When I registered for the Chicago Marathon, I had forgotten how hard it can be to train through the summer heat. Well, I didn’t entirely forget but I shrugged it off, thinking that this would be a typical summer with empty promises of hot weather.
Let’s keep in mind that this is Canadian hot – so nothing near the hot, dry heat that is felt through many parts of the United States and other parts of the world. In Southern Ontario, I have to get up by 6:30 so that I can run in cooler temperatures, not at 4:30 like my Floridian friends. But it’s all relative.
This past week, we had the first real heat wave that we have had in two summers. On most days, temperatures were around 32 degrees (about 90F) but, when you added the humidity, it felt like 38C (about 100F). What exactly does that mean? At my hot yoga class on Monday night, they turned off the heat, closed the curtains to keep the sun out and we still walked away drenched; even then, it was hotter outside than it was inside.
Training-wise, the heat took its toll on me. I ran my long run on Sunday and went through two bottles of Gatorade and lots of water in the 6 hours that followed; that was a personal record. On Monday, I went to hot yoga at Power Yoga Canada; I trained with Lions Valley Athletics on Tuesday night, another sweat drencher. On Wednesday night, due to family commitments, I kept my run short – 8K in feels like 35C heat. By Thursday, I was done.
I had had it with the heat. It, quite simply, had tired me out. My feet were slightly swollen and I wasn’t sleeping well at night. On Thursday, when the Littlest Dude asked if we could spend the whole day together, which meant no running for me, I knew it was time to take a day off. I needed the physical break but, more importantly, my son needed me.
Of course, I stressed over this. I knew that the day off alone wouldn’t matter in the big picture but I worried about the drop in my weekly mileage. I started to calculate ways to make it up over the rest of the week. “Do I need to drop mileage next week too?” I wondered. And what about next week’s mileage?
“ENOUGH! It doesn’t matter. It is one lousy day. And it is one day that, for whatever reason, the Littlest Dude wants to spend with you.” My inner voice set me straight.
And, as the week is wrapping up, the day off didn’t matter. I ran yesterday and today, as planned, and I will tomorrow. What matters is the Littlest Dude and making sure that he realizes that I am there for him when he needs me. And when I do head to Chicago, he will be there, looking out for me.