Thursday, June 18, 2009

Running in an Oven

I have spent the time since 13.1 Chicago feeling like a bit of a slacker. Maybe that's not fair; the race was on a Sunday. I was travelling in the middle of the week, but got up early Wednesday morning to run a Gentleman's Three. And then on Saturday, I ran Race for the Cure with Steve (yes, I owe you a race report). So, it's not like I haven't been running, but the intensity hasn't been there since that last half marathon trisko.

Today presented a golden opportunity: The Bix at Six.

The Bix 7 is one of my favorite races, it being a challenging seven mile course that attracts elite runners. It's pretty cool when your hometown race is popular to the extent that there are statues of Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson, no? And the Bix at Six is a series of training runs, open to the public, that are on the race course.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: it is so damned cool to have a local race that is such a draw that hundreds of people show up for a training run, the streets are blocked off, and there are water stops.

I left the office after work and hurried home to grab a quick sandwich and to change clothes. As soon as I opened the door to go outside, I knew it was going to be a tough night: it was blazing hot and humid to the point where I felt like I was inside an oven.


This summer, so far, has been blessedly mild, so this was the first really hot weather run I'd done. And having that start out with seven miles worth of hills, after not running a whole lot was a recipe for disaster... baked in the oven I was running in.

So, I made a promise to myself to take it easy and have this run be my first one in getting acclimated to the heat. I dressed in a tank top and running skirt, strapped on the Batman utility belt filled with Gatorade. I was sweating before I even started running. I slowed my pace way down, cut the course to about 5 miles, and took frequent walk breaks. I also make the delightful discovery that my makeup, which has an SPF in it, immediately melts into horrifying pools of poison when I sweat.

Was this the most fun run ever? No, it was not. But it could have been a lot worse. I am going to tough it out through my next couple of oven runs until the heat doesn't seem like such a big deal after all. And I will sing the praises of the glorious volunteers, who actually had ice water.


Roisin said...

We're starting to get the heat here too, and I'm really trying to brace for it. Good for you, sticking it out and all that.

tfh said...

An oven is exactly what it is. Hope you acclimate soon and do NOT, whatever you do, send that weather my way.

X-Country2 said...

An oven is the perfect description! It's been miserable around here too. Good luck with the 6 and 7. :o)

Jess said...

Yeah, summer running is always hard to get used to. But good job adjusting everything to fit the temps!

Teamarcia said...

I share your pain. The triple-digit heat index here in Chi-town of late is no treat running-wise. Good for you for adjusting your pace. And wowee! Ice water!

RunnerMom said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog last week. You could always try the bra thing!

Yesterday, my friend brought me a "cooldana" her hubby had sent her from Iraq. It's a bandana with some sort of gel inside. You keep it in the fridge and tie it around your neck to keep that critical area on the back of your neck cool. It may have helped some....

I also slowed down and took walk breaks, but that leaves me with the feeling I'm not doing enough. Do you get that, too?

Do you remember that line that you wrote a while back about 5K's being the gateway drug to running? I use that all the time!