I wrote this in 2013. I go through this song and dance in my head every summer, so I thought it worth a repost.
It happens every summer. I tell myself I’ll remember what heat and humidity do to me. I remind myself of the physiological benefits of running in this Alabama climate. I say to myself, “hang on, because once fall temps and humidity levels arrive, you will feel supreme!”
But it never fails. I forget all these things by the time July rolls around. I’ve documented on these pages many times before what running in heat and humidity does to and for the body. I’ve written about my past success in fall races because of summer training.
This summer has been no different. I’ve found myself thinking things that I know not to be right, but they still pop into my mind during and after runs. Here are the top three:
1. I have a lower body/leg disease. The body’s need to cool itself in high heat and humidity draws l=blood away from the legs during my runs and my legs fatigue quicker. I feel like I can’t generate any power, or sustain a fast pace. I am positive that I’ve contracted some rare and exotic disease that affects only the legs.
2. I need to reevaluate my marathon goals. “There is no way I can sustain a 7:37 pace for a marathon! Jeez. I’m having trouble moving forward. I should reevaluate goals and try to maintain a 12 minute pace.” I know better. I know that I should follow my HR and my “marathon effort” intensity in runs and not the pace. I’ve done it before, but when the mind starts to crunch numbers, I start to freak out. I know that eventually when the weather breaks, my paces will be right where they should be.
3. Unless you live here for an entire summer, you just can’t understand the mental and physical beat down that a summer of running here provides. (Nah. That one is true! LOL!) But seriously. I can’t describe the mental pummeling that day after day of 96% humidity and 75 degree temps BEFORE DAWN can give a runner. The blow to confidence is the worst. Summer running is more of a mental than a physical battle. If you can survive a summer like this with some semblance of confidence and sanity, you will emerge a better runner. (Remind me I said this, ok?)
I am so glad you wrote this. My normal summer state of mind started last week! It is a good reminder.