Sunday, July 3, 2011

I missed the rain by THAT much

We've had great weather here, and it's wonderful to be outside in it. I didn't use to deal well with the heat, and I still struggle with it. Now, I suppose I need to clarify "heat". To me, somewhere around 15 to 20 C (59 to 68 F)is the perfect temperature for summer outdoor activities. Warm enough, but not too hot. I used to think that over 20 was hot for strenuous outdoor activity. My run especially suffered. It's like my head was in an oven and I couldn't get air in or out of my lungs.

Since I started being more active I've been cautiously trying to get better at dealing with heat. I have no problem at all going out in -30 C (-22 F) to run, but for some strange reason nobody does triathlon then. So running in somewhat cold weather maintains fitness, but doesn't particularly help to learn to run when it's hot out.

Humidity is an issue as well for me, since Calgary has essentially no humidity. A buddy of mine from Phoenix thought Calgary was hot and dry. It wasn't particularly, it just felt that way because of the dryness. So running in humidity gets to me as well.

The only thing to be done, aside from setting up a treadmill in a sauna, is to run during the hottest part of the day here, on the few days when it's hot. Which I did today. Another beautiful day, sunny and clear, about 23 C (73 F). By Calgary standards that's verging on hot, but I know several of my readers would think I'm a wimp for saying so.

After spraying on a good layer of sunscreen I set out down into Fish Creek. The plan was to try to maintain the higher run cadence, and run for 1.5 hours. After about 30 minutes I started feeling the heat. About 40 minutes my cadence was starting to fade a bit. I walked for a minute and a half at the 49 minute turnaround mark to inhale a Gu and get a bit of water into me. There was no need to juggle those things while trying to  maintain a new stride. This was just by the ponds south of the golf course, just east of bridge 7. I guess that Jarrett, Nicole, Neil, and Darryl are the only people that know where I mean, but that's ok.

I got another 10 good minutes in, then it became a bit of a struggle. I was still trying to move my feet but it was feeling more like a shuffle. The 24 St hill out of the park was a bit of an ordeal. The only amusement was watching a driver abort, retry, and panic while driving into the park. He drove in, started to do a 3 point turn, then backed up out of the park, drove in a circle in the little turnaround area, and headed back into the park, then stopped again just after he passed me. I have no idea why.

My heart rate peaked at 151 bpm coming out of the park, and only settled back to the mid 140's afterward, even though I was trying to run slowly, but keep the cadence up. At least it came down a bit. Last hot weather run, during Calgary 70.3 it didn't come down until I walked. The average over the whole run was 135 bpm.

Toward the end of the run it had clouded over and the breeze picked up. That felt very nice. Then the wind really picked up and started blowing dust around. Here I went from being all sweaty, to having the sweat absorbed by dust in a few minutes. I looked gross. I got back to the house and walked for 5 minutes nice and easy. My heart rate came down 31 bpm in the minute after stopping running.

I stretched a bit outside, then by the time I got downstairs to get my feet up, it started raining fairly hard. Now, a few hours later, the clouds have blown away, and it's a beautiful sunny day again.

I feel great about the run! My cadence wasn't quite where I'd have liked it to be, but I'm still a bit tired from the last few days of bike and run. Plus I'm happy that I wasn't forced to walk in the heat. I think even last year I'd have walked. I had a few knee twinges, but nothing serious.

Weekly Summary
Bike 3.5 hrs
Run 3.25 hrs
Taming the Jungle 1.0 hrs
Total Cardio 7.75 hrs.
Plus there is some core and stretching and stuff, but I'm not really keeping track of that.


  1. I'm with you on finding it hot to run in anything over 20. Although, after spending some time in hot, humid southern Ontario, I was finding it cool at 24 degrees in our dry weather. (Mind you, that wasn't while running though).

  2. We are suck wimps in the heat!! We just don't get enough practice though! Good for you for running during the heat of the day- I will still hold off and run later at night once it has cooled down!


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