Eh. I had to re-work all my runs in my marathon training plan. Paperwork, math, thinking, blah.
Here's why: my new work schedule has me working every third weekend. On the other two weekends I go to church. Thus, Sunday mornings runs would have to start at, oh, 4 am (at least once I got to the long ones). Not happening. Even with my old-lady Saturday night schedule of a nice dinner, a book, and early bed - not happening.
However, Thursdays I work either super late, super early, or not at all. So I re-worked my schedule to put my long runs on Thursday - early morning or late afternoon/evening - and my cross train day on Friday. That way I get to go to the Friday kickboxing class which is super duper fun (I did it this morning)!
I also canceled some short runs - 3 or 4 miles - and replaced them with timed hills runs. There is one tiny stretch of levee with two built in hills, so basically the plan is to run that itty bitty stretch of ground over and over again for 40 minutes. I can already hardly contain my excitement. But I'm getting skeered of the hills so I thought it was needed.
Yesterday I brilliantly decided to test out my afternoon run options and went for a 12 miler at 1 pm. It was 97 degrees. That's just the heat. Heat index with the humidity was astronomical. For some reason the Audubon Park area is always hotter than other places (airport, westbank) when the weather guys go over the day's highs and lows; naturally that's where I run!
So anyway. I carried water this time since there are no fountains until about mile 5 and I decided to do a stop-walk-drink-water thing every ten minutes. I knew it would impact my time, but maybe I wouldn't die that way. Unfortunately, ten minutes apart is too much time in this kind of heat. I quickly decided to make that every five, and I stuck to that schedule down Carrollton (no shade), back up Carrollton to the levee (total hell; no shade or breeze; this part of the course is murder), and over the "fly", the riverfront park that leads into Audubon park. Once you hit Audubon there's some breeze and shade so I went back to every ten minutes for water breaks. I left the park and continued up St Charles to General Pershing St and back to the park. At this point, thank you God, a thunderstorm threatened and the sun finally went behind a cloud, giving me a much-needed break from the heat. As I headed back to the park I realized that I was slowing considerably and my muscles felt crampy. I remembered that I hadn't really eaten all day! Between no glucose and no electrolytes (my clothes were sweat-saturated within ten minutes of leaving the house) I was losing energy fast. Thank goodness I had brought a Gu. I gulped it and felt better in moments - enough to pick up the pace for my last loop around the park, completing the 1.8 mile loop in 14 minutes including a water break at the fountain (I HAD to have cold water at this point; my bottle was now quite warm). I made it home in one sweaty disgusting piece and sipped vitamin water for the rest of the afternoon. My head felt like it had been sitting in a crock pot all day and I was a little dehydrated, but I "proved" that I can do long runs in the summer heat. The only problem is that my pace is very very slow in the heat. I did this run in 1:43, which is over ten minutes longer than I ran that distance in the winter. However, since I'm not running this marathon with a time goal, I'm just going to deal with it. While I can sit here today and complain about how slow my time was, the truth is that while I was out there in the heat I could not have gone faster and still have finished. That's all I got, folks! I have to keep in mind that because of thyroid issues I can't adjust my body temperature as efficiently or as quickly as others and I simply won't do as well in temperature extremes. So I'm scaling back my expectations for hot runs.
In other news, my feet and joints were kind of feeling this run. You think it might be time to replace the shoes?
That's the tread at the ball of my foot. Incidentally this is around 600 miles. I have gotten 700 out of Saucony's with less wear. Don't buy Nike!