With that said, if you do have this day off, I hope you are getting out there and enjoying it however you can!
We have the day off together as a family, now that my girl's grandparents have graciously returned her to me. I had my doubts that I might get a letter written with suspiciously good penmanship for a 2-yr-old stating that she would not be returning for the rest of the summer. But she came home and I couldn't be happier to have my sweet girl back. Sure, it's been nice to go about my daily routine without having to wrestle with twisted seat belts, negotiate which stuffed creatures stay home and which can come with us to the store, and drinking a whole cup of coffee each morning while still warm, but I never could shake that "I should be doing something feeling".
It's kind of like sitting in a bustling room when suddenly the noise drops out in one of those weird moments when everyone has reached a lull in the conversation. The quiet after all the noise feels... awkward. It doesn't fit. That's how I felt after a few days without her here.
Still, the time apart always gives me something new to appreciate about my awesome child. To me, she's the brightest kid on earth (naturally), but it's great to get her back and to hear so many other people say the same thing. When I'm facing a tough day, all I have to do is think about getting to see her after my shift or the next morning when she comes into our room to jump on us (like she did today). I often wonder how our men and women in uniform can stand being apart from their families to fight other peoples' battles. But if it were me, fighting for what I stand for to provide for my girl, I would do whatever it takes to make sure she has the best future possible. How could I not? Just look at her!
|How did I go nine days without this face??|
On the running front, it's getting steamy out there. It's that time of year when I need to consider buckling down again to do my runs earlier in the morning or retreat indoors to the treadmill. I'm still in base-building mode for whatever Fall race I settle on, so working around the heat (or braving to run in it) isn't so much of an issue. But as my mileage increases I know I'll have to be careful with my runs. Some running-specific complications include (from Runner's World and my handy-dandy exercise physiology notes):
- Cramping. We all know an electrolyte imbalance can cause us to cramp, but for me this is not limited to the muscles of my legs. One of the more uncomfortable side-effects of running in the heat for me is that my digestive muscles cramp, sometimes for a few hours following my run. I hope I'm not alone.
- Higher heart rate for the same pace and distance. Ever sail through a run at race pace on a cool spring day, only to find yourself sucking wind a month later when the temps start to climb? Simply put, as our internal body temperature rises, we need more O2 to keep our bodies moving. More O2 means our hearts have to work much harder to pump oxygenated blood through our bodies. Well-conditioned runners will have to decrease their work load regardless of ability to remain within their target HR range (American Council on Exercise).
- The ambient temperature is not an accurate measure of how hot it REALLY is. Heat indexes can exceed 90 degrees, or even push 100 even when your thermometer is still reading just 85. It's the humidity that makes it hard for your body to cool itself off, because your sweat doesn't evaporate. Running in the heat AND humidity is dangerous for any runner.
- If you've had a mild spring or been exercising predominantly indoors, do not dive head-first into a big training run in the heat. It takes at least a week to become acclimated, so start with just 15-20 minutes outside a day and slowly build from there. Don't forget to bring fluids!
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Happy Memorial Day and Happy Running!
How are you going to enjoy your 3-day weekend?