Dry Martini: Hot in Here

Admittedly, I’m a wuss when it comes to summer.

One of the reasons why I left the south — I’ve lived in Texas and Tennessee — is that I just can’t hack the heat. Give me -10 in a snow squall and I’ll toss on another sweater, then go on with mushing my dogsled. Once the mercury rises above 75 I’m all, like, the fluids in my body are boiling and I’m about to fall down dead.

And that was even before I started running. Now, to quote my New York brethren and sistren: FUGETABOUTIT.

July, August, and the beginning of September are my personal betes noir. I just can’t even, to quote the Teen. Yet, I do anyway because you can’t change weather. Then, I complain.

If you can end your summer run in a pool, do that.

Two weekends ago, I did my 12 mile long run in a furnace. I didn’t take any pictures because I was afraid my phone would burst into flames when I took it out of my pocket. At one point — and this is 100 percent true — I saw a house cat and a squirrel sitting right next to each other on someone’s back step and panting because it was too hot to chase each other. This could have been a hallucination, now that I think about it. Even with my handheld water and a Gu or two, I’m not sure I wasn’t getting silly from the heat.

Then, rather than do the sensible thing and head further north for a quick summer vacation, we drove five hours south to the Jersey Shore because we love to GTL.*

No. Not really. We have good friends from college who live near the Shore and we relish any opportunity to get our kids and dogs together for some romping. And, yes, we did go to Ocean City to take in the Boardwalk one evening. It is a wonder.

While I'm sure every nutritionist in the world would disagree, Johnson's popcorn and a cheese stick are a wonderful post-run snack.

New York City marathon training, however, waits for no Boardwalk funnel cake. On the schedule was an easy 4 mile run on Friday and an easy *gulp* 14 mile run on Sunday. I’ve tried a few different routes in our college friends’ neighborhood during the years but none that I loved. I also didn’t want to do the 14 miles as an out-and-back, mostly because I would be in a place that I don’t know terribly well, which means I’d be hard pressed to describe my location if I had to call for help.

Besides, it dawned on me that I could simply plot a 3.5 mile loop from said friends’ place and run it four times, which would give me ample opportunity to refill my water bottle or shove ice in my bra.

My directions for the run, helpfully waterproofed with some packing tape.

I treated Friday’s run as a test of my loop; then tacked on an extra half mile to hit my goal. The good news: there were a couple of tricky turns because South Jersey doesn’t believe in street signs, but I puzzled it out. The bad news? It was so hot and humid that I wasn’t sure I could make it those four miles, much less 14. Short of growing gills during the next 48 hours, I wasn’t sure i could handle breathing hot air that was 95 percent water.

My innate pragmatism might be what got me through the run. I knew that as long as I was sensible about hydration and electrolytes, I wouldn’t die, even if the conditions made me think I could. I also knew that it would be a run stuffed full of suffering — but I can deal with suffering. It’s not my first choice, mind. Still, I have mad coping skillz, yo.

So that’s what I did. I coped. The run was slow — oh so slow — and miserable. I preferred the rain that fell intermittently to the unceasing humidity, if only because it washed away some of my gritty sweat. Around mile 7,  when the peasants in my gut staged a revolt and I had to run into my friends’ abode to make an emergency pit stop, I realized that the 3.5 mile loop was one of my better ideas.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 2.36.28 PM
Because when you find change on a run, be sure to rub it in.

The only thought that got me through that last loop was the knowledge that I could go sit boob-deep with an ice cold NUUN in our friends’ pool once I was done. By the last two miles, I was walking a lot more than running and knew that that was the absolute best I could manage. And I just kept going, because I wasn’t in any real pain or on the verge of passing out. Queasy and exhausted, yes, but not in a way that seemed dangerous. A phrase, incidentally, that describes my 2016 so far.

So how do you deal with the heat, provided it is hot where you are? And if it’s not hot where you live, tell me if I can get a job there once I move….

*I’m told this stands for Gym, Tan, Laundry and was a repeating motif in MTV’s Jersey Shore.

23 responses to “Dry Martini: Hot in Here

  1. We are having a particularly hot summer in NNY, so the same as what you are experiencing. I run early when I can, run trails along the river, and take walking breaks. I run outdoors year round, and actually prefer the heat to the cold, snowy, slippery conditions.

  2. When I was doing a 17 miler during my marathon training it was 82* and 80% humidity at 7 am. My husband met me to refill my water at mile 10. Mind you by that time I had already stopped twice to refill it. I was crying and complaining about how I hated this and what in the world kind of madness had I signed up for. I was saying I was a poser and a fake and a fraud and why in Gods creation did I think I could handle this. He just sat and listened then asked if I was getting my butt in the car or telling him where I was going to be 3 miles to refill my water again. Yup I put the big girl panties on and kept going. These sucky runs will make you strong come race day. Sorry nothing to add as far as weather. Heat sucks. Humidity sucks. But you are a beast and a BAMR and you will succeed!!!!!

  3. Great job. You’ll feel like a rock star come fall with lower humidity. And, yes, I endorse the fully clothes plunge. Just remove electronics first. That was a slightly expensive lesson.

