Saturday's temperature was in the mid-80s with a heat index in the low 90s. It was also scheduled to be a six mile day. I knew if I forced myself to go outside - when I was sweating just walking 20 feet to the car - that I would last about a mile then give up. I didn't want to quit my long run so I went to the Y. I figured the mileage was more important than one more day on the pavement.
Was it cheating? Absolutely, yet it was also the only way I would make it through six miles. Even inside it was still in the 80s but the humidity was somewhat controlled. I normally try to eat as salt free and sodium free as possible, but I intentionally ate salt in the morning, hoping to hang on to some fluid. I don't know if that made a difference, or what it was, but I felt great throughout the run.
The entire six miles I was overcome with a calmness and knowledge that of course I was going to finish. I forced myself to drink every half mile or so, but for the most part I wasn't even thirsty. I didn't want to interrupt my flow for anything, even water. Was I "in the zone?" And if so, how did I get there? More importantly, how do I make it happen again?
When it was all said and done I finished in 61:30, by far the fastest I've ever done the distance. Even better, the last lap - the 60th was the fastest one.
The irony, of course, is that the next day was cool and cloudy and would have been perfect to run outside. Ah well.