So, I wanted to pop on here real quick before another day goes by and I realize I've skipped another week of real blogging.
We have four little ones (ages 8, 4, 23 months and 8 months) staying with us this week while their parents are out of town, so I've been planning my runs for the mornings my daughters are home from volunteering and can be here when/if the kiddos wake up before I return. (I am not a 4:30 am runner...I like my sleep.) Today my daughter gets a prize, because the little boys got up 15 minutes after I left, and I was out for a 5 mile run. She's such a blessing!! The only help I asked from my girls for this week with the added kids was to watch them so I could get my runs in. I'm a blessed mom!
Secondly, and more importantly...
My summertime running is getting better and better. I was really dreading running in the summer. I thought I was going to have to run at 5:30 in the morning to have nice, cool temperatures to run in. To me cooler temperatures are the best runs. It's very humid where I live, so even if it's only 72 out it can feel ten degrees hotter.
In June I had my first long run of 7 miles and it was horrid. It was so hot and taking in a GU for energy didn't help at all with hydration, even though the packs say they have electrolytes. Then I was about to die when I got home. I couldn't get going for the longest time. I just laid on the floor, drinking a Gatorade and was like "OH!! WHY DID I PICK A RACE THAT I HAVE TO TRAIN IN THE SUMMER FOR?!?!" That day I decided I HAD to buy a hydration belt or I wasn't going to get my runs in. I had a 5 mile run a few days later and my head started hurting towards the end of the run, which I was sure was due to dehydration and really knew something had to change.
And things have changed. I think I have figured out what works best for me.
Before I ...
- Rolled out of bed, got ready and went running within 20 minutes of waking.
- Felt like my legs were dead and wished I could run later in day, but knew it would be hotter later.
- Started getting headaches towards the end of longer runs and knew that was probably the beginnings of dehydration.
- Came home and felt like I really had to work hard to recover and get going with the rest of my day.
- Dreaded my morning runs and felt like they were going to be major undertakings during this summer.
Now I ...
- Set up my travel french press the night before with coffee grounds and water and put it in the fridge, so the coffee is brewed by morning.
- I have coffee and half of a protein bar while I spend some time in devotions. Basically, I wake up. :)
- About an hour after I've gotten up I'm dressed and headed out to run.
- If I'm running over 4 miles I take my hydration belt, if I'm going over 6 I also take a GU energy gel as well.
- I start out nice and easy allowing my body to set the pace, knowing I may be a little slower due to the heat, but it's okay. (That's another post entirely.)
- I enjoy my runs, even as I wipe the sweat from my brow or feel the sting of it if it drips in my eyes.
- I don't dread my runs, and can once again get excited about where all this training is leading me.
One big thing that hasn't changed? The time I go out. It's still about 7:00-7:15 am, and it's still about 72 degrees with 90-93% humidity.
The icing on the cake?
This morning I ran 5 miles in 57:00!!! I wasn't even worrying about pace today, so I was super thrilled when I could tell I was running faster. When I finished and realized I had sustained a faster pace for the duration of the run I was in heaven.
I think making those simple changes to how I approach my summer runs has helped me as I acclimate to the warmer temperatures, and now my pace is beginning to speed up again.
Plus, nowadays I come home, drink down a low-cal Gatorade, have some breakfast and can get on with my day no problem. No more dying after a run, but the temperatures haven't changed.
(Since my daughter was up I had her take some pictures of me with my hydration belt...*giggle*)