Hot, humid and hellish

It doesn’t get much uglier than this: 92 degrees, with humidity so thick you can spread it on toast.

As a running friend of mine said: “August weather in June. Gotta love it.”

On a weekend like this, I wish I had taken up swimming. I could easily spend two or three hours doing laps in the cool water, rather than pounding out the miles under the scorching sun.

I tried to cope as best as I could, running just two hours this morning. I had no problem justifying the shorter distance, after several weekends of three-hour runs. I needed the break. This seemed to be a great day to do it.

I ran from 7 to 9 a.m. on the towpath and Monon, covering about 13 or 14 miles.

But even as I started, the sun was higher in the sky than I expected — with heat probably in the 70s . The towpath provided less shade than I hoped. The thick humidity did a number on me, too; I soaked through my shirt within five miles.

In retrospect, I should have started an hour earlier and headed for Eagle Creek or Fort Ben, with more shade and cooler air.

But the main thing is I got my long run done and didn’t hurt myself.

Next week, I will pray to Our Lady of the Weather Channel for a break in this heat.

*****************************************************************************

The heat took its toll on lots of runners this weekend, judging by comments I’ve seen on various blogs and chat boards.

Here’s one, for example, by Trail Goddess Kim, who DNF’d at mile 42 of the Mohican 100 in Loudonville, Ohio, a few hours east of my home.

A good downpour hit around 6pm Friday night and then again around 4am race morning. This made, as I feared, the green section really muddy. I was pleased with my decision to wear my old winter trail shoes, that still had the screws in them. I think that helped with my traction…

I hit a bad patch starting on the orange loop with its climbs. I actually had to stop and yell at myself out loud, to get over it. I was eating and drinking; in fact I had iced coffee in a handheld. I could kind of feel the caffeine in my head with a bit of a buzz but no energy. In hindsight that could have just been part of heat stroke.

Or this one from Roots Runner, who watched (but didn’t run) the Mohican bake-off:

(The) 50-mile runners endured the brunt of the heat with their final 13 miles on open roads. The uphill road stretch along Rt 3 with the sun beating down, in my view, was nothing like the trails of Mohican State Park. We drove past most of the finishers 10-12 hour range and many were near heat casualty.

I’m sure I will see more notes in this vein once the runners recover from their heat stroke and are released from the hospital.

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