Running in 90-degree weather is hell.

And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I set out for my run at 9:30 this morning (not as early as I had planned, not as late as I’ve been going the past few weeks). My Garmin picked up a signal immediately (this does NOT usually happen), I had some good tunes on my playlist—I thought it was going to be a good run. I’d planned on running 7—4 out, 3 back. (Turning around when you’re more than halfway done makes the second part feel way shorter…because it is.)

I’ve been walking more than I’d like to on my recent runs, because IT’S REALLY HOT. Running in NYC in July in this heat wave feels like I’m running but not going anywhere. I fight for each breath, for each step. Still, I fight on; each step is bringing me closer to the Chicago Marathon.

Anyway! I didn’t stop at all to run the first four, so I expected the last three to be as easy as the first four; the second part is usually the best part of my run. Today, miles four through seven were absolute hell. My hip flexors were tight. My quads were tight. My breath was ragged. (Thank you AccuWeather, for telling me that it is a “good running day” and a “bad asthma day;” a bad asthma day also equals a bad running day.)

I hurt like hell, walked a ton and just generally didn’t want to finish. I stopped at about 5.6 to lay down on a bench and stretch. I was hugging my knees to my chest (partially as a stretch, partially because all I wanted to do was roll up into a ball). A couple stopped and the man told his girlfriend/wife that the stretch I was doing was really good for your back. We got to chatting, and she was training for an Ironman! She was halfway through a 20-mile run. If she was doing 20 in this weather, I could certainly finish the last 1.5 miles of 7. So, I did. Slowly, but surely. I got what’s turning into my tradition of a post-run bagel:

Later, I went to Cowgirl Seahorse for dinner. After not eating since the bagel, I was famished. We started with coconut shrimp, and then I got the “captain’s platter,” which was lots of seafood. I was so hungry that I didn’t equate “battered” with fried, and what came was a giant plate of fried fish. I was too hungry not to eat it, but boy did I regret that decision. Fried food when you already have a sensitive stomach (and don’t usually eat it) AND have run seven miles that morning? Hell.

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