Today was a very hot day for the time of the year in this corner of southern new England. A few miles north of here in Boston they were running the Boston Marathon. The temperature reached the high 80's in the afternoon. The organizers even took the unusual step before the race of warning runners about the health dangers of running in this heat and offering a guaranteed place in next year's race for any entrant who decide not to run.
About 22,000 runners did start the race and, of these, about 800 sought medical assistance along the route and about 50 were taken to hospital by ambulance, but thankfully I haven't seen any report of fatalities.
It reminds me of April 2007 when I ran the London Marathon. That was also an extraordinarily hot day for marathon running, many of the runners were hospitalized or received treatment on the course, and one did die.
I am not good at running in hot weather. I feel like there's something about my physiology that makes me feel the heat more than most folk. I certainly sweat more than most folk. Maybe it's something genetic. Perhaps my so far unproven theory about my being descended from Vikings?
I had a bad experience with running in the heat while training for that marathon back in 2007. I wrote about it at Running Where Einstein Sailed. I was supposed to do a 25 mile training run but had to cut it short at 16 miles because of the heat. The temperature was 82 degrees.
I have been loosely following the marathon and half-marathon training programs produced by Jeff Galloway. His advice is that when the temperature rises above 60° F, runners should slow down by 30 seconds a mile for every 5 degrees above 60° F. I should remember that more often.
Today I felt like I needed a run. I hadn't run for a week because I have been suffering from the Dreaded Man Cold. I still have a bit of a cold but I was missing my regular runs. It wasn't as hot here today as it was in Boston but was still pretty warm. I adopted a strategy that I have found helpful on hot days; I went for a run in the woods. There aren't many leaves on the trees yet but it was still cooler on the woodland trails than on the open road. I carried a bottle of water with me. I ran slowly. I am not good at running in hot weather but I felt good after an hour or so of jogging in the woods.
To celebrate my return to running I took Tillerwoman out for lunch at our local clam shack, Evelyn's, which has just opened for the season. We sat outside by the water and feasted on stuffies and other local delicacies.
Beer is good.
But I am still not good at running in hot weather.