Ice bras and how to cope running in heat & humidity

I’ve spent the last two weeks away from my chilly and dry climate of northern Alberta … And have been vacationing in the hot and humid climate of Ontario and Quebec. It was a shock to the system to say the least!

Here’s the difference in weather the day we left:

2013-07-13 07.11.09

I had decided in advance I would have a lot of early rises just to get my runs in before it got too hot out. I quickly discovered it was always going to be hot out! The daily temperatures the first week ranged from 30C – 45C (86F – 113F).

I won’t give all the details of each and every run, but just some of the ones worth a mention:

sunday evening easy run – 6k
My first run was in the evening, a 6k (3.7 mi) easy run. I was right on my target pace, but I often find myself running my easy runs about 30 seconds faster per km… Here, I had no problems running that pace! It got dark a lot faster than I was used to, as well. Back at home, sunset seems to last hours. Here it was probably 30 minutes from dusk to dark. Overall, I felt pretty good and decided maybe the evening runs would do me better since, although it was still very warm out, the was no hot sun beating down.

Tuesday evening tempo run – 5k
This was by far my hardest run during the entire trip! I left my sister’s house at 6:50 p.m. but the sun was still high in the sky. I thought I had left late enough to avoid it, but I had no such luck! Also, it was 38C (100F).

My tempo run had turned into a fartlek run instead as I continuously had to stop to drink water or pour water over my head. This was the first time I ever used my water bottle to pour/squirt water on myself…. The first time I did this, I somehow managed to squirt water up my nose! This was the least of my concerns, really!

I decided it was time to head back closer to home as I was running out of water and I thought I might die. At the 4k mark, I popped back into the air-conditioned house, doused my head with some more water, then decided to try something I had just read online… I put ice in my bra. The purpose of this, I read, is to cool down the core/heart and get cooler blood pumping. Later, I read about putting ice in your hat. I probably would have also done this as well! I did the complete distance, but not as fast (40 seconds per km slower), which is perfectly acceptable, considering the heat.

thursday hottie body bootcamp
Wednesday, I was supposed to go to my sister’s bootcamp, but we had a bit too much fun (ie. a bit too much to drink), so I didn’t run or go to bootcamp as I should have. Thursday, I was also supposed to run, but decided the bootcamp would cover that off.

I had never been to a fitness bootcamp before, but I knew it was going to be rough! I hadn’t even considered how much tougher it would be with the heat.  My sweat was dripping/pouring off my face while doing planks at one station and arms slipping on the bosu ball while doing an exercise involving more planks. We warmed up with 10 back-and-forth sprints (maybe 200m x 10, wish I measured with my gps watch!). This was followed by 45 minutes or so of intense ab work. My core is so weak to begin with, but this definitely confirmed it! It was rough, but I did make it all the way through (a bit of cheating here and there with not doing all my reps). What was even more awesome, was that my abs were sore for days!  It hurt to stand up after extended sitting, it hurt to laugh, it hurt to cough… for days!  I am definitely going to get into more strength exercises!

Saturday long run 18k
I woke up early Saturday to beat the heat, but it was cloudy and even possibly overcast – making it feel bearable. In actuality, it was 23C (73F) but so humid due to some evening storms, that it felt like 30C (86F). I hit the trails again that were so unbearable days earlier, and did a 5k out-and-back easily. The sun was breaking through the clouds, so I decided to do my remaining 8k rounding my sister’s block 8 times in case it started becoming too hot. I finished my 18k, but unfortunately my Nike+ sportwatch and Runkeeper app were so out of sync, I don’t actually know how far I went. Runkeeper showed I did about 0.85 km more than the watch (0.5 mi). I think I will need to do a factory reset on the watch when I get home.

Ottawa 6k tempo run
I had the best run of the entire trip in Ottawa. I wasn’t really expecting much from myself since I had so many poor runs the week prior and because I was losing faith in the accuracy of my watch. I switched from runkeeper to mapmyrun, just to test accuracy. I found mapmyrun and my watch were both off again – the app showing I did 0.27 km (0.17 mi) more than my watch. Either way, I managed to stay on pace for this tempo run. A great feeling after my horrible tempo run from the previous week!

Here are some photos from my run:

2013-07-23 08.24.37duckies!

 

Montreal – dreadmill!
I was excited to run in Montreal, just part of the enjoyment of traveling – running somewhere new. Very unfortunately, our hotel was nowhere near any running paths or even sidewalks! My one and only run there was on the treadmill.

 

Some articles I read to prepare for the heat and humidity:

 

 

About these ads

One thought on “Ice bras and how to cope running in heat & humidity

  1. Pingback: Words about fuel | Foodie - Nerd - Runner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s