Old Navy running tank,
$14.50 now $12.50
I’m still working out a routine for summer, building out from the baseball game and karate class schedules. While I haven’t exactly figured out how to grocery shop in a way that doesn’t make everyone cranky (because the kids hate the grocery as much as I do, apparently), I’ve managed to run 60 miles in the first two weeks of summer vacation. So go me.
I’m running super early in the morning, for a couple of reasons. I’m better as a morning runner, because I like to just get it over with — I feel better all day if I’ve already run. Starting the morning by crossing something substantial off my to do list makes the rest of the day go more smoothly. I also don’t like to be hot, which means that early morning is my only choice if I’m going to run (and some days, like today, even that fails me — it was nearly 80 degrees at 6:00 am).
I’ve dropped longer runs (anything over six miles) from my schedule, because they’re too hard to fit into my day. I’m leaving the house by 6:00 am to run, but getting up any earlier than that means waking Wade; running more than six miles means the kids are home alone after he leaves for work. Instead of trying to do two long-ish runs each week, I’m running 30 miles total for the week, in mixes of four, five, and six mile runs. I’m running six days a week this summer, but the distances are comfortable and I’m not feeling tired or achy, and having that 30 mile goal keeps me motivated.
I’m running more slowly this summer, too, largely because of the heat and humidity. Over the winter, I was running a 9:30 mile; this summer, I’m running something closer to 10:30, which is about right. According to Runner’s World, every 5 degrees over 60F slows your pace 20-30 seconds per mile. I’m also running slowly for the first half of my run — say, a 10:45 – 11:30 minute mile — to conserve energy for the last half of the run. Because I still want to run every step, and I don’t want to die. Starting out slow means I’m able to finish strong; it also means my overall pace isn’t that much slower than it used to be — I’m averaging 10:30ish for six miles, which is pretty good in this weather.
In addition to slowing down, I’m being extra careful about hydration. I’m drinking tons of water — at home, at the pool, when we go out — and limiting caffeine and alcohol. As a bonus, it’s easier for me to remember to get the kids drinking water when I’m already doing it myself, and since they’re out and about all day, we’re all benefiting from this.
I’ve also pared down what I wear to run. I’m not comfortable running in just shorts and my sports bra (although if it keeps getting hotter, I will probably have to go that route) but I’ve opted for shorts and a tank top, both in absorbent hi-tech fabrics. And I’m still putting sunscreen on my face, even at 6:00 am, because I’m crazy like that.
What are your strategies for beating the heat — or not losing your motivation to run in the hot summer months?