Monday morning's weather...
We've hit the time of year when you need to pay attention to the "feels like" temperature for outdoor activities. It's bad enough to wake up at 5:15 am, check the weather on your phone and see that it's already 79 degrees, but with the humidity coming in at 97%, that means that it will feel like 87 degrees for our morning run. And I'll be honest, if I saw that it was actually 87 degrees on the thermometer, I wouldn't go for a run. But somehow, because my brain only registers 79 degrees, I head out for my run. And then wonder why I'm practically dying the entire time.
The worst thing about running in this kind of weather is the mental beatdown. As I struggle to run, I think about how I'm a terrible runner, and that I'm so slow, and I feel like I'm barely moving...and then I realize, as sweat is flinging off of my elbows, that it's really just the weather. Well, mostly the weather - I'm never fast, and especially now, as I work on running without doing intervals. But, running with a friend really helps to push those ridiculous feelings aside...there's nothing like having someone validate your struggle, or encourage you, or better still, getting outside of your head and being the one to encourage another runner. The next few months are not going to be easy for running, but at least I'll be in good company!
We are all pretty much just running for some exercise and fun on Saturdays right now - our group chooses a direction and the distance varies, depending on which turn you take. We met up at 6:30 am on Saturday and the sun was already out and beating down on us - oops! Going to have to start a little earlier from now on, as that was rough. Diane, Julia, and I ran down to the entrance of the fancy neighborhood before taking our first walk break, which ended up being at about 1.25 miles. I don't know if it was the heat, the 100% humidity, the sun, the slightly hillier area (as opposed to the flatlands of my neighborhood), or what, but it felt much harder than my runs earlier in the week. Once we were in the fancy neighborhood, we switched to running 2:1 intervals - best thing I can say about that run is that I was with my good friends and we survived it.
Monday, Diane and I ran in that horrendous "feels like" temperature of 87 degrees...and that was at 5:45 am, no less! We broke our 2.5 miles up into a 1 mile run, a short walking break, another 1 mile run, a little bit longer walking break, and finally a half mile run to finish. This picture does not accurately represent how sweaty we were, but it's the best we could manage:
Happy to be finished!
Yesterday, I walked a 5K with Jenny at 9:15 am, which meant it was sunny and hot. We tried to mostly stay in the shade of the trees at the scary statue park, so that helped. Jenny, who is always on the lookout for snakes, finally saw one - a three foot garter (non-poisonous) snake in the grass. We stopped and watched it slither across the path in front of us, and I could have sworn by her body language that Jenny wanted to pick it up, but it was moving too fast. Sure enough, once we started walking again, I asked if that had been her plan, and she said yes. She likes snakes. While I am pretty confident that I can outrun her, I'm really hoping she doesn't actually chase me with a snake. We'd just been talking about how she needs to refer to me as "Good Shelley" because she has a really terrible Shelley in her life; I told her if she dares to chase me with a snake, she's going to become "Bad Jenny" - ahhh, friendship. Apparently we're 10-year-olds deep down!
This morning I'll be running another 2.5 miles with Diane, and while I don't have a lot of optimism for much improvement from Monday's run, considering the weather is even warmer, we'll get it done. And I'll probably run tomorrow as well...these shorter distances don't seem to be bothering me too much, physically, so I might as well run while I can.