Running on the Sun


New Jersey temperatures soared to 96 degrees, but I ran the farthest I ever have in my life!

Photo from

I’m pretty sure flames sprouted from my shoulders during yesterday’s run. The sun bore a hole under my skin and camped out there, sparking a few mini-fires – like a circle of campfires lighting around a lake on a summer evening. This is what I was mentally comparing the tiny heat flecks on my exposed skin as I put one foot in front of the other yesterday.

It was so hot even I – who hates AC, gets cold when the temp dips below 72, and drinks hot coffee while languishing in the sun – started to seek refuge in shade.

Yes, I brought water and my cell phone in the event I flattened on a sidewalk of heat stroke, left to a good Samaritan to call 911. Given that I rarely pass many people along my Hudson River running path, and that you can’t rely on the kindness of a stranger to help anyway, I took the proper precautions. Although stupid enough to run in scorching heat, I’m not stupid enough to run ill-prepared.

My plan to keep pace at a light, slow, jog worked for about 3 miles – then I walked – a lot. It was a productive walk/run mix, where at times I felt the most supreme running-on-air-runners-high of my life! It was an amazing run, jolting me into happyland. I felt like my body was actually strong enough to carry me. I wasn’t physically tired and even my breathing had gotten better. It was all working like a walk/run machine…until I hit around mile 9, at which point I made the decision that running was over. I kept speed walking for the remaining 3 miles back to my home and called my parents to catch up on family happenings.

I know I’m supposed to wake up with the birds and run at 6am but that doesn’t fit in with my more raccoon-like sleep schedule.

It might be masochistic, but I love the heat, so in general this isn’t a deterrent, except that it drains energy quicker. Due to this, I instead made the workout goal to simply hit 13 miles even if I walked a lot of it. (Which I didn’t do, but 12 miles is pretty close!) The current goal is to consistently get myself used to those distances, even if the whole thing isn’t running or jogging pace. I speed-walked as I tapped this post out on my Blackberry – at least I multi-tasked. What can I say? Three hours gets boring if I don’t mix up the workout!

During the non-running portion of the epic workout, I reveled in a long summer’s walk. I also humored myself by searching “sun” on my iPod, which pulled an eclectic mix of songs from “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes to a sole-pushing techno version of “Let the Sun Shine”, that 1969 flagship song, creating a topical playlist for such a summer day.

The heat became a non-issue in the middle of the run, but wickedly laughed at me when I realized I’d run out of water miles ago, and my tongue had the same consistency it does when I wake up after a long night of salted margarita glasses and shots of tequila. By this point, I felt like a slug being salted by the sun.

At least I stayed entertained and didn’t waste the hot day. I overloaded at brunch on whole wheat chocolate chip banana pancakes in anticipation of a long run and couldn’t leave those carbs unused!

Note to anyone who actually CAN run marathons, and trains in a more appropriate manner – I know my “training” ways are unconventional, but in general, I don’t do well by the book. I will cross that finish line on Sept. 19th come high or hell water – and never promised to wake up at 6am to make that happen!

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About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
This entry was posted in fitness, Half Marathon, Hot, marathon training, Run, Running, Training and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Running on the Sun

  1. Jen says:

    Oh I totally get it – right there with you. I actually ditched AC about 4 yrs ago and did all my long runs mid-afternoon in the summer to prep for the NYC Half when it was in August. I still don’t have AC and I have to admit, I can handle the heat much better than ever before. I wish I could bottle it up for when the bone-chilling cold comes! Nice run!

  2. Eric says:

    It’s been in the 90’s here with heat indexes nearing 100. I generally don’t run (unless late in the evening) when it’s that hot out. Perfect excuse for a rest day, and we all know us runners need to be better at taking days off. At least I do.

  3. Rubia_25 says:

    Great job on going the distance in the heat! The heat really can make running difficult but the way I see it – after all of that heat training, when it becomes fall, you’ll be a speed demon.

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