Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Humility in the Humidity

The Great Heat Index Massacre of 2011 brought with it a surprising amount of relief this past week.  The afternoon rains have returned making the evening runs a lot more tolerable.  The 100 plus degree heat index has fallen to somewhere between 80 and 90.  While it's tolerable, the running really isn't a lot easier.

Training is a grind and will continue to be so for the next six weeks or so.  The hardest part is that the thought of doing a run of more than 90 minutes is impossible to imagine.  Strolling down memory lane through the old training logs I know I've survived summer long runs in Southwest Florida.  It's a matter at this point of risk/reward. 

I can tolerate 40 to 50 minutes of hot weather running, sometimes even an hour.  But I don't see much to be gained by hammering out more miles and feeling absolutely miserable.  Most evenings when I return from a training run I'm drenched in sweat.  Only my shorts are relatively dry and as soon as I stop they get soaked as well.

It's even tougher for the Czarina.  Her shorts are usually soaked within the first 15 minutes of any summer run.  Her Northern European blood just doesn't like the heat and humidity. 

We've been discussing the realities of hot weather training.  I'm trying to convince her that she doesn't need to do the same amount of mileage I attempt on any given day.  All too often now she's having to stop and walk in the middle of one of her runs.  The Czarina is so tough-minded that she doesn't want to concede anything.  But her seven months of layoff because of plantar fasciitis is showing itself.

The biggest problem is we're both getting older.  I think our age is really beginning to show itself in our ability to tolerate the heat.  What once was a breeze at 50 isn't nearly so easy at 55. 

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