Run: 7.5km @ 43min (that good ol' Rideau Canal pathway)
If there's no humidity in Hell, then I'm no longer afraid of going there. Ottawa has entered it's stereotypical summer where the days are filled with high humidity, bad air quality, perpetual thunderstorm risks, and a searing sun. Days like this really aren't uncommon because of where the city's situated, and after 12 years of living here, you'd think I'd stop bitching about it.
Being relatively close to The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway makes Ottawa susceptible to humidity on windier days, as the moisture is pushed upwards. Combine that with hurricane season, where the Atlantic storms often track up towards eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, and the fact that we're in a valley, Ottawa quite literally catches weather and holds onto it. I'm told that Ottawa's not really the best place for allergies for similar reasons (thankfully, I don't have to worry about that).
Today's run made me think about doing another set in the pool - more for a cool-off than a cool-down. I was supposed to do a 32min run with a 12min tempo in the middle, but decided against that given the "feels like" measure of 40C. The air was thick, heavy and hazy, and I could feel the added work needed just to breathe it in. Deciding to do a simple fun-run of about 7.5km, I simply headed towards Bank Street. About 1km in, however, there was a pair of runners that I recognized - and they're usually just flying along. I decided to see if I could stick with them for a while. Well, 10min later I was still with them at about a 4min50-5min/km pace, holding a surprising 90%maxHR the whole time (I fully expected it to be higher given the heat). I decided that I may as well do the next 2min at tempo, and turtle back the ~3km and use it to acclimatize to the heat.
The heat does strange things to me (maybe it's not just me, but I'll deal with that later on). I could feel my muscles ache under the sun, my face get flushed, and my calves and shin muscles threatening to seize up. Taking on water at the fountains along the way made my stomach wish it didn't take on the fluid, but 5min later it was fine. I took one walk break at the 32min mark, and it took just over 2min to drop my heart rate from 92%max to 78%max - usually it takes about half that. My mind just plain doesn't like it, and it shouts at me for going through these conditions (damn self-preserving instincts!).
All in all, however, I'm doing good after that run and I have recovered very well. And I'm sure that this will do nothing but help me for the weekend. Glad I got out.
Also glad that I'm seeing some of those training benefits coming out - and none too late!