I ran yesterday and today.
I'm running tomorrow and the day after that too, but that's not important. The thing is, I couldn't have had two different runs if I would have tried, and it was all due to heat.
See, I normally do my runs in the wee hours of the morning. It's cool, there's no traffic, and the run just seems to go better. Yesterday, however, I slept in and when I did wake up, the kids asked that I not run and that we spend some time together instead. (How do you say no to that?) The easy choice was to run on my lunch at work instead.
Since I was working late shift, lunch rolled around at 4pm, and I set out as soon as I could get changed.
Holy shit was it hot.
I know it wasn't Texas hot, or probably even Chicago hot, but for my area of Canada, it was pretty fucking hot outside.
And that run sucked. I sweated and sweated, and it felt like I couldn't get my pace under control. I hated it halfway through, and only finished it because I was so far out and had no choice but to run to make it back to work on time. (Looking back, I could have hitch-hiked, but would you pick up a sweaty guy who's breathing hard on the side of the road?)
In contrast, today's run was smooth as silk. My pace was good, it was hard but not too hard, and while I was sweating, it was more of a trickle than a waterfall.
And that level of comfort made all the difference.
After yesterday's run, if someone would have asked me why I ran, I would have to them it was because I was obviously crazy. Today, my answer would have been one about challenging yourself, the serenity, and the sense of accomplishment.
Funny how 5 or 10 degrees can make a difference in performance and outlook, isn't it?