I've always thought of August as the hottest month of the year in North Carolina, but according to most of the statistics I've looked up on the subject, July is. That's fine with me, because it's plenty hot out there right now, and I'll be glad if it cools down next month. When I started my run today, it was about 75 degrees. When I finished, it was 80. At 7:30 a.m.! The dew point today was 75, which is considered by some to be dangerously high for strenuous activities. But if you live in the south, you pretty much need to embrace this kind of weather or just skip training outdoors for two to three months out of the year. Given my aversion to the treadmill, that's not happening.
The best I could do was to carry lots of water and slow down, so that's what I did. I had eight miles on the schedule and decided to take to the trails carrying two full bottles of water. While I'm getting used to running while carrying water bottles, it still definitely slows me down. So does trail running, and so does the heat. Instead of my planned 9-minute-mile pace, I ran about a 10-minute pace, and it still felt quite difficult to complete my planned 8 miles. Naturally, I was drenched with sweat by the finish.
Yesterday was the first "quality" workout on my Jack Daniels plan; I ran into town, then did the 6-mile DART loop with Adam and Chas at "marathon pace." My marathon pace is 7:48 per mile, but we ended up starting a little fast: 7:25. I tried to ease off a bit, but I was still quite fatigued by the time we got to the uphill Mile 4, which meant that I had to slow to an 8:00 pace. I managed to pick things up again for Miles 5 and 6, 7:51 and 7:49, and the overall average pace was 7:43, so pretty close to target. It wasn't quite as warm or as humid yesterday as today; I don't think I could have kept that pace up in today's weather.
Details of both runs are below: