If you haven't heard, large portions of Florida and Georgia are on fire. To date, we have something like 400 wildfires burning in the area, meaning that everyday we are enveloped in thick smoke and the news is full of air advisory warnings. This is really throwing a wrench in outdoor training, though we've been lucky enough to start early in the day when the smoke is least bad. It seems to really come in later in the morning. It's getting to the point where Downtown (I work for our Downtown association) looks like a zombie movie in the making. As I look out my office window everyday, I can see the streets becoming smokier and smokier - and on days when it's really bad, like today, it seeps into the office, causing watery eyes, runny noses and a general feeling of sensory irritation. Walking outside in the morning, there is always a fine layer of ash covering cars.
The road where we do our Sunday long rides also experienced quite a bad fire, which is thankfully out now. Riding along the road, which is a coast road, is sobering though, with the ocean on one side and the other side a charred wasteland that stretches on for a few miles. You can taste the flavor of acrid, burning wood as you pass it. I've resisted the urge the last few weeks to stop during my ride to take pictures. I'm moved to both document it but also just to mourn it. I know that wildfires are a cycle, but it makes me sad to think that places like Okefenokee Swamp are in danger of burning completely.
Living in Florida, you can pretty much train year round outside. This time of year, when it's 100F out during the day, and still 80F before the sun comes up, the heat is something to deal with. But this is new, this inability to go outside really. It's weird to not be sure if you can run outside because the smoke might not dissipate by the evening.
I wanted to post pictures, but Blogger is being stubborn. I've never quite seen anything like this.