Sunday, July 27, 2008

I. Can. Do. This.

I *gasp* haven't run *gasp* 5 miles *gasp* since *gasp* January.

Last night I intended to get up at 4 AM and try to beat this darn humidity. When the alarm went off, I decided 5:30 would be just as good. I finally got up at 6:30, doubtful about the day. I decided NOT to take Maggie on the 5-miler, since humidity was a whopping 97%. The temp, thankfully, was about 75-77. After her official walk, I got ready to head out. I really, really contemplated skipping and just going on craigslist to try to find a dreadmill. But I knew I'd feel like a quitter, and that is far worse than swimming through the humidity.

So I decided just to accept the fact that it would take forever and not be all that pleasant. I even took my camera to document the hot adventure. I started before 7 AM. One thing I thought might improve the situation is more warm-up time. Back in Arkansas I always got at least a quarter mile walk in before I began, because it took my Garmin that long to find signal. Here in Olive Branch, it finds it almost immediately. So today I went and walked the new Target parking lot across from my neighborhood. I did at least a half mile, if not more.

And I was off! I went down the road by my neighborhood (NOT the main drag).

There is almost always either a sidewalk or very wide shoulder. FYI.

First I headed down to the local elementary school, which has quite a lot of room to run as the asphalt loops around the several playground areas. After that I headed to an adjacent unbuilt subdivision.

There are lots of these around here: champagne dreams and beer budgets that went bust. But they make for great running areas!

I was huffing and puffing, and each mile got slower. I had to walk a lot -- go figure with 97% humidity. But I kept telling myself "It's just 5 miles." I knew I was capable.

My next locale was another neighborhood. Just before this, and in it, I encountered another female runner. Apparently the humidity did NOT slow her down.

Nice streets... and apparently only brown brick can be used here.

I really like those big elephant ears! I'll have to drive Chasen by this house later on.

I was proud to be out there toughing it out... but I really, really thought about buying a used dreadmill. My garage is hot, so I'd have to bring it in the house -- and I DO NOT want to do that.

I finally made it home, sopping wet, after 1:11:45 (my slowest five miler ever, I'm sure). I truly question how I'll make it up to 13.1 -- but I won't give up. I can't! At least my first long run is in the bag.

I topped off the event by lying on the floor of my home office listening to Car Talk. I looooove that show!


ShirleyPerly said...

Yeah, both you and the treadmill will probably overheat if in a hot garage. What's wrong with putting it inside your house? I think that's where most people put theirs.

OTOH, I do think that running in heat and humidity gets easier if you keep doing it regularly. Good job on the 5-miler!

MarathonChris said...

Hang in there, Susan. You can do this, just like you did all those early, early runs in Arkansas. I agree the humidity is TOUGH to get used to! It has been a hard week for me. I can't figure out why today was so much better but here are some things that seem to work for me (since I get to live in this stuff 5-6 months a year). I know you know this stuff. I had to relearn it just this week.

1 - Get your run done early. I found today finishing at 8 am - that the time between 6 am and 7 am was pretty good...that sun really can drain you. (and I am NOT an early morning person...except to run).

2 - Bring lots to drink. I did something a bit different today. I put my water and Gatorade (already in my fuel belt bottles) in the fridge overnight so it was cold for the morning. Maybe that helped keep me cool with the cool fluids around my waist. I know a lady who freezes a bottle of water to take with her.

3 - Go slow....walking is OK :-) On hot days I use my Garmin to tell me when I need to walk. If my heart rate gets way up there I just walk - even if I walked 2 min ago.

In the end, I tell myself that if my heart rate is up there, I am getting an aerobic workout anyway, so walking doesn't matter. I also tell myself I am going to finish the distance if I have to walk the entire way!

Oh, I hope you run with your cell phone. It is good to have a lifeline in case it does get too hard out there.

I feel your pain, friend!

Arland said...

That humidity sure makes it tough but the good thing is, your out there running again! Stay with it.

Nat said...

You got it done girl! That's the things. (I love photos of other people's neighbourhoods.)

I tend to just no worry about time this time around.

Maddy said...

Way to get out there and it get it done. I can't bring myself to run outside these days because it has been so darn hot and humid!

My treadmill is in our living room. - It's a big room and it's in the corner and I use it. So it just makes sense for me. My "office" is also in the living room. I'll send you some pictures so you get a visual.

nylisa said...

Yay! You're on your way to 13.1! Definitely nothing wrong with taking it easy in the humidity.

Annette said...

Susan I'm proud of you for getting it done... and alone. You just don't know how much I admire you for getting out there and getting your runs done in those miserable condtions by yourself!!

You ROCK!! and you will find your running rythymn again!!

CewTwo said...

I don't have the humidity here. Just pure, unadulterated heat. Pounding, pulsing heat.

I get outside (and I haven't touched the treadmill in months) and run as soon as I am able most mornings. Running early escapes a lot of the heat and I am learning where the shade covered streets are.

My neighborhood is very neopolitan. Really old houses with some new construction coming in. Makes for some interesting runs!

My treadmill is downstairs in my entertainment center area. It allows me to run while watching movies. Makes the miles fly by. My downstairs is NOT air conditioned (I use a house evaporative cooler). So, if I use it, I would close the door to the upstairs, open windows and run fans. I have 3 airmoving fans nearby and do use them all. It is almost tolerable then.

Good luck and remember that running is fun!

Bev said...

Great job finishing that tough 5 miler. Stick with it. A month or so and we should start getting some relief don't you think? I loved the pictures. It's neat to see where other people run.

Cheryl said...

You can do this!! You lived in Arkansas, it's just the same, you know what you have to do, get up earlier! Sorry, I don't mean to be pushy, but it's the only way I've gotten through the Arkansas heat and humidity. You just haven't been out running in the heat, you'll get used to it, just give yourself time.

Cara said...

I am just learning to run in the humidity. it is truly much harder!!

good job on your run!

jeanne said...

dang way to tough it out!!! i'm TOTALLY impressed! in that heat i would have caved! I too am pretty much at square 1 with my running. ugh.

but now i'm inspired!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Great pictures! I'm struggling with the heat too and lower mileage than I want. We can do this!!