It was hot out today. I had a several options of where and when to run. The PhoenixFit group was running on the canal starting at 6AM at Arcadia Park. The TeamInTraining group was running down at South Mountain Park at 5:30AM. Both routes are exposed to the sun and kinda far from my house. I decided to run solo on the greenbelt starting at 92nd and Shea.
I started running at around 6AM going south on the greenbelt. It was already well into the 80s and somewhat humid. The sun was rising to my left as gentle sunshine peeked through the eucalyptus trees. The grass on both sides of the running path was wet with fresh dew. I started slowly knowing fully well that today’s long 14-miler would be hot and sunny by the time I finished.
As I ran south, there was a detour sign because of construction. Instead of running the greenbelt, I ran parallel to it for about a mile before rejoining. The herons were out by the ponds today. I saw a few Green Herons, Black-capped Night Herons (pictured), Great Blue Herons and Egrets. As usual, the Mallards and Canada Geese were also out in full force too. An occasional Gila Woodpecker flitted by. I also saw a solitary grebe swimming in the lake at McCormick Ranch Golf Course.
As miles went by, it got hotter and hotter. I was comfortable but hot. I ran through a few sprinklers to keep cool. I was carrying my water bottle and Gatorade Endurance Gels for calories. I ate every few miles. After running around 6 or so miles, I left the greenbelt on Jackrabbit Road to start running towards the canal. At the 7.75 mile mark, I reached oldtown Scottsdale and refilled my water bottle, ate a few gels and started running back diagonally by the canal.
I was overheating by the 9th mile. The temperature was touching 90 and it was quite humid. I decided to stop every 10 minutes or so to take a 20 second breather to eat a gel and drink water. It was at the 13-mile mark that I was just about done. I stopped by Altitude Coffee Lab to refill water and ran into another runner. Her name is Maria. We ran the last mile together. It turns out that I know her sister (Christina) through work. Small world!
I ran 14 miles at an 8:41 pace in pretty nasty conditions. With my long run done, I relaxed for the rest of the day. Next Saturday is my 16-miler and it is expected to be hotter. Yikes!!