Mango’s training log 6.11.17 – Summer Training Secret Weapon

I have, I think, a bit of a summer-training secret weapon. I’m a complete wimp about cold weather, a nervous Nellie when I run in slush and snow, and the worst at wind sprints, emphasis on the wind. But I do know how to deal with heat and humidity. And here’s my secret… *drumroll* : I’m just resigned to being a soggy puddle within 10 minutes of stepping out for a run.

That’s it. Full stop. The rest is common sense. Freeze your handheld water bottle, take in electrolytes on the run, stuff ice in your bra or bandana, wear sunscreen and a hat, run before dawn. The secret is there is no secret. The secret is that what you’re really training is your mental toughness. Remind yourself: fall PRs are forged in the summer heat.

In high school, we’d often have PE classes and sports practice at 8.30am or 4.30pm. After the morning PE sessions, we’d all change and have to trudge off to class, still perspiring long after the running was done. (Don’t get me started on enduring a classroom full of sweaty teenage boys!) There was no secret then, either. You just endure.

I’m often tempted to compare my summer-pace self to my winter-pace self. Part of me still believes deep down that this is my real fitness level and that in the winter I’m just getting a cold-weather discount. Most people believe the inverse, that their winter self represents their true fitness level and they’re just slapped with a summer ‘heat tax’. Neither is quite accurate…

But my intent for this summer is ‘Run the season you’re in’. And that’s not just summer or winter, but also the stage of life you’re in, whether you feel up for a few sustained seasons of challenging and competing with yourself, or are pregnant but still want to jump into some fun races, or if you have other work, family and life commitments. Don’t compare yourself this season to yourself in another time. Just run the season you’re in. So – here we are.

This was a much lighter week than usual because of weekend fun plans and because I needed some rest.


Monday – Recovery after Sunday’s 5K. 2 miles on treadmill, 2 on elliptical = about 45 minutes.
Tuesday – off, started on my summer reading pile

Wednesday – 4.5 miles out and back to the grocery store. 0.75 mile walk home.
Thursday – 4 miles easy
Friday – 4 miles easy in the morning (11:00ish pace) – 2 miles with a friend, got home, kiddo was awake, 2 miles with him in stroller at his request!
Friday afternoon was my only time this weekend that I could possibly have done my long(er…ish) run, but by Friday afternoon I was toast. Skipped the long run. No regrets.
Saturday – off for an idyllic toddler-paced Cape Cod day: breakfast at a bakery, trails, petting all the dogs, seeing the seals at the aquarium, nap, ice cream, and beach, with a stop at a pub for dinner on the way home.

Beach day!

Sunday – Warmup + 1 mile in a 26.2×1 relay on the track. 7:13 (insta-PR – the last time I raced a mile was 5th grade). By late morning it was 34 degrees C/ 93F. Scorcher. We had to sneak out because the kiddo was under the weather and grumpy (isn’t cold season over yet?). I’m never there for the group photo any more, but I am there.


The next marathon training cycle begins for me next week (the week of the 18th). I’m trying not to psych myself out. I actually registered for the marathon the other day. Stuff just got real.

Tropical transplant to the chilly Northeast. Professional writer and researcher, cantankerous editor, mom to two! inquisitive children, asker of inconvenient questions.

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  1. Ah, I love these stream-of-consciousness posts. And your toddler beach down sounds absolutely heavenly. The other day I ran with my shirt off, and was amazed at 1. How much difference that extra 1 degree cooler made, 2. How soggy I still became, and 3. How many people checked out my tummy, and 4. How little I cared.
    That counts as running the season I’m in, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    p.s. In response to your last post about how to get the miles in, I’ve begun taking advantage of long incubation periods in the lab to get some hot middle o’ the day runs…woof!

    1. Love it! That extra single degree makes a difference. I do still get astonishingly soggy though. If you run shirtless what’s left to absorb the sweat? Your bra and shorts. Not enough short material? Your socks get soggy. It’s trickle-down…something.

      Lab downtime – that’s good multi-tasking! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. All summer I just tell myself, “Think of how fast you’re going to be when the temperature drops in October!” I mean literally every day, because otherwise I don’t think I’d make it through July. And for sure not August because that’s usually the worst down here. I’ve concluded the worst part is when my ponytail drips down my back, so if I wear my hair in a bun, I instantly feel less sweaty. Also with the humidity here, stopping means you start sweating more because you’ve lost the wicking wind you’re creating by moving. So I try to avoid stopping.

    The relay sounds super-fun and I’m excited to follow you’re training for Baystate! (Which I keep confusing with Bay Shore, in Traverse City, which makes no sense because I lived on Baystate Road.)