As for my running, this has been a tough week. As with a large majority of the country, this week the temps have taken a large jump with humidity on the rise in the South. We have enjoyed a decent spring, but all of the sudden this week, the heat "hit hard." Tues., Terri and I ran 4 X 90 second hill repeats, and 8 X 30 second strides. I actually made the call to adjust my plan for the day. My schedule called for 8 X 90 second hill repeats, but during the workout, it became clear, on this day, that was not going to happen. We ended the day with a great workout and a total of 7.5 miles.
Thurs. was my next hard day. The plan was 3 miles w/u, 15 X 30 seconds w/ 1 min recovery, and c/d, followed by 1 mile walk. I was able to finish the workout, but it was a tough day. Upon my return home, I could feel the impact of the heat and humidity. I decided an ice bath was needed. Knowing that I had 15 miles on Sat., I wanted to enhance my chance of recovery - ice does that for ME. I know the reports on the benefits of icing go back & forth. One article says it's beneficial, the next says no, but for me, the proof is in the feeling of my legs and body, post ice bath. For me, the results are real, like night and day difference, in recovery.
So, I had 2 HARD workouts, with the 2nd making me think hard about the training. I do this, when I have a tough workout. I start to analyze, always analyzing. What I quickly realized is that I had become lazy with my hydration. I'm typically big on hydrating often, but with the nice spring, I had become lazy in hydrating. I started stretching my watering stops to 25-30 min. That was ok with the cooler temps., but after Thurs.'s workout, I realized it's time to "get right" with my hydration and nutrition.
Terri and I had planned to run 15 miles Sat. am. I rarely get nervous before a long run, but on Fri., after the two tough workouts earlier in the week, and heat indexes over 100 all week, the thought of the Sat. run was making me a little nervous. I was expecting a SUPER tough run - a gut check run - you know what I'm talking about.
So Friday, during the day and evening, I hydrated REALLY well, and made sure my water, gels, and Gatorade was in order for Saturday's run. We met (Terri, Keith, Audrey, and I) to run some rolling hills. Yes, 15 miles of rolling hills and extra high heat. We will adjust to the extreme Southern heat, but this is the first longish, run with extreme high temps, this summer (another reason for the nervous feeling). Terri and I exchanged text messages on Fri. committing to adjust our pace, hydrate, and "be smart." Keith and Audrey ran some mileage with us. Terri and I hydrated with water, gel'd, and had a Gatorade stop. For the last 6-7 miles, we headed to Bent Creek, which offered the most shade. The run went much better than expected. The last few miles were really tough, but we ended the day with a much better than expected average pace. We "gutted" it out, and even picked up the pace for the last mile. We finished the run around 9:00 am and it was 84 degrees. I'm not sure what the "heat index" was, other than HIGH, HOT, and SWEATY.
Terri is an excellent running partner, and I'm happy we are able to train together this summer. It makes a big difference when you have a motivated, dedicated, and upbeat training partner. In addition, I think we will benefit each other, for our fall races (Terri - Chicago, and I'm running Top of Utah, in Logan) (thank you Terri and others)
I feel like we will look back on this week as a heat adjustment week. For me, Tues. and Thurs. served as my little nudge (reminder) to do what I need to do to ensure the best possible run. For me, when I have proper nutrition and hydration, the majority of my training runs go as planned. When I get lazy, not so good. It typically only takes 1-2 bad runs to jolt me back into my structured way of "nutrition on the run." Yes, it's extra effort, and can be a pain to prepare/implement, but for me it's so worth the hassle to enhance the possibility of a good run. I'm not like some runners who can go out, run after run, having bad runs because of nutrition hydration problems. I can't handle "bad runs", so I try to do everything in my power to prevent one. Will I still have some, YES, but thankfully, when I take care of myself, they are rare.
So now, I'm back to hydrating every 15-20 minutes through the rest of the summer. If I'm running over an hour - gels or Gatorade type drinks are a must.
Hydrating in the South, and ready for a good summer of running