Friday, August 10, 2007

Running in 100 Degree Heat and Other Stories

I went running in the hottest heat ever. I mean, hottest for me. It was 104 degrees yesterday. It might have been 103. And some parts of the run might have been even hotter because the blacktop's always hotter. I avoid really black blacktop roads as often as possible.

But the people of Tennessee have a thing for resurfacing roads. And the roads around my apartment are the blackest and the hottest because landscaping is the most important thing to the management. Not quality walls and paint on the inside of the apartments (our walls are like fax paper -- bump the wall and it leaves a black mark), rather things you can see like the gorgeous pool and the willows and pines.

On the run I thought to myself that if it was going to be this hot and this long without rain, I might as well move back to Arizona, where the plants and animals have adapted for survival in such extremes. Here in Tennessee the trees are dropping their leaves, the grass is brown, and I don't even want to wonder if the animals are surviving. But I do. In fact, because of my concern I've put a big bowl of water on the deck in case the birds get thirsty. Lame, I know, but the water in the nearby pond looks poisonous to me. I bet it's full of anti-freeze and vile green algae.

I'm not really sure if the birds are using my makeshift birdbath, but I hope they are. I worry about them. On my run it was the quietest it's ever been. Once in a while I'd hear a cricket, and at one point I heard a rustling in the woods. I stopped and looked for what was causing the noise. It was a gray squirrel (speaking of, check out this funny blog entry about an urban squirrel at war with humans) climbing around in the dead leaves. I wonder if he was looking for some water, because . . . I know a deck nearby . . .

In case anyone (anyone?) has been tracking my running progress for this month's goal, I haven't done too well. For about two weeks it's been extremely hot and uncomfortable. The heat is so draining it's sapped my desire to run. Yesterday I drew the line. To hell with caution! And I put on my running clothes and headed to the clubhouse to run on the treadmill.

But my apartment complex sucks! They closed the pool AND the workout room, because, you know, the indoor portion of the pool is closed too and blah blah blah. As soon as I move out, I'll be sure to post the NAME of the apartment complex so people who are moving to Tennessee and need an apartment, will know just how inhospitable the employees are at this particular joint.

So anyway, I was in my running clothes already and that's why I ran outside. There were only a few diehard runners like myself out there. Rain, sleet, snow, 104 degrees . . . that's us. We'll run in any temperatures, at any time of day!

It's not too bad, you know. I prefer 100 degrees and 30% humidity to 85 degrees and 50% humidity. I ran with my ice water and poured a good portion of it on me instead of in me. Good advice for running in extreme heat is to have two water bottles. One for drinking and one for splashing on your face and back.


Jodie K said...

It was 104 degrees yesterday. It might have been 103.

At that point, it don't matter!

Aries327 said...

So true. But yesterday it was only 97 and that made a huge difference!