Hump Day hill repeats and “easy” runs that aren’t so easy

First, HAPPY RUNNING DAY!  If you aren’t a runner, you will likely scratch your head at all the National Running Day posts.  Don’t worry….it will all be over in about 24 hours!

For National Running Day, I was lucky and blessed to run not-quite-at-the-buttcrack-of-dawn (aka 6AM) when the sun was already rising in the sky.  Running from 6-7 meant that I would have to clean up and change at work.  STOP WORRYING….I brought my Shower Pill body wipe, along with plenty of deodorant and perfume. 😉  My friend, Carmen, was too happy to take my pic as I walked in to change.  hills for breakfast

Carmen was also kind enough to pick up my breakfast.  Yes, I ate MEAT.  And it was delicious! 🙂breakfast

But first things first.  Yesterday afternoon, I ran while Alli was at volleyball practice.  It was supposed to be a 45 min run at “easy” pace.  Let me tell you….there was nothing easy about that run!  Many of you know that for the last 4-6 weeks, Texas has been in full-blown monsoon mode.  My little town recieved 17.69 inches in May and we had maybe 7 days in which we received no rain at all.  I don’t remember the sun being out EVER.  Depressing.  But, I digress.  The whole point of this is to show that I haven’t been running in difficult conditions heat-wise.  That all changed yesterday!

Texas summer weather is here, and you will hear NO complaints from me!  I have missed the sun sooooo much.  But, going from running in cloudy 70s to full sun in the 90s is…..difficult. hot Texas sun

My partner/coach instructed me to run 40-45 min at an 11:00-11:15 pace (YES, I wanted to jump up and down and throw a tantrum like a toddler).  I tried to argue my case to get 60 min out of the run, but he stood his ground and I eventually conceded.  (At this point, I know that my attempts to squeeze blood out of this turnip are futile.)  On to the run…. Generally speaking, I suck at pacing.  The struggle is holding myself back to a healthy, safe pace for that specific run.  It is much easier to run fast and not exercise any self-control.  When I run with my partner, he paces the run and all I do is run.  It is so effortless.  When I run on my own, however, even the “easy” pace is labor-some.  Having said that – I am getting better at realizing when I am off-pace.  Yesterday the pacing did come easier (I have a feeling part of that was due to the heat) but the actual running took every ounce of energy I had (again, a direct result of the heat).  Generally speaking, my heart rate hovers around 140 for our easy runs.  This was my heart rate yesterday…easy run hr

Seriously.  What the heck???  Compare my heart rate for my hill repeats this morning…hill repeat hr

Hill repeats heart rate should be higher than an easy run.  It’s very clear that I need to train more in the heat!

I mentioned the May monsoons.  The entire state has been reeling from the flooding.  So much has been destroyed and even lives lost.  The park that I run in when in Plano is part of a nature preserve, which has several creeks running through it.  I have no idea how high the waters got, but it was clear on my run yesterday that the entire place was underwater.  oak point bridge

This was on the inside of the bridge, which tells me that the water had to be above the railings for this debris to get stuck here.  I’m not the best at guessing distances, but I think there is around 10-15′ drop to the stream below:oak point creekAll throughout the park, the grasses were flattened like this:

Oak point flooding

It was clear which direction the water was flowing!

I just hope that we can continue our reprieve from the rains so that those affected the most can begin to recover from all the devastation.

Keep Texas in your thoughts and prayers!

Happy Hump Hill Repeat Day!

Jen

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