I know that I am constantly griping about the heat here in West Central Florida, but damn it’s so hot here. I’m struggling to get through runs not because of cramps or tired legs, but because of the feeling that I am overheated. I worry that I am getting dehydrated every time I run. I do all the things I’m supposed to do with water and electrolytes but it still seems not enough. I get cravings for cold things like ice. I’ve never thought of ice in such a lustful way as I have these last few runs.
Today was 12 miles @ 11:15 pace. I felt really good up until around the 2 hour mark. Then that overheated feeling started. I can run through it for a while, but in order to start up again after a walk break, I have to do some motivational gymnastics. Mostly, that involves telling myself the sooner I get going, the sooner I can get out of the heat.
I should remember though, this extremely hot weather will not be the weather I run the 100 miler in. It will still be hot in the afternoon, undoubtedly. But not like this. I remember having some of the same concerns I’m having now back in 2016 when I was training for what was supposed to be my first 50k. I signed up to do the Clearwater Distance Classic 50k before I found out I could move to Bloomington and be with Dana for my last semester at USF. The difference was, I started training for it in September (and it was a 50k, not a 100). I slogged through most of my runs, despairing at the pace of all of them. But when it cooled off, even just a little, I started to feel like a different runner. I stopped taking walk breaks, and even ended up running the marathon distance at about 8:30 pace for a training run. I know that fitness is still within me, but I have a while to wait until it can come out and play. In the meantime, everything I am doing is fostering that fitness along, I just have to do a little extra to boost it to the next level. At this point, I’m not sure how I’ll do that, but I know it will come in the form of speedwork and strength training. I’m in better shape then I feel. It’s under there somewhere.