Not too long ago, I wrote about the importance – and the joy – of embracing the elements.
If I remember correctly, cold, wind and rain all factored in to the thoughts I had on that subject. It was about accepting the harshness of the elements and learning to soak in the uniqueness of the moment outdoors. Those are the times when nature reveals herself in new ways that few get to see because they’re too busy scurrying inside to escape those things that are, by conventional standards, miserable conditions.
I like running in the cold. I dig the ambiance of the world when it rains. And facing into the teeth of the wind on a run or a climb is just the kind of challenge that gets my blood pumping.
But there are times when you embrace the elements and they don’t love you back. Now seems to be that time.
It’s hot here in Tulsa. Real hot. Temps have been creeping up steadily into the 90s for the past few weeks, but now we’re headlong into the 100s, and the century mark looks like it’s here to stay. Last summer was a record-setter for Oklahoma – depending where you live, you saw anywhere from 40 to 60 100-degree days between late June and mid-September in Oklahoma.
It appears we’re on the same path this summer, perhaps even worse.
Running and training in this heat just saps me. It put a serious dent in my training last year, holding back my miles and short-circuiting my performance in the high country. I’m determined not to let that happen again.
My goal is to be more deliberate about hydration. To get outside and acclimate to the heat. And to be smart, not stubborn, about it.
My thinking is this: I want to improve my endurance and trim pounds. I want to take inspiration from the Tarahumara, the Kenyans and the Badwater veterans who train in the heat and overcome it daily.
This summer may not love me. Or maybe it will be a tough love. But I won’t shrink from it. The gauntlet has been thrown, and I accept.
I will embrace the elements, even if they don’t want to show me any love.
How are you dealing with the heat? What steps are you taking to train successfully when the temperatures top 100+? Send me your ideas and tips!
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