I have spent a lot of time in warm climates. I grew up on Long Island. I have made many trips to Florida... one poorly planned for August. I have been to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and quite a few Caribbean islands. I was in Vietnam for almost three weeks. I have spent more than a few weeks in Africa. You get the idea. And even with all of that, I can honestly say that I have never, EVER, ever sweat as much in my LIFE as I did this weekend in NY.
Of course NY would have a heatwave that started the day before I arrived and is supposed to finally break tonight. (I am typing this from the airplane on my way home sweet home). I knew when I planned the trip that it would be hot, but I had no idea it would be as hot as it was. The radio kept saying that the "Real Feel temp" was 105. Then 107. Then 108. The humidity was 100%. Everywhere you went people were talking about the crazy heat. Even late at night it was almost unbearable outside if you weren't in or close to water.
And yeah... I ran. And I ran outside. Yeah baby.
We got to NY on Thursday night and since my achilles was a little grumpy I had decided to take an extra day off on Friday. (I had already taken off Thursday).I wasn't sure how my body would handle running in the heat and I wasn't sure how my achilles was going to feel once I started, so I figured it wasn't worth going to the gym if I wasn't going to run long. Plus, I wanted to get done early so I could be ready for the day and it just seemed faster and easier to run outside. My Dad and Pam gave me some great suggestions on where to run and I was excited to run somewhere new.
I was really tired from the late night and the time change, but I got myself up at 5am NY time (3am Wyoming time) and was out the door just before 6am. My plan was for eight miles but I figured I would just take it easy and see how I felt.
My achilles felt ok! No pain at all, but when I got up I knew it wasn't 100% and it was still a little stiff and a little swollen. It felt fine though as I ran and I kept the pace easy. I was ridiculously HOT, even at 6am. I had filled my 24 ounce water bottle with ice. By the end of the first mile it had ALL completely melted and by the end of the second mile the water was warm. Crazy! Despite the fact that I was sweating like a crazy person and wishing I had my sun glasses (the sun comes up a lot earlier when there aren't mountains in the way... duh!) I didn't feel too bad. I finished the eight miles and was really happy to do so.
I was even happier that as the day went on my achilles felt even better than it had the day before and that running easy hadn't bugged it at all.
We had a great (HOT) day on Saturday and another late night, and I was contemplating my long run. My plan called for 18 miles, but I knew that with the heat, the humidity and the achilles that 18 probably wasn't smart. I was thinking about the big picture of my running and didn't want to do anything I would regret.
I got all my stuff set out, and made a bottle of my Accelerade and put it in the freezer for the night. Once again I was up at 5am NY time (3am WY time) and out the door before 6am. My plan was to do start slow and easy at long run pace (8:19 to 9:19) or slightly slower and pay close attention to my achilles and how I felt overall in the heat. (The achilles was less stiff and less swollen when I woke up than it had been but still not perfect).
My Accelerade, which was frozen SOLID when I started (it could have been used as a weapon), was completely melted before I hit the 2.5 mile mark and was warm before four miles. Sheesh!
I made a few stops at portapotties along the docks, took my Accel gels every five miles, kept drinking, kept the pace easy and really stayed in tune with my body. I ended up doing 15 miles. I knew I could have done another 3 miles to hit 18, but I also knew that in the big picture it would not have any huge benefit to my overall fitness and training and I didn't want to push it too much.
I was really, really excited though that I was able to get two good runs done despite the heat. I used to be SUCH a wimp in the heat. I still hate it, but the fact that I was able to run and feel strong (albeit very sweaty) made me feel pretty tough.
Running in NY was really fun though, despite the heat. Couple of thoughts-
It was a great experience and pretty exciting to run in a new place.
My parents live in a beautiful neighborhood, just blocks from the beach, with tons of incredible houses. Water and boats made for a fun change of scenery.
I have no idea if being more than 6000ft lower in elevation helped me out at all because the heat and humidity were so over the top ridiculous.
It was really fun to see SO many other runners (and cyclists) out, although my Dad said there were a lot less than usual because of the heat wave. I love seeing other runners. And I only had one driver yell something obnoxious at me, which surprised me. There was way more traffic than I am used to but the cars were really good to all of us out running (although I am sure they thought we were nuts in that weather).
Long Island is FLAT. Especially coming from the Rocky Mountains.
And thanks for all the kind words about my achilles. After being able to run as much as I did this weekend and still being pain free, I am pretty sure it is going to be fine. Still a bit stiff and a just a little swollen, but no pain at all and improving daily.
The trip to NY was awesome, although it went by way too fast. There were conversations that I didn't get to have with my parents, things I didn't get to eat, places I didn't see, and just not enough TIME. I miss my parents so much already and it is one of those days that it hurts living so far away from them. I love them so much and the amount of love, support, and encouragement that they give me is overwhelming in a very good and powerful way.
The time that I did have was wonderful and we squeezed in a lot. My parents' home is so beautiful and just special to be in. And they had even bought an extra air conditioner so it was perfectly cool and comfortable. They have an incredible pool so the girls are in heaven, and we also got to go out on a boat and swim in the ocean which was a blast. We went out to eat a few times and my parents hosted a very nice get together for some of their friends and coworkers to come and see/meet me (and we had family and my best friend from when I was young there too). I missed Josh and the other kids something awful and am excited that I will be back with them in a few more hours.
So that is the recap of my trip to NY. It was a wonderful, but very sweaty trip. :)
Please, please, PLEASE let the weather be a whole lot cooler when I am back in November!!!