Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not So Sweet

Week of April 22, 2012:

Sunday: Long run

Monday: Light yoga (~10 minutes?)

Tuesday: Bike ride commute

When you write a blog about exercising outside, it’s impossible to not talk about the weather all the time.  Or maybe it’s just me.  I’m very sensitive to the weather—I respond to it viscerally, as I suspect many of us do.  Here in Texas, we’ve had a really lovely April, with cool mornings, warm afternoons, and oodles of sunshine.  Gorgeous!  It hasn’t been very hot either, which is in sharp contrast to last April, when the temperatures were already approaching unbearable highs, which left me very scared about what things would look like in June.  Yikes!

On Sunday, I set out for my long run, hoping to clock 50 minutes.  I left around noon, well-hydrated and well-fed and feeling fine.  From there, I proceeded to have my worst long run since that infamous one in February, the one where I cried almost nonstop for 90 minutes.  By comparison, Sunday’s run wasn’t that bad—it wasn’t heartbreaking!—but I became overheated early in the run and slogged my way through the miles.  I think it was about 70 degrees F when I set out for my run, which doesn’t seem too hot, but the warmth was just not agreeing with me, and I can’t help but remember that two days before that, it was cold and windy and very un-Texas-like during my run.

I don’t think the problem with Sunday’s run was the temperature per se, but the fact that I’m just not used to running in the heat these days.  When the weather swings wildly from day to day, I think it can be hard for the body to adjust, and when you add extra factors, like hard winds or really bright (hot!) sunshine, it just cranks up the discomfort.  I don’t know.  Am I just whiny?

Maybe.  Mostly I’m just bummed because I thought Sunday’s run would be awesome.  I’d be back in the sweet spot of running 5 miles in one work-out.  Longer runs lend themselves to a more Zen state of running—your body and your mind become one, and you can sort of float along as they do their thing.  It’s very relaxing.  I’m hoping that next weekend’s run will bring me closer to Zen.

On a completely unrelated note, this week I celebrated the inaugural pedicure of the warm season.  I just love this red color, OPI’s “An Affair in Red Square.”  Appropriately enough, I did my toes while watching Caramel, a Lebanese film about several women and the beauty parlor they run.  It was pretty good—a sweet, sad, ironic film.  I have such a fondness for films that focus on women’s friendships.  It’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with Sex and the City.  I totally thought I would hate it, but I ended up liking the series quite a bit.  The eye candy wasn’t bad either!

Check out the new color!

April Pedicure in Red

(I’m sorry the photo isn’t better.  I took it Monday night, and you can tell that the lighting was terrible!)


  1. RA,
    I totally agree, it is really hard to adjust to large temperature swings. Even here in MI, I will be running in high 70's and 80's in July and August. When I tried to run in 85 degree weather in just killed me. I think our bodies work best when we adjust slowly, and this time of year can be tough for that.

  2. Hey JD! Now I feel your pain over those Texas runs...oy. Your comment made me think more about the direction of temperature swings. I think for runners, it's easier to adjust to a cold spell than to a hot spell. With cold weather, you can add more layers, and your body will generate its own heat and hold onto it (rather than sweating to dispel the body heat). With warm weather, what can you do after you're wearing summer clothing? If your body isn't acclimated, sweat-wise, to the heat, I think it struggles to cool you off. Or at least mine does. (But go figure: I was a sweaty mess after this morning's bike ride, and it wasn't even very warm!)

    I think for my next long run, I may bring a cold water bottle with me, just in case. I don't generally run with water because I don't need it, but maybe I do need it!

  3. The first times I run in hotter temps or more humid conditions are always hard for me. I also think that we have bad runs sometimes because so many factors go into how we feel during a run - mental state, nutrition, hydration, external conditions, etc.

    I love the cheery color of the polish!

    1. I agree! Running is a mind-body-weather sport, and it's a demanding one too.

      "Cheery" is the perfect description of this color. Every time I look at my toes, I feel a little jolt of happiness. I'm not usually one to spend $8-10 on a bottle of nail polish, but I think this stuff was totally worth it.

      Happy Friday, friend!