Fighting the Summer Heat

In case you didn’t notice, summer is here.  The kids are out of school.  The swimming pools are being used.  And  it takes less than 3 minutes for my running clothes to be completely saturated with sweat.  Yes……summer is here.

As I mentioned recently, I am gradually building my running miles back up to some level of competence.  And with the current temperature and humidity levels, it is becoming some what of a challenge.  Most of my runs for the past month or so have been 4 to 5 miles with an occasional 3 or 6 miler thrown in.  I am not running fast, but averaging somewhere between 8:15 and 8:25 pace.  Enough to feel like I am doing something, but not enough to make it feel like I am training.

About a week or two ago, the temperatures really started to climb.  It has become pretty typical to see temperatures in the mid 90’s with a heat index well over 100 degrees.  And with my family oriented running schedule, many of my runs have been when it was at its hottest.  But we all do what we have to do.

Last week, my Tuesday 5 miler turned into a walking on the sun expedition and I struggled to make it back to the house after a little over 4 miles with a 8:54 average.  On Wednesday, I did a 15 minute strength routine and headed out for a short run.  3.25 miles later I finished with a 8:51 average and was dry heaving on the side of the road (I did eat dinner about 1 hour before running.)  I was not going in the right direction.

On Friday, my schedule dictated that I run at a very bad time…….around 2 o’clock in the afternoon to be precise.  I didn’t need to look at the weather online to realize that I was setting myself up for misery.  And then I remember something I bought a couple of years ago that may help me out:  a Cool Off Bandana that I purchased from Zombie Runner.

This bandana has a chamois built into it to trap some moisture and a pocket that you can put ice in.  I put on my running gear, had Mason put about 10 pounds of ice in the pocket, and I headed out the door.  It was 2:15 in the afternoon, sunny, 95 degrees, and a heat index of 105 degrees.  About as bad as I wanted to attempt.  And here are the results of my test:

Pros:  It worked.  I survived.  My back stayed cold and therefore I felt less hot than normal.  I made it 5 miles at a 8:23 pace with no dry heaving or passing out.  And there was still ice in it when I finished.

Cons:  The weight of the ice had the bandanna giving me a strangle hold.  I also had a steady stream of cold water running down my back, my butt, my legs and into my shoes.

I think I will try to wear it on the front next time with less ice in it.  I will have to watch where my electronics are placed to keep them protected.

All in all, it worked great.  Not only did I not die, but I was still in good enough shape to go out with Christine on a hot date!  Can you say, Tsumami’s?

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