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Warming Trend

May 7, 2009

. . . and just like that, summer is here.

I always check the temperature before I set out, and take a look at the radar, because I live in the Sunshine State, which was named by some session of Congress that had a particularly intense sense of humor, and if I’m going to be met by a streak of rain on the run, well, I want to know about it.

So yes, I knew that temperatures were rising, as I expected. Having lived in Florida since 1996, I wasn’t unprepared for this–I knew that temperatures would begin their yearly climb starting in the third month of the year. In fact, this was one of my concerns about training for a spring marathon. While training for a fall event, you do your training in the hot months, then run your race in cooler conditions. But training for a spring event here in the south, you end up with the reverse situation: you train in great conditions–cool, dry weather–then often end up racing in hot, humid ones.

But we were spared this year. Cold front after cold front rolled through (sometimes, yes, on the day of a race, but that’s a story that’s already been told), keeping us on an unnatural wave of natural air-conditioning longer than we’ve been used to.

Then, this week, it hit. It was 75 as I set out on Monday. Got a brief respite Tuesday and Wednesday–71 each time. Today I not only got a look at the temperature–71 again–at 5 am, mind you–but I sneaked a look at the humidity, as well. Now, I know it’s more humid in the morning, so maybe I deserve it for training with the dawn patrol, but it the ambient humidity this morning hovered at 86% as I was doing my run. While the recorded temperature hovered between 71.6 and 70.6 (dropping quickly from a high of 76 at midnight!), the dew point was right at 67 degrees–close to the point which most people find uncomfortable just for walking around, never mind running a quick six-miler.

Last year, this exact week, I hit a patch where I couldn’t run. Between a pair of old shoes and the heat hitting me–it was my first summer on the roads–I couldn’t adjust my pace and hydration enough, and I hit some sort of wall where I could only run 3 miles at a time for a stretch. I’m determined to do better this year, and carrying water is part of my strategy. Ignoring my pace and running by feel is another.

So, on those counts–today I ran with water, and I drank more than I thought I would–10 oz. bottle was dry by the 5-mile mark. And I ran by feel–as soon as I started I thought I’d like to run a little faster today, and I did–instead of my 9:45-10:00 easy run pace, I ran today at 9:07 average. Still plan a long-er run on Saturday, something between 10 and 13.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:00 am

    Oh that sounds so wonderful. Warmth 🙂

  2. May 9, 2009 8:10 am

    I don’t like summer running — even this morning, it was 67° and 92% humidity. It’s the humidity that’s the real problem for me.

  3. the Ringmaster permalink*
    May 13, 2009 3:23 pm

    I hate summer running too! And I think I’ll end up starting marathon or half training in the middle of it, like last year–smack-dab in July! I agree with you, Bob–it’s the humidity that’s the problem.

    Hopefully I’ll acclimate soon, but ugh!

    Of course, we have great views, and all that–I realize I live in what most people consider paradise. But it’s warm.

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