Dog days of summer

sunThe end of a long, hot week is in sight. Thankfully. Fun fact: DC has not dropped below 80 degrees for more than 99 hours. Ugh, is it fall yet?

The extreme heat has made running especially miserable, not to mention the slog to work in the morning. Even though the thermometer hovered around 90 degrees at 6 p.m. on Sunday, I had a great run. I averaged 9 minute 39 second miles. I’ve noticed that I really hit my stride during mile two. I clocked in at just over 8 minutes and 30 seconds. This may sound like a good thing, but it ends up making the miles that follow more difficult. I’m working to maintain a steadier pace throughout. If anything I want to reserve some energy for a burst of speed toward the end. If I burn out too soon, I definitely won’t have a strong finish. With a good run in the bag at the outset of the week, I was hoping to follow with an equally awesome run mid-week. The best laid plans…

On Wednesday, I caved to the 100+ heat index and retreated to the air conditioning in the gym to log some miles on the treadmill. I might have been more productive out in the heat, I’m afraid. I managed to eek out just under four miles, but not at a good pace. Truth be told, I hate running on a treadmill. There is something about looking ahead to the next block, or getting across the street before the light changes, or feeling the drag of a hill. The treadmill lacks the variation and challenge that I crave. I find it more of a mental game than a physical one. The treadmill gives me an understanding of why people dislike running. As soon as I get on and the belt starts going, I can’t wait to be done. That’s no way to go into a workout, and probably why it never goes very well for me. I go and go, and I don’t get anywhere. It’s the worst. In this case, something was better nothing. At least that’s what I told myself.

I’ve got one more run this week and weather be damned, I’ll be running outside. I know, I know. It can be dangerous, but I will be taking the precautions shared below. The heat wave is supposed to break on Sunday. It will still be hot, but so long triple digits!

Three Ways to Safely Run in a Heat Wave

Hot Weather Running Tips

8 Tips for Running in Hot Weather

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