Sunday, August 26, 2012

Climate Change

With my recent cross country road trip, I got the privilege of experiencing the climates in the rest of the country. Seattle was usually between 50-60 degrees during my morning run.  The rest of the country does not have that kind of luxury…but I kind of like that! Here’s what I experienced:

Idaho:  HOT, dry run in the afternoon along a lakeside bike path. No one else was silly enough to be running at that time of day; I only saw cyclists braving the intense sun.  Coeur D’Alene Lake looked enormously enticing, so much so that a dip was necessary post-run. The water was the perfect temperature; cool but not cold. I didn’t want to leave! 

The lake that I dipped in
Wyoming: Hello altitude! 4500 feet + heat made for a very challenging run indeed.  There were limited running paths, but I found some sidewalks. This place made me feel lucky that I had a trail like the Burke-Gilman so close by in Seattle!
Beautiful vistas in that part of the country

Iowa: Another lovely lake side bike path in Sioux City! And more Heat!  In Iowa, the humidity started building up, and I couldn’t bring myself to keep my shirt on for the whole run. I could feel my body struggling to regulate my temperature/sweat output. Your sweat becomes less salty in humid weather to maintain electrolyte levels, and I think my body was trying to figure that out without totally bonking in the process. 

 Chicago area: More trails! This trail that I found was wooded and shady, which was a much appreciated change from the past few days. Lots of other folks were out and about and it was another great sunny day (As it turns out, the sun shines pretty consistently in the rest of the country during the months considered ‘summer’). I did have one serious mishap on this run. As I was running, and minding my own business I might add, a chipmunk ran out right in front of me…and I kicked it on accident! I had no time to change my gait to avoid it! I KICKED A CHIPMUNK PEOPLE!!! I said out loud, “Sorry little guy” and proceeded to feel really bad the rest of the run despite the fact that he ran off without too much damage.

Chicago proper:  My first race in hot + humid weather AND my first showerpill experience.  The Terrapin 5k was an evening race along the Chicago water front with great views of downtown and the lake. I slept in the car on way to the race, so I knew I was in for a screaming PR (not!). After ‘warming’ up, which should really be called ‘pitting out your first shirt’, it was time to lace up the flats and try not to pass out during the race. Heeellloooo flat legs. Oh well. What did I expect after driving for 4 days straight? Got my rear across the finish line for 5th female and proceeded to drip for another 20 minutes. Highlight of the race? Meeting Kim, another Oiselle athlete!!! So exciting! After the race I busted out the shower pill to make myself decent before dinner, and it worked wonders! I wouldn’t mind it being a little bit bigger, but overall it was a life saver! 

Oiselle meet up at the Terrapin 5k

 West Virginia: A bizarre run. The part of town I chose to run through consisted of boarded up buildings and totally deserted streets. There were hardly any cars out either. I couldn’t decide if I should be scared or not so I just ran quickly as a compromise. Finally around 8:30am people started driving around and coming out onto the streets. Some guy in overalls yelled at me, “Don’t you know you ain’t supposed to be runnin’ on a Saturday mornin’? Heh heh”.  I forced a smile. Yikes.

What West Virginia lacked in running they made up for in sunsets

North Carolina: Holy moly humidity. They seem to be on the 80%+ humidity plan and it hasn’t been cooler than 70 degrees since we’ve been here. I kinda love it! I’ve put my Oiselle clothes to the test and they’re performing beautifully! I have honestly never been this sweaty from running EVER in my life. My shins are sweating. My shirts are soaked. My eyebrows can’t hold back the sweat dripping from my forehead. It’s intense, but not bad! I love the sunny days and the general warmth.  Sitting outside in a tank top and shorts at 10pm is totally pleasant and nice. Alternatively, walking anywhere during the day typically requires a wardrobe change once you get home. The best part of North Crackalacka so far is the beautiful trails around the nearby lake.  Can you beat these views??

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