Spring in the desert is so much fun – it is also one of the most beautiful times. We get perfect weather to be outside all day, can still wear more than flip flops, shorts, and tanks, and all the new growth is inspiring.
Running long distances, though – that becomes more of a challenge. It gets warmer, the temperatures rise earlier, and the air remains dry. This means hydration is both more important and harder to keep on top of.
With longer days, warmer temps start earlier in the day, too. Last year I went for a run later in the morning than usual when I knew temps would reach 90 that day. I told myself I needed to “get used to” running in the heat – we’d chosen this desert wonderland as our home and I convinced myself that I needed to acclimate…quickly. The result: I got so tired I stopped picking up my feet about a mile from home, tripped, and skinned my knee pretty badly about 2 weeks out from a half marathon.
The approach this year? I’ve started setting my alarm (on my weekend!) so I can get my long runs done before the “feels like” temp reaches the 80’s. As summer approaches, I’m prepared to leave the house while it is still dark to get in my miles before it gets too hot: I purchased a hat light. I think my gear is more prepared for that plan than I am, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
For now, I’m going to enjoy the weather we have right now, find all the flowers I can along my routes, and remember that running early means I still have my whole day to do all the weekend-things I want (including naps!).