81*F and bright sunshine is great beach weather, for running it might just be a tad warm. The flowers are in full bloom though.
However, in my mind, Summer running is still better than winter running, the idea of running in shorts and t-shirt or no shirt is a helluva lot better than all bundled up in 3-4 layers with mittens/hat. So I don’t complain too much when the temps get over 80*F and a bright sunshine.
It does mean that I work a lot harder at starting out slow and not worrying too much if I end up going even slower. Especially, since I am coming back from an injury and not heat acclimated yet.
So guess what.
I started slow and listened to the old body and didn’t push and yes, the last 3.0 miles were slower than the first 2.0 by a good bit.
My leg felt good during the whole run, so that is good news. This is also the longest run since I injured the leg, so it was a nice test of how I would feel.
The heat is not the only reason that I am running slower, I have been re-reading both 80/20 Running and Running by Feel again, both of which focus on easy runs being easy.
I am one of those runners who tends to run too much in the “no” zone. Too fast to really recover well and yet not fast enough to be considered race training. The “no” zone does build confidence in my ability to run well, but according to the experts, it does not provide the full benefits of good recovery or fast running, so I am attempting to slow down.
It is something that Sam Winebaum keeps telling me each time we run together and I attempt to do run slower for a while. Unfortunately, I then go back to the “no” zone when I start feeling good about my running or get those delusions of grandeur that seem to cloud my vision of how I really need to run.
So hopefully, you will see a slowing of my paces going forward on my easy/recovery day and I am not really planning on doing any speedwork for a while. If I feel great, I might speed up a little on a run just to see how things feel, but nothing planned, the next training phase for me is injury recovery and regaining my base.
Running in the hotter weather is harder work, but at least I am running and that is the important thing.
I have to keep focused on the reality of “I don’t have to run, I get to run.”