Monday Motivation + Bouncing Back From a Training Disaster

Don't put off your goal, attain it. #motivation

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I did everything right.

I went to bed early(ish). I ate healthily all day. I hydrated like a beast. I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I had my Gu's packed and my water bottle filled.

And yet I still failed to complete my long run on Sunday, derailed by the one thing I couldn't control: the weather.

See, the reason I got up to run so early was specifically to beat the heat. I don't live in Arizona, so it's not like it gets blazing hot, but anything about 75 is much too steamy for me. And I guess I did beat the heat. But not the 100% humidity.

It seems like such a lame excuse, but humidity absolutely has a significant impact on my ability to run. I felt like I was running through solid air. I was completely drenched in sweat and it was much harder to keep up any sort of pace before I wanted to walk again. And every time I walked, I cursed living in Indiana, where I have never enjoyed summer. 

There were very good reasons for this, apparently. Turns out that it actually is harder to cool off when it's very humid because it is more difficult for sweat to evaporate

The risk of overheating or heat exhaustion is higher during humid workouts because the body is working harder to cool off in the saturated air.

Relative humidity is the amount of water in the air, and when those levels are high, the body struggles to stay cool. The more humid it is, the more water there is in the air, and thus the evaporation of sweat is more difficult. In this case, sweat stays on your skin, signaling the lack of evaporation and cooling.
— Active.com

Additionally, humidity can affect your pace and heart rate, the degree of which will depend on the actual temperature. The same article I linked above suggests it takes at least two weeks of training in humid conditions to really get used to it. Of course, I learned all of this after I made it just 4 miles into a 9 mile run.

So, I felt like a failure. Nine miles was supposed to be my distance PR. It was going to be a big day for me. Instead I spent the day feeling kind of let down.

Where's the motivation here? I suppose it's this: I'm not going to let this derail me. One failed run is not going to define me or my ability to complete this race on September 24. There were perfectly valid reasons why yesterday's run was crap. I'm going to learn from it and move on. 

Determined to succeed

Determined to succeed

I might (and probably should) do some more training in the humidity, but more important to me is completing my runs so I'm prepared on race day. This likely means more indoor runs, not something I'm particularly looking forward to, but that's another post all together. For right now, I'm just going to find a way to get it done, one way or another.

How do you deal with the humidity?

Should I just move out west?