It’s mid summer here in Qatar, a not so great time of high temperatures and extreme humidity. Simply stepping foot outside the door makes you question your mortality as you’re slapped in the face by the furnace like heat.
It’s a time of year only Gulf dwellers can ever really relate to and a reason why I and hubby Steve cannot wait to bid farewell and get set up in Spain permanently operating Ultra Trail Spain running holidays. I’m looking forward to leaving the oppressive heat and intense humidity behind. We feel we’ve done our fair share of crazy hot summers.
As a tribute however, I’m going to try and give those readers complaining about feeling hot but not living in the area an idea as to how hot a desert summer feels to a runner.
Please note what follows is no exaggeration, all of the below have happened either to myself or those who will remain nameless ☺
You know it’s hot when:
1. Your weekly long run starts at 1am in an effort to beat the heat. Problem is it’s still only just teetering at a low of 32C and it’s plus 60% humidity at best.
2. You’re convinced your handheld is leaking…only to discover it’s your sweat running down your arms and dripping off your water bottle.
3. You can only get to 7km before you start to squelch in your running shoes and leave little wet footprints in your wake. There’s so much sweat running down your legs it overflows the tops of your shoes.
4. Your heart rate flat-lines when you’re still warming up aka walking.
5. The elastic holding your shorts up fails! The weight from the sweat you’re producing simply pulls them down (and is probably the main reason why it’s never good to go commando in this part of the world!)
6. Your long slow run pace is a full two minutes per km slower than your equivalent cool weather pace.
7. Your post-run pee is the colour of creosote.
8. Your long run consists of running the same 50m stretch, backwards and forwards, past a big hotel that leaves its doors open and has brilliant air con.
9. You’re downing 800ml of fluid every 8km and still thirsty.
10. A puddle appears immediately you stop. Yup, that much sweat is pouring from you.
Over to you desert dwellers; what would you add? Comments please.