Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Temperature Alert

People … People … it’s way to hot! Just who decided that summers in central Arizona needed to be so miserable? Let’s review the forecasted Lows / Highs for the remainder of the week (in degree F)

Wed: 89/111
Thr: 90/112
Fri: 91/112
Sat: 89/111
Sun: 88/108 (cooling trend!)

I guess I just didn’t notice the heat when I didn’t train in the summer time. But trying to keep up a 50 mi/week running schedule when the lows are 90 is a challenge. I was pursuing one of Jeff Galloway’s earlier books this morning after I got back from my run and stumbled upon a section where he discussed the impact of heat on average pace. In his book he has a table that shows that an 8:00/mi average pace at 50 deg (f) translates to a 9:34/mi avg pace at 85. His table didn’t even consider the effects associated with our morning lows. Evidently, running at 90+ degrees was just beyond comprehension. After a spending a week at the beach in Southern California last week, I can see how people loose a sense of perspective. Running last week was effortless (at 70); this week is a bit more labored.

As much as I bitch and complain about the heat, I probably can’t do much about it. It will be here until late September. However, the whining will continue until the temperatures start to drop at which point I will start complaining about the cold, dark mornings.

This morning was pretty much a repeat of yesterday; slow start at 5:10 AM for the first 2 miles followed by a fairly steady pace through mile 6. I did pass one snarling dog safely penned behind a chain link fence on mile 3. Although the dog couldn’t attack, my timid lab (all 75 lbs of him) jumped quickly to the right to put me between himself and the mean doggy. As often happens, he nearly knocked me off my feet doing so. A few seconds later, after we had safely passed his adversary, he moved back to my left and continued trotting as if nothing happened. This dog is definitely a lover and not a fighter.

And as happened yesterday, I started to question my sanity on mile 7. I modified the course a bit to exclude the steep hills at the end, replacing them with a much more gradual rise through a neighborhood near my house. I resisted the urge to stare at my Garmin and waited patiently for the damn thing to beep at 7 miles. As I knew it would, it finally went off and I stopped the insanity and walked the rest of the way home. With the temperatures as hot as they have been, I’ve tried to ensure that I get at least a 5 minute cool down walk after my easy runs. It use to bother me to walk, but after pounding out 7 miles a day, it now seems reasonable.

Cross Training Update: Several of you with “boot camp” experience have asked about my cross training. Although I really do admire those of you who are able to put your entire bodies through an extensive training regime, I’ll know I will never get there. I’ve toyed with the idea of stepping up to triathlons, but have quickly squashed those foolish thoughts and have stuck with running. As is the case with many of you, I exhibit extreme compulsive / obsessive behavior patterns. Trying to train for three sports instead of one would do me in. Also, I enjoy running because I can do it anywhere. I travel a lot, usually two or three times a month, so I need an obsession I can bring with me. However, I do do other things. Last week I played tennis (twice) and swam (once). Last night I took my youngest daughter to LA Fitness so she could work out (you don’t let a 14 year old who looks like an 18 year old loose in LA Fitness alone).

While I was there I spent 30 minutes on the stair stepper. Evidently stair steppers aren’t the machine of choice for the buffed and beautiful. Although I hadn’t been one for several years, I kept the rep rate high and had little trouble crushing the younger guys around me. Sort of fun.

I also did 50 leg lifts with each leg on a quad machine. These muscles don’t get the same work out as the hamstrings and calves get on my daily runs. The more muscle-bound folks in the same area were doing sets of 5 to 10 using both legs with a whole lot more weight than I was using for my alternating one leg lifts, but I just plodded along. Since I want my daughter to keep up with her aerobic conditioning over the summer, I’ll probably see the inside of LA Fitness more often.

Keep running


Trish said...

I agree. the heat is tuff. I will look forward to the cold dark mornings/ evenings...It's beats the heat..:)

Runner Chic said...

With temps like that I am surprised that you have not passed out from the heat rather finishing each run. Your lows are not so low. I feel pity for you but keep going just be careful.

Also, sounds like cross training is going well for you. Be careful on adding to many lower body weight workouts. You already put those to go use with 50 miler weeks.

If you ask me I think a marathon is in your future... but what do I know :-)


Dusty said...

Good job on the workout. I also like to do a cool down walk. I don't think I could stop before my house because I motivate myself to keep going on by picturing my water/gatorade. It is nice & cold just inside my door with a golf rag. Then I walk the neighborhood. :)

Cross training... my other sport is golf! hee hee! Boot camp keeps me honest. If I start slacking, boot camp will whip me in shape in a week or two.

Awesome job on the stair climber. I would probably be easily entertained by that too. hee hee!

carmen said...

Phil, I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote about the temps! I was just discussing with Hubster that the temps for the rest of the week would be 110F+ and said I must be SICK because it only feels like barely over a 100F to me. heh.

I think the daily bike rides to school and back during the hottest part of the day have conditioned me to withstand the heat. Still...tonight on my 3mi run it was unbearably hot and it was just past 10 pm!!

At least we know that once August pasts us, better days await. *sigh* Until then, we both know what boiled lobsters must feel like!