Respect The Weather

I woke up before my alarm today. That usually signals a good run, IF I go for one. I prefer morning runs to afternoon or evening runs, and not just because I can suffer from a little intestinal difficulty when I run too soon after eating. Sometimes even five hours isn’t enough time, ugh. (Too much “full disclosure?” This is a blog about training for triathlons, it could be SO much worse.)

I mostly prefer the morning runs since I live in Florida and the heat and humidity in the summer months only increase as the day progresses and often doesn’t let up. Or it does let up, but only because some freaky thunder and lightning are happening. (Tampa Bay is the lighting-striking-humans capital of the world. Go ahead, look it up if you don’t believe me, I’ll wait.) Not a good place for a runner to be.

Somehow I have logged much fewer morning runs than afternoon runs lately. It’s as if I’ve forgotten how miserable it can be to run in 88-106 degree/88-147% humidity. (If you doubt my scientific calculations of heat and humidity than you have clearly never ran in Florida in the summer.)

sunrise on the dock

This morning I reclaimed my common sense and ran before work. I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise over the inter-coastal waterway. See above.

The wind picked up just as I hit the beach trail and there was rain falling in the area of the bridge I use for hill repeats. See below. I altered my route slightly and managed to only get kissed by a few sprinkles. (Or spit on as some around here call it.)

Treasure Island beach trail with impending rain

I’ve read many Ironman race reports lately and a common theme is to “respect the distance.” I totally get it. 140.6 is a monster. An attainable monster with focused unrelenting training and some good luck and a ton of support from your loved ones and possibly fairy dust, BUT it can be done if you have all of the above and “respect the distance.”

Sprint triathlons just don’t summon the same respect and they shouldn’t. Is it respectable to race sprint tris? Obviously, yes. But 13.35 or even 16.6 doesn’t command and demand the same respect as 140.6. (Probably the reason you don’t see anyone rockin’ a 16.6 bumper sticker on their car.)

Don’t get me wrong. I respect the sprint distance. It’s all I’ve done so far and it’s the distance I will be racing on July 27th. (Top Gun Triathlon) But I can’t help wonder if I would take “training” more seriously if I was actually afraid of respected the distance? An Olympic distance isn’t SCARY like a 70.3 is to me at this point, but I would salute and respect it and probably follow my “training plan” a little more consistently if an Olympic was my next race.

I do, however, respect the weather. Knowing that high heat/humidity coupled with poor hydration and non-existent heat acclimation can crush even a little ol’ sprint tri makes me wanna run thru the tears. (I haven’t actually cried during or after a run, that YOU know of.)

I will not be crushed. I will run. And drink water. And NOT cry.

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