April 28, 2009

Too early to be this hot

Well, I just got in from a run that was very much like yesterday's: short, difficult, and too warm. I'm not used to this heat yet. Yes, I know I should be heading out early in the morning, not at the height of the day's heat, but after a winter's worth of timing runs for the warmest part of the day, it's a habit that's hard to change.

But change will have to happen. I can't keep going out in 80 and 90 degree weather like this, not without a longer acclimatization period. (Last year, by mid-summer, it didn't bother me nearly as much to go out running after work, when the weather could still easily be mid-90s.)

But when you go out with your lungs pumped full of albuterol and a water bottle in your hand and can barely get a mile or mile and a half done, you know you're not yet ready. My legs are fine. I like that they get warmed up much faster in this heat than normal - and my various aches and pains are generally down across the board. But my lungs do not cotton to this weather at all. The only way it could be worse if it were humid as well. (Last week, it was humid and warm, but not hot and I was already having breathing trouble.) I was coughing my head off today, but not producing much gunk. Sweating, though...madly. If I recall, the way the body adapts to the heat is to learn to sweat more and earlier, which is interesting, because I feel like I was sweaty enough. It's also clear to me that even for short runs, I'm going to have to switch back to HEED or taking a salt pill before I go out, because by the time I was done today, I had salt granules on my skin and a headache - and that's from just 15 minutes of jogging!

I've been running a different route for these short runs. My Prospect Park-and-back route is naturally a 2 or 3.4 miler, depending if I turn around at the top of the last hill or go all the way to Pritchard Square and back. My flat route out toward Owl's Head is either 2.5, 4, or 5 depending on which major turnaround point I use. But for a quick 1.5 miler, it is better to go to the little jog on 36th street along the cemetary and return. This involves a longish uphill of several blocks and the turnaround is at its peak. It also has the advantage of being away from most traffic and on a sidewalk that is a) uncrowded and b) in the shadow of the MTA bus depot buildings.

Tomorrow's run will be longer - probably the full Pritchard Square run, because I don't think I'm going to have much time Thursday or Friday. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist Thursday and then leave for Blairstown for the weekend (lighting design).

Interesting moment, toward the end of my run today: while pausing for a traffic light and breathing a little too hard for comfort, I heard a woman in a white van shout "Hey, man!" but didn't think she was talking to me. When she repeated herself, I looked up and she said, "Nice body!". yeah, I was running shirtless today. I'm not going to take any prizes at the Mr. Universe contest, with my skinny arms and barrel chest, but it's nice to hear a comment like that from a complete stranger once in a while. I said thanks and finished my run.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You go Chris!

Hey, if your ever interested in running with me, give me a hollar!

I am running the park this thursday evening with Samantha. No pressure for us just get it done.

I ran 5 today in 51.16. I was up on the boards about 7.30am so the heat wasn't too intense yet!!