After a totally acceptable finish to the World Cup (sorry for those rooting for France), it was time for a good training run. The first order of business on any day where heat might be a factor is to check the thermometer. "Hmmm, that's an awful lot of red I see. Red near the three digit mark is bad. 97F. That's not so good." Long training runs that start late in the afternoon always seem to have the potential to suck.
Having just read a good article on the dangers of hot weather running, and precautions we should take, I started getting ready. The lightest technical gear available was donned. And the normal 20 oz water bottle was replaced with a slightly bigger bottle of Gatorade. As an added safety measure, some cash and the cell phone would make this trip. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, MP3 player, and it's out the door.
Toddler Pol was outside, playing T-Ball, and promptly decided he wanted to go train with daddy. Explaining that this was a long run, likely to take a couple hours did little to sway him. Offering to play T-Ball with him upon my return was insufficient as a bribe. He wanted to go running. So, change of plans.
The 12.1 mile loop would have to wait. Out came the jogging stroller and off went the MP3 player. The one blessing is that these little delays had taken the 15 minutes Mother Nature needed to do a 180 degree shift in weather. The temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees and it looked like rain. Once Toddler Pol was strapped into the stroller, we headed out on the 3.3 mile loop. Much as it was screwing with my plans, it's a blast running with my son. He likes to "race," which he always seems to win. He likes to "share" sports drink with me (which means he drinks my Gatorade). And he likes to ask questions like, "Where's our house?" And, "Why are you sweating, Daddy?"
Just over 25 minutes later, we were back at the house. Mrs. Pol was there to take Toddler Pol and replenish my bottle. After putting the MP3 player on, it was back onto the road. The next mile was a debate over "Left at the light" or "Straight at the light." There was 2.2 miles riding on the decision. Left, and the extra 2.2 miles, won out.
That choice put me in the driver's seat for a total of 15.4 miles of running. Had the temperature stayed above 90F, there's no way I would have taken that route. Cooler weather makes for bolder moves.
It was a good run, with an average pace of 9:01 per mile. That, it seems, was just a bit too fast. Around the 13 mile point, my legs were ready to pull some sort of odd yoga maneuver and challenge my head to three rounds of Ultimate Fighting. Apparently, I spent a bit too much time anaerobic and the lactic acid was starting to build up. If I had gone straight, the run would have been over just BEFORE the 13 mile point, and my legs wouldn't have been dealing with that issue. They knew who to blame.
It was, however, a great run in terms of getting ready for the Fox Cities Marathon. Juggling the training for an Olympic distance triathlon that is four weeks prior to a full marathon is tricky. I suspect I will pay a price in September. So, I'm trying to minimize that with some good long runs, now.
And now, it's off to bed. There's 2000 yards in the pool with my name all over them for the morning. And if I get there early enough, it just might be 2500. After all, the weather in the pool always seems to be relatively cool.