When I was young, I loved the summer. The hotter, the better. Then again, I grew up in Connecticut, and now that I'm old
er and a North Carolinian, heat has new meaning. Now, I love the FALL. Everything about it. The food, apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple cider covered pretzels (<-- you know you want them, so head to Total Wine to get 'em), fall festivals at every park, library, church, winery, and brewery known to man, the food, my kids' excitement at costumes and candy, having to wear a hoodie yet still being able to wear shorts, the food, the smell of the air (<-- is that weird?), adding pumpkin to everything I bake, Halloween themed wine tastings, hurricanes (<-- just kidding, but since we've had two here, I figure I should mention), leafy designs in my coffee that I have no idea how to make myself, fire pits and s'mores, the start of Hallmark Christmas movies, the colors, the food, and most of all...
AWESOME RUNNING WEATHER.
Finally! I finally feel like my legs have rekindled with the rest of my body. After my 10 weeks of no running this spring, I started back right in the thick of the heat. It was a struggle bus. More like an 18-wheeler. Pulling an RV. With an airplane on top. I seriously don't remember it ever taking this long in base phase to feel even semi-good again. I routinely started having the negative thoughts of, "Well, darn. Maybe I really am getting older and slower and, well, maybe I should just run to not get fat and because I'm a bitch if I don't, and I just shouldn't worry about getting faster anymore..."
Then it got cooler, and I smacked myself. After all these years running, and after how often I tell my runners how the heat affects them (~:45 seconds slower on average per mile per runner at the same effort at dew points above 60), I still let it get into my head. So, needless to say, I'm back to a point where I look forward to heading out the door every day again. And, I'm looking forward to racing again (I actually started dreaded it). I've committed to a spring marathon and will run one or two shorter races before the end of this year. I capped off a 65-mile week this week and finished up with a 12-miler with 5@ 6:20 in the middle. Then I came home and ate three pieces of bbq chicken pizza with hot apple cider and the rest of Logan's candy from a fall festival last week (<-- he just asked me what happened to it). omg. #winner
Anywho, if you haven't hit your stride yet in this cooler weather, hang on! It's coming! It takes about three to four weeks to acclimate to hot weather (and you'll still run like shit; I just mean acclimate as in your body finally gets somewhat used to it), but it also takes a good week to acclimate back to cooler weather. So, if you went out for a run on that first cool-ish day and didn't feel great, yep, not a shocker. Like I said, don't give up... just keep going because it will get better!
Okay, so a slight digression here. I will say, as I do get older (I'm 38), I do feel some differences from when I was, sayyyy, 30? No, I do not think that you cannot get faster as you get older, but we DO need to adapt to the changes in order for this to happen. For example, I know part of my problem on top of the heat was that it just takes my body longer to respond now. So, I decided to stay in base phase longer during this cycle to give my body the time it needed. It also takes me longer to warm up into a run, so I have added more miles before starting any tempo work, and I also need more rest after the hard stuff, so if I'm feeling beat up, I'll take a second recovery type day afterwards instead of just one. It's almost like my body now needs a loud-ass alarm clock before it's ready to go to work...
So, that's all. It's a gorgeous fall day here, and I'm about to take the kiddos next door so
I can drink wine we can play, eat pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and watch football.
Happy Fall, and Happy Running!
And now, a way-too-long pictorial of our fall so far...