My Floridian Experience!

I can’t believe I’m up and running at 6.45am, in 85+degree heat, with humidity of 88%. I must be mad! Not only is this challenging me mentally, but physically too, and there are mornings when I feel physically sick after my run!

I have to say I’ve  surprised myself at my commitment and motivation in wanting to get up early and go for a run, rather than stay snuggled up in bed.  It’s all been trial and error though in finding a time in the day that doesn’t completely drain my energy! I’ve tried running later in the morning, late afternoon and late at night, none of which have worked for me as temperatures sored to 100-degrees.  So an early morning run it was then!

I’ve never run in such blistering heat before, so I thought it best to take it slowly! I started with a distance of 1-mile, building up  to 3-miles without stopping. Today I stretched myself and ran 3.30 miles, which felt more like 6-miles.  I set off feeling fresh and comfortable, but by the 2nd mile I’m drenched in sweat, gasping for air, glasses steamed up, and legs feeling like lead weights. I feel stressed, hot and bothered! Remind me again why I’m doing this?

There is a bridge I have to run over (see photo), which seems to go on forever, the uphill part is at near walking pace, but the downhill is a time to pick up speed. Love that bit! After that stretch its running on pavements, with the scenery being fairly monotonous as I leave the St.Lucie river, and head towards downtown Palm City. This particular bit I really struggle with, all I can hear is my breathing, the pounding of my foot as it touches the concrete pavement, and the falling of beads of sweat running down my forehead. I look at my watch for distance, time and pace – somehow time seems to pass slowly! My  mother used to say  “a watched pot never boils.” I’ve learned not to look at my watch so often, and instead take in the scenery.

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My mentor Sgt. Mack suggested I have a little mantra to help me focus on something else rather than my running,  which has helped, particularly when I turn to go home. The sun is often just rising, and the colours of the sky are simply stunning, but  within minutes the sun becomes a ball of fire, it’s blinding!  Head down I push on, singing my mantra out loud ” What doesn’t kill ya, makes ya stronger.”  I sheepishly look around, to see if there is anyone in ear shot. Come to think about it, what does it matter, as what other idiot would be out running in this heat!

Running in this climate  initially took its toll on my body, I have felt beyond exhausted, and have questioned myself constantly “what I’m I doing, this is crazy.” But, over the last 4-weeks I’m amazed at how my body has slowly acclimated to the brutal, Floridian climate. Mentally I feel stronger, more determined and confident.  So far it’s been quite a journey, and an experience I’m not going to forget!

By the time I get home I should be powering the streets of Milton Keynes, well in my dreams I will be!

 

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