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Just when I thought I had this figured out.

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Somehow I never remember what happened before until after it's happened again. I swear I've never been as gob-smacked by the summer heat as I was last week. This is not fair.

Last Monday's tempo was not bad. 77o, 16 mph. Ran north and south. 7:51, 7:50, 7:52, 7:36. That's a 7:44 average and felt strong the whole way. Heart rate stayed around 160, slowly climbing throughout.

Tuesday was 84o and normal for the day after a good tempo. That is, I felt pretty tired. And like every summer day I thought it was too damn hot. 8:30-50.

Wednesday was 3 x 1600. 84o again. Mrs. Dave invited the missionaries over for dinner, so I pushed off the run until after 7:00 pm. That made the sunlight less direct, which was nice and provided more shade than I usually get. Ran the Target Path, which laid the traffic lights out nicely with the 1-1/2 mile w/u and c/d. None of the miles were interrupted with a signal. Again, felt pretty good all the way, although it was definitely an effort. But it's supposed to be, right? 7:41, 7:37, 7:32.

That was the last good run of the week.

Thursday was 86o and almost no wind. Tried to find more shade, but there wasn't a ton to be found. Out on Haggerty to Eight Mile and West to Meadowbrook. Felt a bagillion degrees hotter than it had on Wednesday. Lasted until about 2-1/2 miles from home. That's when I ducked into the Firestone store and used their drinking fountain. Figured that would be enough to get me through the next half mile, which was mostly shady, and then it would be downhill with the sun behind me for the last two to the house.


Walked and stumbled and bumbled all the way in. Haven't had this ugly a finish in I don't know how long. Probably last summer, but who can remember?

My plan for Friday was to get up at my normal time (5:30am) and run before work. With no early meetings on Friday it doesn't matter a ton when I get there. Plus it was the day before most of the building will be gone for the week (it's traditional to take the week of the 4th off), so there wouldn't be much happening anyway. It was better, in part because it was ONLY 70o, in part because there was no sun for the first 4 (of 6) miles, but mostly I think because I was going stoopid slow. 9:30-45. My body thanked me.

Then we get to Saturday. I've been running plenty of miles here at the end of Week 4, but this was my first double digit run in a month. Another morning run, so I didn't expect the heat to be a big factor, even though the dew point was 70o and the actual temp was 72o. (Read that as crazy humid.) I tried maintaining a comfortable but solid pace after a couple of miles to warm up (I was warm at the start, so maybe that was a waste). After two miles of that I had to stop for a light, and when I started up again, I could tell it wasn't going to happen. So I took a longer break at the next mile (half way) and tried to go again. Then I backed all the way off the pace and figured to just slog it in.

Nope. Nope. And nope.

So, this week I'm running all my miles in the morning, and I expect them all to be slower than they were the first four weeks of training. This morning, for example, the 4 tempos averaged 8:22, and I really didn't have much more to give. That's over 30 seconds slower per mile than the last two weeks.

Hope it's a short summer.

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It's so easy to forget how the summer affects us every.single.year.  100% humidity here in Missouri for the win...  However, I think we get really great training gains from it, so keep showing up, and your times will plummet in the fall!

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So I conducted an experiment the last two days related to running in the heat. It's been super hot here as well and I'm trying to make sure my easy runs are as easy as they should be by keeping my heart rate below 140.

On Sunday it was a feels like temp of 95+. I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill in the air conditioning. Result:

4 miles at 9:41 pace with an average heart rate of 124.

On Monday, I ran outside in the early evening with the feels like temperature in the low 90s. Result:

6 miles at 11:24 pace with lots of walking when my HR got above 140. Average heart rate of 138.

In the heat, doing runs that are supposed to be easy by pace just doesn't seem to work for me. I spent all last summer doing "easy" runs that left me completely exhausted. I've got to do them by effort to make sure my training is as good as it should be. It means swallowing my pride a bit to post them on Strava, too.

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