  And I was already SO tired.  But I told myself I'd just run the 55 minutes, instead of trying to run to where I started, because my body was starting to rebel against the heat and humidity.  

As I headed back, I started to feel really overheated.  I would take off my hat every few minutes and let the intermittent breeze chill my sweaty hair, but that would last only seconds before my dark hair was attracting the sun to my head like a beacon.  I kept up my dogged pace and kept trying to focus on just running.  I passed a lot of people who were out this morning (tourist season has officially begun here at the beach) - mostly bikers and walkers.  Only one other runner - only one other person as crazy as me, battling the humidity to get in a run.  I did see a group of women walking/running, and I wondered if they were doing the couch potato challenge because I only saw them run once, for about thirty seconds.  I felt pretty good that I was running the entire time they were walking, running and then walking again!

With about sixteen minutes left to go, I had to take a walking break.  I was feeling a little delirious because I was so hot, and I thought it was better to take a break than to pass out.  The breeze felt so good once I'd slowed down, and my body wasn't stiffening up like it normally does if I stop to walk in the middle of a run, so that was a good thing.  After two minutes, I started up again and kept trying to think about the end of the run, and the gallon of water I was going to drink when I got home.  I really wanted to finish the run where I had started it, but I was just spent.  Unfortunately, it meant that I had further to walk once I stopped running and it was only sheer force of will and the knowledge that I had water at home that got me to walk that last half mile.  I mean, I seriously debated flagging down a car and either a) asking them if they had a bottle of water or b) asking them if they would drive me home.  When I got home, I immediately took off my shoes and socks, my hat, and my RoadID, turned on the AC and drank a big glass of water.  Unfortunately, my Brita seemed to have developed a small ice issue, which kept it from letting me have any more water.  Of all days.  But I had a little lemonade instead and some yogurt, sat on the couch for a few minutes to cool off, and finally felt more like myself again.  It does make me wonder how I'll survive the humidity in July and August...

And for all that, I only managed to run 4.74 miles.  Seriously?!?  It was disappointing for sure, but I focused on the fact that I got out there and ran, that I managed to run 53/55 minutes on one of the hottest, most humid mornings I've run so far, and that it's still longer than I've ever run before.  So I am making progress, it just feels like it's at a snail's pace!  I was back up well over an 11 minute pace today, which is also frustrating, but I think I need to concentrate on the fact that I'm running at all, instead of how fast I'm going.  There's plenty of time to speed up, right?

So as I promised, I checked in with Coach J, who said tomorrow should be an off day (Sweet!), Tuesday, 40 minutes, Wednesday off, Thursday 60 minutes (I'd better hit five miles that day!), Friday off, Saturday 45 minutes and Sunday 35 minutes.  That sounds fairly reasonable to me, so I'm going to continue to take Jannah's advice of taking it one workout at a time and hope for the best!

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