Friday, March 23, 2012

Hills + Heat Wave = No Fun!

I can't believe I'm even typing the words "heat wave" in the middle of March.  This weather is so crazy.  Yesterday, it hit 80 degrees!  Seriously, our normal temperatures are 30 - 40 degrees at this time of year.  The lilac bushes along my driveway are sprouting leaves, which doesn't usually happen until May!  It's just so bizarre.  But, like all good things, this too must come to an end.  Today's temperatures were lower and next week is going to be in the 40's and 50's.  There's even a chance that we could still end up with a big snowstorm in the coming weeks as it is not uncommon to have a March or April snowstorm in Upstate NY.

I have been running outside during my lunch hour, and it has been difficult to adjust to running in the high temps.  Two weeks ago, I was running in 20 degree weather, and my body is still in cold weather running mode.  I usually have time to gradually adjust to warmer weather running, but this was not the case this past week.

Yesterday, I decided to do some hill work during my lunch hour.  The college where I work sits atop a very steep hill and we have a pedestrian road that runs parallel to the main road.  I use it a lot during my summer runs.  The hill is intense!  If you look at these pictures, you'll see what I mean.

This is the first thing you see when you look up from the bottom of the hill.

Then, after you crest the top of the first steep part, you see this ahead of you.

But wait, you're not done yet.  This is the last section of the hill.

The total distance of the hill is about 1/2 mile, and it's really steep.  I don't know the exact elevation because I forgot to wear my garmin yesterday, but I do know the elevation is pretty intense.

Since it's quite the climb, it's a popular spot to do hill work. 

Yesterday was tough.  The intensity of hill work combined with the hot mid-day temperatures and glaring sun did a number on me.  I really felt it and ended my run really sweaty and a bit overheated.  I only ran the hill six times, which is just over 3 miles, but it did me in.  The rest of the afternoon I was exhausted and felt like I couldn't get enough to drink.

I love this warm weather, but I definitely do best in regular spring/fall temps of around 50 degrees.  That's my comfort zone.


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