The difference between running at 65 degrees and running at 75, is far more than ten degrees harder. Embarking on my quest in mid-May, I never imagined Portland would get zero rain in June; or experience a couple weeks in the 90’s before we turned the corner to July. Where’s my Juneuary? That extra ten degrees slows me down, fatigues my legs and makes me pant like Siberian Husky in Miami. I can hear you – the obvious answer is to get up early and run. Unlikely – I’m a lifelong night owl, and a post-menopausal insomniac.
Three runs a week was my goal when I started: two fives and one longer. Didn’t quite happen until last week and I’m determined to repeat it this week. But it’s a lot harder when it gets this hot! Last week my long run (8.3 miles) felt like a glide, I finally understood the feeling of rhythm, cadence and just going and going. That was the last day in my old shoes and before the thermometer went over 80. It felt good!
After that long run, I treated myself to new shoes, which I’d put off too long, trying to wring out every last mile. Lucky am I to have made it to 59 without any knee, hip or feet problems, but it’s a bad idea to keep running in broken-down shoes with inadequate cushioning. So, plunked down the money and got a nice new squishy soft pair of Saucony. Prevention is better than treatment.
Ten weeks in, things feel different. Body feels different, hills that were not run-able, I can now conquer. What’s holding me back now feels more like muscle strength, not cardio-vascular deficiency. And I’m running farther than I ever thought I could. 8.8 miles today, the longest run I’ve ever done. Let’s just hope we don’t climb into triple digits. Then I really will have to drag myself out of bed at 5 am!