Embrace it…

Zen Jasper

Somehow the weekend always ends up busier than the week.  I have a three day weekend, since the daycare is closed today, but we have a full day of speech, errands, and swimming.

The weekend runs happened.  Nothing too big this weekend or next.  I had 16 Saturday and ran all kinds of paces, but none to be too proud of.  Sunday I had a fantastic pre-dawn run with Pancake at Brushy Creek.  We saw tons of deer and hummingbirds.  It was a beautiful morning, and we had a nice 7 miler together.   Then, headed home to Greek yogurt pancakes, and the Olympic marathon (Meb is just amazing…what a smart race he ran).

I’d like to talk about the heat though.  So many running friends scale their miles back over the summer.  I get it…it’s hot out there.  My approach is to meet the heat head on.  It’s a fact of life Texas running is brutally hot about 6 months of the year.  That’s a long time to hate it.  I much prefer a 60 degree morning, but you work with what you’ve got.  Early morning running helps a ton when it comes to avoiding the heat, but you end up with 75-80 degrees, and the highest humidity of the day.   You won’t find me out running in 101 degrees at 5pm, but I try to avoid dropping runs over the summer due to heat.  I just slow down and don’t worry.  It is depressing to see some of the times I produce, but the conditions are what they are.  I take a few extra calories with me on the long run, and make sure I always have some kind of electrolyte drink and not just plain water.  I know there is a lot in the running press right now that electrolyte drinks are not needed, but in my experiment of one, I KNOW I get headaches later in the day if I only drink plain water.

One reason I love a fall marathon is that it keeps me motivated all summer.  20 mile runs are a lot better on a 50 degree day than starting at 5 am and it’s already 80 degrees, but all the hard training works to your advantage later when it cools off.  It’s pretty amazing the difference the temperature makes in effort.  In another experiment of one, I translated my heat running into running at altitude.  It pretty much put me right in the mix with Colorado natives, and I felt no effects of the altitude since it was only about 60 degrees.

All this rambling is just a plea to my fellow Texas runners not to let the summers get you down.  I admit last summer with 110 degrees days and no end it sight was an exception…that was awful.  But this summer is a typical summer:  hot, humid, and the whole month of August is around 100.  But…it’s mid August.  We don’t have long.  Hang in there, keep running, slow down and bit, and enjoy the fact we have fantastic running trails in the Austin area.

And…it’s a great excuse to enjoy lots of water!

10 thoughts on “Embrace it…”

  1. I think ANY pace during the Texas summer is something to be proud of. This summer, when my pace has slowed to the slowest of the pack, I do notice one huge change. That is, that for the first Texas summer ever, I’m actually enjoying my runs. Previously, I just endured them. This is much better :-).

  2. Nice pep-talk:) However, I have a free choice to hate summer running in TX and take a break from long runs outside, do quality inside on TM and other things, and in general don’t grow hating running because of it. Besides, I have an end in sight – I will be leaving this place at some point, and regardless how far away this point of time now, it is something I am looking forward to. Besides, I used to live in a place where running in mid-summer didn’t equate misery. It’s kind of difficult to forget that:)
    Anyhow, fellow Texans, do what you need to do (including electrolytes, slower paces and substitutes), but keep on moving!

    1. Do what you need to do! I hear Oregon is heavenly for running, it’s on our list for vacation in the next few years. Maybe I can drag you out with me when it starts to hit the 60s. 🙂

      1. Back when Jurek coached me, he recommended to his clients (and did himself) to take 4 weeks off running completely, and then ease back for another 4 weeks. For normal parts of the country it’s mid-November till past New Year. In TX, I chose to have my season over in June:)

  3. I agree! I was actually starting to increase my mileage this summer and did a little too much and was forced to take a break for my shin. Otherwise, I had every intention of running through it. But it has been kind of nice to be forced to cut back in the hottest month. Slowly getting back out there now (in PA, where it’s nice and cool!) 🙂

    1. Sometimes I wish I was a triathlete, but I am a horrible cyclist and an even worse swimmer. Those skills would come in handy over the summer though!

  4. I am so impressed you are able to train for a fall marathon in the heat of summer in texas! I live in south Louisiana so I know how brutal summer heat and humidity can be. Keep it up and you will have a great race once the weather cools off.

  5. Love this post! Love the pics of Jasper and your attitude toward running in the heat. It is an awesome representation of how you face life too, head on with full determination, and never give up. I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you for being an inspiration of how to be tough 🙂

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