Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Arizona summer approaches

It hit 103 today. I have not been looking forward to us breaking the 100 degree mark, but here we are. I suppose it's not that bad because it's "dry" heat--I'd be dying if it were this hot in Seattle (especially since AC is nonexistent in the apartments there!) Even at 10 pm it's still 90 degrees out. And I was stubborn enough to run after work. Exercise is something I've been keeping up with and doing for myself since Jon has been gone and I really hate missing out on it. I started running again in February and have missed only a few days up till now. I wasn't about to let a barely 100-plus degree day hold me back. How much hotter would 103 feel when I've been running in 95 degree conditions? After all, shouldn't I be acclimating here?

The run was awful. I decided to take it easy, but even this normally easy pace was hard today. I was dragging even though I stopped at every drinking fountain along the David Bell Path at Reid Park. I didn't even finish the 2.98 miles. I had to walk the last 0.3 miles of it because I was getting too dizzy to continue. Normally, my heart rate will decrease to normal within several minutes of stretching, but long after I was done with my 10 minute stretching regimen, I could still feel my pulse quickly pounding throughout my body. Ugh. I lay on the rare patch of grass for a few minutes, letting the breeze blow over me and evaporate some body heat away. Sunscreen was dripping its way down my face, arms, and legs, leaving white trails coursing across my body. I hate running in the summer. It results in bad tan lines, dizziness, and headaches for me. My left shoulder and arm are already significantly darker than the rest of my body!

Running never seems to get easier here. What happened to my endurance? Back in Seattle, 4 miles was my base.....no matter how long it had been since I last went out to pound the pavement. More and more, I think it has to do with the elevation here (2,584 feet above sea level) and the super dry air here (about 15% humidity lately). My run in San Diego last month convinced me of this. Wonderful moisture in the air and sea level conditions led to the best run I had since I left Seattle. My poor skin is so used to the dry air here, I swear I could feel every little water molecule--I felt like I was dripping wet! But I ran fast....even up the hills. I felt like I could go forever.

Maybe next time I run, I should eat better beforehand. I realized later that last night's dinner and today's lunch didn't help me out in any way: wheat thins, grape tomatoes, and white chocolate hazlenut mousse last night and a salad and cherries today.

Yay! Thirty percent chance of rain on Friday and 79 degree high--ahhhh!!!


loquita said...

Awww Blogger ate my comment! I'll be back to re-type it after work - for now my little blog break is over. :)

Jaime said...

You are an inspiration, I need to get of my rear and follow your example! ;)

loquita said...

OK, what I tried to say yesterday was that you are very brave for running in Arizona at that time of day. I live in PA, and after the month of June, I won't run outside after 0730 or before 1930. The sun is just too hot beating down on me, and makes me feel like total crap. And running isn't something that should make you feel like crap, it should feel awesome, calming and invigorating. Ah, the endorphins...

That said, I was thinking a couple things. Are you wearing a hat? That can really help. Are you very well hydrated all day before you go? Can you run somewhere more shaded?

It sounds like you have an awesome routine in place, so fight to keep that streak going! I'm feeling inspired too, I used to do the run every day thing too. I took a little jog with my pup this AM, instead of just a walk, so I'm taking some tiny baby steps. :)

raecatherine said...

oh man, that sounds awful! but good for you for being so dedicated. hope you can find ways to make your runs more enjoyable.