At first, I'm rarin' to go. I'm thinking that the weather ain't really so bad, and the breeze is kind of refreshing. I pass a lot of other fools out there, walking, running, rollerblading, biking, dogwalking, wheeling. Everyone seems pretty chipper, including me. I notice things; I imagine things; I work through the problems of the world in my head; I focus on technique.
There are a lot of Canada Geese that make the riverfront their home, so you have to watch where you step on some parts of the trail. Lately, there has been a pair of white geese with grayish wingtips hanging out with them. I'd like to think they're snow geese, but are probably renegade domestics. As I toddle along, I pass one goose standing on the path just kind of looking around. I say, "Hey, man - 'sup?" He honks quietly under his breath and I swear it sounds like "Nothing much." I almost do a double-take. Chuckling, on I go.
Further on, they're taking down the festival tents from the weekend and blasting "Every Step You Take"...seems appropriate! I settle into my easy pace of between 13:00 and 14:00 min/mile. Everything seems to be going according to plan. My heartrate is good.....then at 4 miles I have to turn around and retrace my steps. No more breeze, just sun baking my tender Northern European flesh into the asphalt (dang those malfunctioning MC1R genes! I can almost feel the freckles erupting despite SPF 45.).
I bravely continue on my merry way, starting to feel different sensations: I innately feel the difference between asphalt and concrete; the sun feels like it's drilling a trepanation hole in my skull and my feet feel like I've been fire-walking. I suck back more water and start to question my sanity - mad dogs and Englishmen, you know. It is now 88F and still very humid...quite a quick rise in temp. I am no longer chipper.
At 6 miles I decide to take a quick rest in the breezy shade of a hill. It doesn't take long for me to recover, and also to realize that this is an exercise in futility. I am not used to exercising in this heat/humidity. I do not like exercising this heat/humidity. I do not ever WANT to be used to exercising this kind of heat/humidity. The hamster-wheel-to-nowhere in my nice, cool basement gym is starting to sing its siren song. I should do another 2 miles or so on the river and then head up to Starbuck's (about another 2 miles). Instead, I abort mission and head up the tree-lined streets towards air conditioning and chilled coconut water. 2.27 miles later, I'm ensconced in a chilly chair at SB's looking out the window at the now 92F/60% humidity world, happy to be trembling with the cold. Hiking in New Mexico isn't like this...it's a dry heat.
PS - I would end up doing the rest of the distance on my treddie.....
PPS - there was a heat alert warning today, duh. Tomorrow, a heat alert level 1 (humidex higher than 104F). No outdoor stuff for me tomorrow!