Monday, July 9, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

For those reading this blog who don’t live in Washington, let me just tell you – the summer heat has been almost unbearable. I won’t go into all the stats, but temperatures over the last 4 days have crept up past the century mark with “feels like” temperatures hovering between 110 and 115 degrees. I was returning home from a party at midnight on Sunday morning and the thermometer was still north of 90 (and the “feels like” was 101) – pretty damn hot for the middle of the night! In addition, a plane got stuck in melting asphalt at Reagan National and parts of major highways buckled. Thankfully I never lost power through any of this, but some unfortunate souls did.

I ran through it all but played it smart – sticking to the shaded trails and running early. On Friday I ran with Scott Koonce and we spied a baby beaver poking around in Rock Creek. Not much else to report here.

On Saturday, I met a handful of GRCers at The Line. The temperature later that afternoon would reach 105, but when we ran it was a chilly 95. After a half mile I was soaked with sweat. We lumbered slowly up and down shaded trails and kept the pace fairly pedestrian. I got in about 10.

On Sunday, I met Luff again at The Line. I was tired from lack of sleep and went to bed with a pounding headache. I chugged Gatorade and water all morning prior to the run and set out at 8:30 on the death march. Sunday felt much hotter than Saturday. Again, we stuck to the “cool” trails and when I got glimpses of the sun near the end of my run I whimpered. When I finished (another 10) my skin was hot to the touch. I doused myself in icy water and drank my fill. Both shoes and shorts were drenched. While stopped, without the comfort of moving air passing over your skin, the sweat doubled down in streams as if I was under a shower nozzle pumping out perspiration. The park has never felt as much like a jungle as it did this weekend. Thick soupy air – the smell of wet dog and rotting wood– was a constant companion.

This morning, thanks to some overnight rain storms, the heat wave broke. I ran an easy 8 through a pouring rain, which felt good on my skin - still warm from the weekend's wrath.

I got in 51 for the week (6 days of running). This week I’ll aim for 60ish.

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