Last week’s workouts were done in a literal haze. This week, smoke from the wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington descended upon the Seattle metro area, filling the normal blue skies of summer with a thick haze and significantly lowering the air quality. By mid-week, our air quality registered worse than that of Beijing – certainly not good conditions for running. I’ll run in a lot of conditions – cold, humidity, rain, snow – but not unhealthy air quality.
I’m incredibly grateful that we aren’t affected by wildfires like we were last summer – or like California currently is. Wildfires are absolutely devastating. Sure, they aren’t fun to train through, but what upsets me the most is knowing how many peoples lives are being completely thrown into upheaval.
Monday: 7 miles easy
I ran Ollie for 7 miles along our normal easy day route, thanks to a cooler mornings. At first, I thought it was simply foggy out, until I caught a glimpse of a red sun peeking through the clouds. Sure enough, more and more haze descended upon the area throughout the day.
Tuesday: 6 x 3 minute intervals (7 miles total) & strength training
The wildfire haze was worse on Tuesday morning. Haze blanketed the skies and the smell of smoke tickled the nose. However, the air quality was within the moderate zone, and it still wasn’t as bad as last year when ash rained down upon our cars overnight. It certainly wasn’t ideal running conditions, but it wasn’t in the dangerous zone yet.
With the wildfire haze came stagnant air and high humidity, but at least the temperature was reasonably mild. I knew I could complete my workout outdoors just fine, especially if I focused on the hard work and not the weather conditions. After a 15 minute warm-up, I ran my 3-minute repeats on a half-mile loop. My intervals were all within the 6:22-6:28/mile range, covering 0.46-0.47 mile. The workout flew by, even with the oppressive haze!
The gym was packed when Ryan and I went to strength train, so I adjusted my workout based on the equipment available. I ended up with a pretty good strength workout, even though I couldn’t do all of the exercises I wanted. I finally progressed the height of my box jumps, even with fatigued legs.
3 sets of 10 kettlebell swings (35 lb)
2 sets of 8 kettlebell single leg deadlifts (I intended to do 3 sets, but a barbell rack opened and I seized the opportunity)
3 sets of 8 barbell push presses (45 lb)
4 sets of 5 barbell back squats (65 lb)
3 sets of 10 TRX inverted rows
3 sets of 5 box jumps
3 sets of 10 deadbugs
Wednesday: Rest day
The air quality has worsened to the unhealthy zone, so I opted to rest on Wednesday in hopes that it improved after another day.
Thursday: 6 miles easy
A thick haze still lingered over the sky early in the morning and I wasn’t sure if it was fog or smoke, so I ran on the treadmill just to be safe. Surprisingly, the treadmill wasn’t that bad. I set the display to show moving scenery and the incline to vary automatically.
Friday: 12 mile long run
Sometimes a less-than-ideal long run happens. I had planned on 13 miles with the last 3 at half marathon pace. I chose a route with a few steep climbs and by the time it came to pick up the pace, I just couldn’t sustain it at the appropriate effort. I called it a day at 12 miles and figured I would try again next week.
Saturday: 5 mile run
A brief respite from the smoke meant that we could take Ollie out on a run. The poor guy had been cooped up for most of the week and had excessive levels of energy that our apartment could not sustain for too much longer. Ryan, Ollie, and I enjoyed a run along the river, giving us all an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors before more smoke rolled in on Sunday.
With wildfires spreading throughout the Cascades, we opted not to hike. Instead, I did a 20-minute Pilates workout, which felt so rejuvenating after the week of running. We spend the rest of day cleaning out our garage and watching movies as more smoke rolled back in.
[Tweet “A week of half marathon training through hazy weather via @thisrunrecipes #runchat #weeklywrap “]
How was your week of running?
What’s one condition you won’t run outdoors in?