I thought about trying to wait this heat wave out, but then I looked at the long-term forecast and had to come up with a better plan.
Running after the sun had set, or after it was well on its way to setting, worked out well last summer. Also a good idea: getting by with some help from my friends.
First of all, I thought back to July, when Emily completed a marathon during that hot stretch we had before RAGBRAI. It made me feel appropriately humbled and empowered. If she could do it for 26 miles, I can do it for three.
Of course I expect the pace to be slower and yet more challenging. Regina and I, with two other friends, went on a night run at Gray's Lake recently, and she decided no walking until mile two.
The next day, when I was running during the late evening hours (read: there was still sun), I struck the same bargain with myself, because mile two came in the middle of two small but long inclines. Worked like a charm.
And I paid attention to a mistake that Cory, who is preparing for the Hy-Vee Triathlon, made during his post-work run on city trails — no water bottle. I generally don't like carrying water bottles, but during that two-mile walk break, I decided that I can tolerate it during heat waves.
I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard during that run (though it definitely didn't feel easy), and yet here were the numbers: 91 degrees with a feels-like reading of 97 degrees; 3.5 miles in 32:19 for a 9:15 pace; splits of 9:36, 8:50 and 9:04 for the full miles; and only one walk break. Downhill portions help, but I bet water breaks do, too.
So despite my insistence that the Boone County 5K was SO HARD because it was SO HOT YOU GUYS, I've still managed to enjoy a few of the heat wave runs. What a surprise, and what a nice change from previous summers where I sulked inside in the air conditioning about "not being able to run."