Summer Running Is the Freaking Worst

Summertime is grand: lemonade in the hammock, family vacations and cookouts, lazy days and not a care in the world.

Huh? Whoever says sh*t like that isn’t a runner.

When I turned my calendar to July, I came to the sickening realization that summer is not even close to being done. It seems like the kids have been out of school for years already, but nope, only four weeks. I’ve been sweating my face off for a few months, and I still have a few more to do so, and the only bright spot I can see about running in the summer is how bloat-free I am due to constant dehydration.

But that’s not all. Oh that’s not all. Here are all the reasons summer can kiss my ___.

1. All the Kids, All the Time

In all honesty, I love being home with my kids in the summer. But all the tricks and tips I busted out to keep them entertained when I run, well, let’s just say the magic has worn off. For the past few weeks, I’ve cut my warm-ups at the track from two miles to one mile and I now consider the walk to my car the cool-down, just because they can’t watch me run another lap without going crazy and I cannot handle whining for even the two minutes it takes to run a lap.

Even the tricks I use on myself to get through runs with the kids home don’t work any more. I’ve done so many treadmill runs that I’m starting to run out of Grey’s Anatomy reruns. I’ve given up on most of my #ExtraSalt this summer because of my lack of time when I’m not on mom-duty, and I’m just crossing my fingers that what I did during the school year will tide me over. Don’t get me wrong; being home with my kids in the summer is great for family bonding. It’s just not so great for chasing PRs.

Taken shortly before I melted into the pavement and died.

2. The F*@&$*n’ Weather

I’ll go ahead and state the obvious: it’s freaking hot out. But here’s the kicker: which kind of hot are you going to endure on your run today?

Is it the life-sucking, breathing-through-a-snorkel-feeling of humidity that comes early in the morning, even though it’s *only* in the 80s? Or is it the burning, seeing-the-heat-on-the-pavement hellfire that comes when the sun comes up and the humidity goes way down to 70%?

And I know that “humidity is poor man’s altitude training” and “summer running makes fall PRs” … but I can assure you I don’t give a crap about either of those things when my shoulders are sunburned and I haven’t fully inhaled for four miles.

3. Chafing

Read poor Pimento’s tale of chafing woe, and cringe in empathy. We’ve all been there, when suddenly the BodyGlide that worked just fine on your thighs in the spring proves itself ineffective during your summer runs โ€” within the first mile.

Summer running usually means I have to invest in a few extra tubes of lube, and nearly every run I find a new place I’ll need it. Today I realized that I chafe between my ass cheeks when I’m going for a long run, and last week it was my lower back. As much as I usually look forward to the post-run shower, in the summer I find myself fearful of how badly they’ll sting.

4. Bugs

Gnats in my belly buttons, and on my arms, and in my teeth.

Sometimes I can’t decide which summer winged annoyance is worse: mosquitoes, horseflies or gnats? Sure, the mosquito bites drive me crazy hours later, but there aren’t a lot of things grosser than picking dead gnats out of your belly button. Except maybe picking them out of your teeth.

When I went on vacation to Maryland last month, I was re-introduced to the vermin of the East Coast, which include stink bugs. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a stink bug on the run, they’re pretty much exactly what they sound like and smell just like you’d guess.

Luckily for me, I was so sweaty and filthy that the smell almost didn’t faze me. I can’t wait for winter when all the bugs will go back into hibernation.

5. Where My Schedule At?

If you’re a Type B kind of person, you probably love not having a schedule in the summer. I’m jealous, because having a complete lack of consistency makes me crazy. Some weeks I do track workouts on Tuesdays and sometimes it’s Wednesdays, but it’s never at the same time because I’m waiting for the kids to wake up.

There are days when I can get in six miles on the treadmill before the kids get up and there are some days I’ll be able to do eight, but I’ll never know for sure until I’m doing it. I’m the kind of person that likes to map out my workouts in the beginning of the week and then check them off day by day, and this summer it’s kind of been like I’m writing workouts on slips of paper, then throwing them all up in the air and saying F it.

I’ve got almost two months of summer to go, and I’ll be counting down the days until I can ease up on the pre-run lube and keep the insects out of my teeth. And after that, I’ll probably start complaining about running in the cold.

Are you one of those freaks who loves the summer?

I am a stay at home mom and group fitness instructor from South Texas. I love reading, wine, and travel. I write about trends, injury prevention and maintenance, and satire. I am training to break 1:30 in the half marathon sometime soon, and for the 2017 Boston Marathon.

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  1. I feel you! I can’t imagine trying to train right now with our crazy schedule and the kids home much of the time. I never would have guessed that it was WAY easier to run with babies than it is to run with small people who have conversations! Oh and I still hate trying to get my sports bra off in the summer, especially after one of those humid runs.

  2. Um. Yes. All of this. Throw in an ankle twist on a trail a few weeks ago and my type A-ness is in full on panic mode.