|Today's conditions (artist's rendering)|
As I ran along my neighborhood roads this morning I thought about the heat and the fact that summer is still a few weeks away. I'm not sure what the temperature was at 8:00 AM, but with the sun, it felt as hot as a July afternoon. Actually, with the humidity, it was more like late August. I did my best to put one foot in front of the other and questioned how I was able to manage much faster paces a few years ago.
I made my way through my first mile, running the best pace I could maintain, but far slower than the 8-something miles I used to do at lunch in Central Park. I had a couple more miles to cover before I was done, and I worried that the heat and sun would sap all my energy. I thought about the New Hyde Park 8K race on Sunday and the fact that I will miss it for the first time in three years. But the idea of running hard in this type of heat for 40+ minutes reinforced my decision not to participate this year.
I didn't exactly struggle through the rest of my run, but under those conditions I couldn't generate too much speed. I crossed paths with some neighborhood women who were out for a stroll, walking on the street with their backs to traffic. I quickly said, "You really shouldn't run with your back to traffic." I didn't hear a response, but I encountered them later in my run and they were walking on the left (correct) side. It made me happy that someone actually listened when I expressed concern for their safety.
It wasn't an easy three miles, but I was glad to have faced the steamy weather and met my targeted distance. If I can get my act together and go out early tomorrow morning, I may be able to avoid a repeat of today's heat and humidity.