As the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is now only 73 days away I’ve decided it’s time to devote some blog space to thinking about how I am going to cope with some of the major challenges we are likely to be faced with on this run. These are generally going to be things associated with location, travel, distance and time, as running in Florida is probably going to prove to be a completely different experience to any running we have done in the UK for a number of reasons.
So first on the list:- How will I cope with the heat!
Florida is hot 99.99% of the time. I mean it’s called the sunshine state for crying out loud!! Wales on the other hand is not! Not even in the middle of August. Its wet and cold 99.99% of the time. But despite the small idealist in me that thinks sunshine and hot weather all year round would be great, the majority of me actually quite likes the fact that it’s a bit cooler in little old Britain. I don’t tend to function well in the heat. Anything above 18°C (thats about 65°F for my friends across the pond) and I’ll find my little shady spot and stay in it. Numerous holidays to Greece have been spent watching foreign TV whilst in an air-conditioned hotel room because though the idea of 35°C sounded appealing the reality is not! I’m sure the only reason we manage the heat in Florida when we go is because we are in air conditioned queues and rides for a large proportion of the day. Certainly on our last trip in June I remember a few grumpy moments when no shade could be found.
Thankfully for us, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon takes place at night. SO NO SUNSHINE GUARANTEED!! WOOHOO! However that doesn’t mean it won’t be hot as night time temperatures in Florida in November could well be similar to our best daytime temperatures in the United Kingdom in summer! Being November though, it could go either way. When we honeymooned in Florida in March 2013 we spent the majority of our trip wearing jumpers because (suprisingly) it just wasn’t as warm as we were expecting. I never thought i’d wish for another trip that required layers but i’m sort of crossing my fingers for some jumper-wearing whether right now!!
I do feel that we are somewhat prepared for the potential heat though, as the last few months in the UK have given us some warm and humid weather (though not always sunny) and as our long training run’s have often taken place in the middle of the day, this was perhaps good training for what it may feel like at night during the Wine and Dine half. I certainly don’t feel good training in the heat – but at least I know we can do it. We just need to be extra careful to stay hydrated and remember to slow the pace to account for the rise in temperature and extra strain this will place on our bodies.
The other side effect from heat that i’m worried about is that in the past i’ve been known to suffer from heat rash whilst holidaying in high temperatures. I find it to be a particular problem on my feet (where my flip flops often rub) and I’m worried that this is going to happen again when we go in November. The solution here, i’ve decided, is to wear my comfortable but ugly (there not that bad really) shoes for the first few days of the trip to avoid rubbing them and subjecting them to a potential heat rash. Once that half marathon is done I can break out the flip flops in all their beautiful glory!!
Friends in warm places, any tips for adjusting to the Florida heat before the half??