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.
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.