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Monday, July 11, 2016

If You Can't Stand the Heat

...then get up earlier.

It's an easy solution, really. Well, not easy, but simple.

Training outdoors in a Texas summer gives you only three options: heat, humidity, or some oppressive combination of both. Today, I battled the heat.

I've had a lot of trouble - and honestly made little effort - getting up early lately. As a result, I've gone for very few runs in recent months. With temperatures at or near 100 degrees in the afternoon and early evening, running after work hasn't really been an option for me. At least, not a sensible one.

This afternoon, I didn't feel like being sensible.

I had an overwhelming urge to go for a run today, and decided I would do so when I got home. As I stepped out the door, I could tell that it was going to be rough. The temperature was 99 with a heat index of 106. The most important thing was going to be keeping myself slow enough to finish.

The first half wasn't too bad, but as I neared my turn around point, the heat hit me like a ton of bricks, and as I turned around, I felt the sun on my face and my body heat went through the roof. I headed up a quarter-mile hill and at the top saw a stretch of trees providing some shade. For a moment, I considered stopping a moment and walking through the shade.

But I considered what it would mean to stop for the first time. This would no doubt lead to more stopping, which would only keep me out in the heat longer. There is a simple truth that occurs to me in moments like this: the faster you run, the sooner you're done.

As long as you don't run so fast you have to walk.

So, I kept myself moving, and with each step, I made a promise to myself to get up early enough to run in the humidity, not the heat. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's better than the alternative, which in turn is better than nothing at all. Today, I faced the heat.

Tomorrow, let's see how I face the alarm.

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