Hot Weather Running

Back home in Tennessee, we are averaging temperatures in the mid-nineties (July and August temperatures coming a bit early!). This hot weather running is killing me. On Saturday I attempted my long run of the week (right now 5 or 6 miles) about 8:00 a.m., but gave up after 3 miles because of the heat. I ran 3 mi. in 30:30 or so. I'll call that a tempo run.

On Sunday, I tried a different strategy. I waited until 7:00 p.m. and once again attempted my long run of the week. I had read about slowing down significantly for these hot weather runs, which I had not done on Saturday. It was 90 degrees when I left my house, but the sun had dropped behind the trees, so it was mostly shady. This time I ran at a tortoise pace, detoured through every sprinkler I could find (I didn't even know those neighbors, but what are they going to say?), carried 20 oz. of water in my Nathan fuel belt, and took a couple of 90-second walk breaks. I made it six miles, but it took me roughly an hour and 8 minutes for an average (embarassing) pace of 11:28---but that does include the walk breaks, detours, and quickly refilling my water bottle (at my own house).

Where has my fitness gone? On May 5, right about one month ago, I ran 6.2 miles at a 9:41 pace in a 10K race! Of course, it was 62 degrees that morning. I guess 28 degrees difference really does affect running. Oh yeah, it was also two weeks after the half-marathon and I was probably the fittest of my life. But still! Can one month and 28 degrees make that much of a difference?

In my defense, a 90-degree run at 7:00 at night after
---parenting 3 kids all day
---cleaning my garage
---doing lots of laundry
probably wasn't a completely accurate test of my fitness level. I can't say my legs were "fresh" when starting out.

It looks like 5:45 or 6:00 a.m. runs and the good old treadmill at the YMCA will make up the remainder of my summer runs. A little bit of speed training can't hurt!

Speaking of training, I feel like I'm in TRAINING LIMBO. I guess I could just call it MAINTENANCE MODE. I don't have any races to speak of in the near future. It's too soon to start training for my half marathon in the fall. But I can't stop running and take a month-long break, either. I'm just..... here. I'll be glad to again have a defined training plan of X number of runs a week, a specific goal, and something to motivate me. That's just how I roll.


Hi, Donna. Have you thought about finding a local 5 or 10K to run? I am in the same boat -- hot weather, post-marathon (plus a cold) and I haven't run in 5 days. But I'm doing a 10K this weekend and a 5K next weekend, so I know I'll have to get back on the road soon. Take care.
BTW, Donna. I've "tagged" you ... visit my blog to see if you'd like to participate. I really enjoy visiting your blog and hearing about your running ups and downs. As a fellow mom, it all sounds so familiar!