Hot Town, Summer in the City

2 Jun

We’re in the middle of a heat wave here in Philadelphia. The weather in this city is strange, and quite unpredictable. While we are in the northeast, which is known for its seasons, spring is often elusive. Sure we get the pleasant 60-70 degree days sporadically, but normally, year over year, we jump from 50 degrees to 85. It makes most folks cranky, and spurs those funky change-of-seasons colds, and then allergies run amok. But what I’m hating on most is what it’s doing to my running.

Before 2013 temperature didn’t matter when I ran, my main running tool was the treadmill, and I rarely ran outside. Once I started running outside (this past January), I bought all the cold running gear I could find, and as long as it was above freezing I was hitting the pavement outside. I didn’t think it was a big deal to run outside when it was 32 degrees as long as I had my running ear band. I never did make the connection that the reason I found it so easy to run in the cooler temperatures is because I get hot when I run. Like, really hot. Like so hot that I look like my head is turning into a tomato. You know, kind of like Violet Beauregard’s whole blueberry situation in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

So I mastered 32 degrees, and as the temperature went up into the 50s I compensated by taking off some layers. When I was a running novice, I read that the ideal temperature for running was 55 degrees, and I thought that was nutty. That was obviously too cold to be running outside, right? Apparently not. Now it’s 85+ degrees out, and it’s only the first few days of June. The heat is on here in the city, and I’m scrambling to figure out what to do. The springtime answer was to take off layers, but there are only so many layers to take off. Short of running down the street naked, I’m at a loss. I got a hydration belt, and a mesh top, and they helped a bit, but last night’s run still left me looking like this:

IMG_2225

So running friends, I implore you, how do you train for fall races, when the summer weather leaves you with red faces?

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