The only way to beat the Arizona heat these days is to start running as soon as the sun comes up. I started running at 6:15AM this morning and was still hot by the time I ended at around 7:45AM. I even ran the Scottsdale greenbelt which is mostly shaded and just a bit cooler because it traverses through a golf course and next to lakes and ponds.
I ran a total of 10 miles at a respectable pace of 8:26 per mile stopping a couple of times; once to consume calories (Gatorade Gel) and once to take the picture you see above. Herons were out in full force today; most noticeable were the Black-capped Night Herons fishing around the lakes of McCormick Ranch Golf Course. Their distinct white ponytail feathers were nicely contrasted against their black-capped heads as they keenly concentrated on passing fish. I wanted to stop and just admire them from a distance but ran on only to see a few Great Blue Herons and even a tiny little Green Heron.
By the time I was done with 10 miles, I was hot and exhausted; but satisfied. I was home by 8AM with my long run complete. From now until my blood test next week, my training will be easy and short. After the blood test though, it picks up rapidly!