Yesterday was…AHHH-MAZING. It was the hottest June 2nd on record here in Ottawa!! Average temperature would be 23F/73F but yesterday we hit 31C/88F!! Um, for us, that’s an inferno…and I LOVED IT. A bunch of us from the ‘hood ended up walking our dogs together after work. One of my neighbours, Caroline, is a foster mom to chihuahuas – she currently has 3 and they have all come from puppy mills. They are quite damaged little creatures but Caroline is sooooo good with them. One of them, Jenni, is about 13 years old and has spent her entire life in a small cage in a puppy mill. The outside world can be a terrifying place for her and so Caroline is giving her “challenges” – the one right now is to jump over speed bumps (because up until now they are HUGE obstacles). She is doing so well! It’s hard not to laugh as she launches herself over them!
Anyway, back to the weather…here in Ottawa (and most of Ontario), heat also brings humidity and by last night it was getting sticky…this morning was downright gross. But am really not complaining. I’ll take humidity over cold ANY DAY. The only thing that really makes me mad with humidity is that I have to give in to my hair and leave it curly. Have I told you that I HATE my curly hair? Yeah, probably have. And probably will again.
This morning was ominous…high humidity and no visible sun rise…rain was on its way…and probably not just a little bit!
Because of the heat and the threatening weather, TONS of people were out this morning and Abby, I swear, thought they were all out to see her. I just about lost my mind. I know, I know, she does this every morning, why do I let it bother me? *sigh* For the same reason Abby won’t listen to me. We’re stubborn. Perfect match, right?
Then it was time for my 7 miles. The temperature was 21C/70F but 28C/82F with the humidity (that’s almost an inferno).
This is where I have to work on mental strength. And I’m much better than I used to be – winters here help with that. When the weather is going to make my run physically more challenging, I HAVE to let go of desired pace. Easier said than done.
In the winter here it can be -30C/-22F with an icy wind, or it there can be a fresh foot of snow on the ground, or it can be really icy or really bad footing. Actually, it’s always one of those – and sometimes more than one of them. And I used to get so frustrated and stressed that my winter runs were so “slow” and yet I was pushing as hard as I could – and subsequently over doing my workouts leaving me unable to recover enough for the next one. I now know that winter training is completely different than any other season – I can’t even compare winter pacing, heart rates, etc to the other 3 seasons. It’s not fair to do that. In the winter I focus more on feedback from how I’m feeling than what my Garmin is telling me my pace is.
And the same goes for summer extreme heat and humidity. Today I knew that I had to absolutely run according to how I was feeling and not even think about how fast I was going. I don’t look at my Garmin during runs, but you know when you’re running slower than usual. And today I felt like I was really listening to my body and running at the intensity that it needed for the humidity. And that I really didn’t care what my pace was going to end up being. That alone is HUGE for me.
I was actually quite shocked to see what my average pace was at the end – I thought it was going to be more like 5:00min/km or 8min/mi rather than 4:49/7:45
But I still have work to do because although I feel confident that I was running at the intensity my body needed to be at today, it meant that I never got into my run groove. I never just forgot about everything and was just RUNNING. I was very much present with every step – because I was so concerned with checking in with my breathing, what my heart rate felt like (I didn’t check my Garmin for that either – out of fear I’d SEE my pace – lol!), how my legs felt, etc. And that kind of sucks. But, one step at a time in the art of running, right?!
The best part of the run was really when at about mile 4, it started to rain…and then at mile 5 it was a full-out downpour. Best thing EVER when it’s humid!!
Got home, showered and made myself a quick smoothie before heading off to work. I have breakfast (cereal + milk) every morning before I walk Abby, and then I almost always have a smoothie as I leave for work – bananas + frozen fruit + milk. YUM!