Sunday, July 24, 2016

It was too hot to run, and yet...

I got no running in during the work week on account of a nasty summer cold that knocked me off my feet Wednesday and Thursday. It was a strangle little bug that started with a dry throat and slight cough, then moved directly to my lungs, causing deeper coughs that kept me from sleeping soundly for a few nights. By Friday, I felt well enough to return to the office but wasn't at all sure I'd be running this weekend.

Friday night, I headed to bed early and slept like the dead until nearly 9:00, which meant it was already hot by the time Husband and I headed out the door for a quick 5k into town and back. I didn't check the thermometer before we left but it was in around 25C by the time we got back, with the humidex making it feel closer to 30C.

The run was great, all things considered, but by suppertime my throat felt scratchy and I wondered whether it had been wise to run so soon. When I toddled off to bed last night - after spending a very pleasant evening hanging out in the gazebo with Husband eating a delicious supper (rotisseried lamb, lemon roasted potatoes and salad, in case you're wondering), sipping wine and playing guitars, I reckoned I'd have to lay low again today.

Fortunately, I slept soundly and awoke feeling ready to tackle a long run after all - though not the 20k I'd originally planned. Given the continuing high temperatures, I figured 16-17k would be more than enough - particularly since I hadn't got an early start and it was hot as hades. I set a moderate pace, stayed in the shade as much as possible, and drank gatorade at regular intervals but it still felt like a bit of a slog. The thermometer was reading over 30C when I got back to the house around noon and it felt warmer than that with the humidity so sweat poured off of me for at least an hour after I got home - even after I'd stretched, taken a cool shower, and gulped down a big glass of cold water. 

Despite the heat, I have to say I enjoyed the run. I love being on the road Sunday mornings because it's so quiet compared to the rest of the weekend, when it seems the whole county comes to town to shop and run errands. And today's route took me to one of my favourite places, Miller's Head Peace Park (pictured above and below), which I had almost entirely to myself.  I always enjoy the park but especially appreciated it after chatting with our friend Ruth last week about how few parks there are in the city she calls home (Portsmouth, UK), and how nervous she felt walking in them. Our conversation reminded me of how fortunate we are to have access to so many beautiful, safe trails nearby. Here's a photo from my first turnaround point today, looking down the LaHave River from the park.

The high point of my visit to the park was spotting what I think were a couple of juvenile eagles high in a pine tree. I'm no bird expert so can't be positive that's what they were but they certainly looked like small eagles and made sounds similar to those I associate with the full size birds that visit our country property. One of them was putting on quite a show, squawking loudly and puffing up the feathers on its chest to make it clear my presence wasn't appreciated. They were so entertaining, I stopped for several minutes to enjoy the show, hoping mama or papa might put in an appearance. I spotted another juvenile higher up in a nearby tree but saw no sign of an adult before I turned and headed for home. 

After a quick shower and a bowl of strawberries, we were out the door on our way to another of our favourite places, Risser's Beach. The main part of the beach was crowded but we set our sunbuster up in the usual spot away from the hordes and spent a couple of blissful hours sipping cold beer, munching sandwiches, reading and listening to the waves. To my mind, it's the waves that make Risser's so special. The sound of them crashing along 1.5kms of beach soothes my soul like little else. Here's a brief video to give you some sense of what it's like.

Unfortunately, thunder clouds rolled in later in the afternoon so we didn't get to spend quite as much time at the beach as we hoped but the time we had was lovely. You can tell by the contented smile on my face in this pic.

Just two more weeks until I start my vacation and I can hardly wait! The plan is to spend the time in the country - reading, writing, running, hiking, beaching, and spending time with family and friends. Fingers crossed nothing happens to prevent me from being off for 3 weeks.  I'm hoping to use the time to kick my marathon training up a notch. I'll need to do some serious hill work to be ready for the Valley Harvest Marathon in October. I finally sat down and drew up a rough training schedule this week but I still need to tweak it to take into account some work travel scheduled for September. I'll post it here once it's in final form.

Hope everyone's having a good summer so far. Are you training for a fall marathon? How do you deal with running in the heat? Where are your favourite beaches?

Happy running and writing, friends!

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I sweat like a stuck pig and moderate my pace. Hirtles. I loved that video!