  4. I’m a Florida runner so much of my outdoor running is done in heat and humidity. I make sure I’m carrying iced water or nuun, depending on run length. I wear a running hat no matter the temperature and sometimes sunglasses to keep out the sun – somehow not seeing how crazy bright it is helps the perception of the heat go down a little bit. Otherwise suffer through it and the badassness that northern folk feel for running in a snowstorm or rain or really cold temps… I feel the badass for completing a 90+ degree run with 70% humidity.

  5. At the risk of making you jealous, irate and/or homicidal I’ll confess that yesterday I ran the first 30 minutes of my run wearing my new (love ’em!) Saucony arm warmers. Ahhh, summer mornings in Oregon. Plus I happen to know that a certain yarn store is looking for part-time help.

  6. I have started running in the morning. I can’t do anything above 90. (I also sign up for a lot of “supported training runs” (aka races) in San Francisco!

  7. Come to Montana Adrienne! We get about 4 weeks of “hot” and then the mornings cool way back down. It was 49 here this morning at 7 am. I am a southern belle transplanted here- so I get the heat and humidity and do not miss it. I thin our winters are actually “milder” than yours as well. It gets cold, but I agree with you, give me -10 over 95 anyday. Hang in there!

  8. The heat is the worst, next to wind! You need to come summer at my house in San Francisco.,,,,50 and foggy. Cause as Mark Twain said ” The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco.” And man, he wasn’t kidding!

  9. I also am a wuss when it comes to summer running! Any temperature over 60 feels like torture to me. Fortunately, the humidity is usually very low here in Eastern Oregon — but on the occasion it goes somewhat high, I feel like my legs won’t move. This week the nights have cooled nicely so we’ve been running in low to mid 40s! Heaven!

  10. Adrienne, you crack me up.
    Well, here in Minnesota, we’ve been dealing with nearly 100% humidity for what seems to be months on end. (I don’t know how that is possible. Isn’t it supposed to be winter for like 10 out of 12 months of the year here?)
    I don’t have any other coping mechanisms other than
    1. Run early
    2. Stay hydrated
    3. Stock up on Sweat X detergent

  11. On a humid 85 degree 20-miler in Massachusetts, I made multiple stops at Dunkin Donuts since they are EVERYWHERE and very air conditioned. They also kindly provided me with free ice, which melted instantly.

  12. Well the comment below is supposed to read “have spent my running years in….” But I guess just “spent” also works!

  13. Spent in Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia. But I like the heat and will take it any day over a cold. Absolutely love the waterproofed shoes! Been there, done that. Currently have an elaborate sandwich bag and tape system for waterproofing my iPod.

  14. Oh Ms. Martini you made my day once again! I love your hilarious honesty! To beat the heat and humidity on the east coast of Canada – Nova Scotia represent! I either run early morning – 6 am wake up 🙁 or late evenings after the kiddies are in bed – reflective gear! I have to admit though this heat is making me wonder why I chose a fall 1/2 as my first…..I’m longing for those chilly winter runs.

  15. Even here in Maine it has been hot, humid and dry this summer! I run in the evening, just before the sun goes down (bringing along headlamp and reflective gear!) or wicked early before things heat up. Good luck with your training! You’re doing an awesome job!!

  16. Since transplanting to this rainforest on the sun they call GA, I deal with the heat and humidity by avoiding it. I run on the treadmill in my basement. Yes, even the long runs…2-3 hours on the treadmill helps me build mad mental strength. One day in late September, I might emerge and try running in the actual outdoors. Since my actual race will actually BE outdoors, I guess I have to face up to it eventually. I hate humidity.

  17. Training for my first full here in humid Northern Virginia… I was beginning to think that I’d never run another 10 minute mile. But yesterday morning it was ever so slightly less humid and my BRF and I did a 5 miler in the 10’s. It was nice to know it was still in there. Hoping for nice, cool weather on October 30!

  18. Having taken your trip backwards, I am finding it is not the heat or the humidity that is getting me here in the mountains of Western NC. It is the elevation. I am now at approximately 2000 feet higher than I was in Upstate NY and the adapting is taking me some time. One person I talked to said it took them 8 months to get use to the elevation. I’ll muddle on, seemingly swimming through the humidity at a slow stroke, and get use to this.

  19. OCNJ is our favorite but as a former north-jersey-living-NYC-commuter I know the weirdness of south jersey that you speak of. And it truly made me LOL so thanks for that. (Although I believe GTL is more Seaside Heights)
    And yes, living in the SoJerz now I too despise heat. 75* in SoCal is waaaay different than 75 in dirty jersey so much that I find myself longing for a nice peaceful 18*F and sleeting run. Thanks for the laugh! Good luck in NYC!!

  20. In CT last week it felt like I was in a rain forest, luckily for me ‘all’ I had to run outside was my 14 mile long run (NYC training here, too)! I made the call to do 1/2 outside & 1/2 on the treadmill. Desperate times call for desperate measures?

  21. Here in “sunny” south Florida the heat and humidity get downright gnarly- so the schedule changes in the summer and an afternoon run becomes an evening run!

  22. See, even in Michigan it gets to be hot as Satan’s armpit, I swear! I run early, or late, usually and I also take a ridiculous amount of fluids with me. Ridiculous = Camelbak is vapor locked after six miles.

  23. Love your humor, as always! Down here in Georgia, my BRF and I meet at dawn to do our long runs on Saturday, which usually means a 6:00 wake up, at the latest. It’s still sticky and hot, but much better than waiting until 8:00 or later!

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