2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

A Hot Afternoon Run

A Hot Afternoon Run

Most morning I walk with Grace, most afternoons I run with her, along the “ditch” that runs for miles in either directions as it meanders through our property. It’s an irrigation ditch, maintained by the local water works entity, and it looks like a natural stream flowing through the forest. The ditch provides a lovely path that is enjoyed by our neighbors whose homes are tucked into the trees. Regardless of the activity choice: walk or run, ride a horse or bicycle, push a stroller (the off road type), we all feel fortunate to have this trail right out of our front door.

Wildlife is abundant in our forest, on and off the trail. Fish, frogs, and many bugs live in the water, attracting birds of the usual variety as well as an occasional Great Blue Heron or Kingfisher as special guests. I have seen deer, black bear, raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, many times, especially in the early morning.

The ditch is much different in the afternoon—with more neighbors out enjoying, more dogs, more sunlight, and more heat than the cool and very pleasant mornings offer.  Grace likes it either way, hot or cool. Loves it, is more accurate, that crazy dog lives to swim! She is a familiar site on the ditch, running along with her soccer ball in her mouth, hoping for a passerby to kick it into the water for her to retrieve.

In preparation for a hot afternoon run, I ate a light fresh fruit salad snack around 3 PM, and drank 24 ounces of water. Off Grace and I went at 4:30, into 93 degrees of dry heat. She immediately jumped into the ditch to cool off and over the 30 minutes that we were out, she stayed wet as she chased the ball. Grace’s tongue decreased its’ flapping in the wind and her panting diminished as she cooled off. I, on the other hand, was very aware of the heat. Sufficient water intake prior to going out had been vital—I was now using my own natural cooling system by perspiring to combat the internal heat. And OK, maybe I was panting a bit as Grace had been earlier, but being well hydrated kept me from losing too much fluid from sweating or panting.

After hosing off the dirt and removing the stickers from Grace’s coat, we retreated to the slightly cooler inside-of-the-house temperature. Over the next hour, I drank a 32-ounce bottle of cool water and felt my internal temperature normalizing. Exercise in the heat may not be a choice for everyone; if that is what your schedule allows, plan wisely—hydrate well prior to and after enjoying a hot afternoon run.

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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