Aug 22, 2009

The difference a day makes

Two days ago, I bitched, and moaned, and complained some more about the heat & humidity and the effect it was having on my perceived fitness level. Now, I know it affects us and makes us feel more fatigued, it slows us down, and just makes getting through workouts all the tougher. Add to that the fact that I've just never been a "get up at 5AM runner, to beat the heat" kind of guy, and it basically makes the affect of the heat even worse. Truth is, I wish I was a 5AM guy. I really admire those folks who can do that. I want to be that guy. I often go to bed telling myself that if I wake up on my own anytime between 5-7AM, just get up, throw on the shoes, and go get that run in. On the rare days that I have done that (usually more out of necessity b/c we have a very full day planned) I have enjoyed those runs immensely. But it's just not in me to do consistently. Not yet, anyway. Maybe some day.

My issue, and it's entirely mental, is that the last week or so has me really questioning myself. I expected my runs to be slow, tough slogs through the heat. But not THAT slow & tough! Combine that with a stretch of less than pristine diet, and WHAM! Self-doubt about your true conditioning levels.

That led to my post on the 20th. Funnyrunner was kind enough to post an encouraging comment. But more importantly, she referenced an article in August's RW magazine where they conducted a study at UConn designed to empirically measure the effect of heat on our running performance.,7120,s6-238-267--13245-1-1X2X3-4,00.html As an analytical kind of guy, this is right up my alley. Yet, somewhere along the way, I forgot to read this issue! I've read September's already, but missed this one. No idea how! UGH! I'd just found it a few days ago, buried in a stack of other magazines, and I must have fallen victim to "out-of-sight, out-of-mind". I assumed I'd already read it, and therefore tossed it into my pile of read RW's. Now that I open it up, a leaf through it, none of it looks familiar to me. Thank goodness Funny pointed to this article. First, b/c I was amazed at the incredible difference in results from the study, and b/c I love reading RW, and now I have another to read while I wait for the October issue. Bonus! So, thank you very much Funnyrunner.

Am I feeling better? Yes. The article affirmed what I've been feeling, so that was gratifying. And last night when I went for my run, and it was so much cooler, I left the house hoping that I would find that something that has been missing in my workouts. Turns out, I did. It was wonderful. I headed out and realized almost immediately how much better I felt, how much more comfortable I was, and much easier the effort seemed. And it was reflected in my stats (pace & average HR). I finished up feeling wonderful. A feeling I haven't had since I ran Cades Cove at the beginning of the month.

Is the Indy Marathon back on the schedule? Maybe. Certainly much more so than it was last week. I'm still a bit worried about being ready in time. Have to get my eating habits back in order, or sure. But for now, I'm content to be a little smarter, a lot happier, and maybe a little less likely to be so hard on myself all the time.

As for running early this morning? I woke up at 9:30. LOL. Can't have everything at once, right?

"Slow & steady"


  1. OMG. I could just copy and paste your entire first paragraph and apply it to myself. Actually the entire post! I am SO not a morning person and SO wish I could be! AND it sounds as if we've both been beating ourselves up for not performing well in heat and humidity... I'm SO glad my comment led you to discover the article (and entire issue) you missed in RW. I flipping LOVE that magazine, and that article was such perfect timing for me. Makes an amazing difference in the study, didn't it?

    Glad you had an awesome run last night. Thanks for your comments on my blog! ;)

  2. I think complaining about humidity is a must..especially here in Atlanta. I ran today but it was a cool 64 degrees. YAHOO. It will be 100 tomorrow, I am sure.

    Good luck with the Indy marathon. Impressive! Im just a 10K girl so far.

  3. hey! thanks for stopping by my blog. i'll make sure ed reads ALL the comments on the post today, yours is particularly spectacular ;) i was actually wondering the same thing!