Wrapping up June

With only one more day in the month I’m left wondering what happened.  Where did it go?  With the a Summer Solstice already passed, the days now are already getting shorter.  It feels wonderful though at this time of year to still have daylight at 9pm, and to have the sun rising so early.

I started the month with a 10k race, but have just been training since.  Dealing with pure heat exhaustion almost every run, summertime here will certainly add an extra level of effort needed to crank out the miles.  I’m fresh off of four days of runs in a row, which is my best effort for the whole month.  I haven’t logged nearly enough miles considering I have a Half and Full marathon back to back in under three weeks, but I think I am giving it the most I have.

Work has been absolutely grueling, but at least I’ve been getting really good sleep because of it.  Add a four or five mile run to a 9-10 hour day working on your feet, and you will truly appreciate how I’ve felt the past six weeks.  I’m in much need of a break.  A vacation!

I do get a mini break in mid July, as I fly out to Denver for a weekend of racing.  I can’t wait to see Denver, and Aspen!  The Rockies!

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I recently joined the Beast Pacing team, and will be pacing the Aspen Valley Half Marathon.  I have paced a bunch of races in the past, but this will be my first as part of an official pace team that paces races all over the country.  I love to travel, so I will be pacing more events for them in the near future.

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The next day is Revel Rockies, where my goal is a Boston Qualifier at this beautiful marathon.  I cannot wait for the challenge.  Last year I ran 5 marathons in the first five months of the year.  I’ve only run two so far this year, and I have to say, I miss it.  My last marathon, New River, was almost row months ago, and I am missing the marathon high!

Just a few weeks after my trip to Denver, I finally get a vacation.  Yes, I love Las Vegas.  I’ve been there once already this year, but by the time this trip comes, it will be six months since I’ve been there.  I cannot wait!  I repeat, I cannot wait!  A full 10 days off.  I need it!

How is your Summer going so far?  Any big plans for races, or trips coming up?  June is almost over, so don’t wait too long, or the Summer will pass you by quickly.

Satan’s Ass Crack

Ok, I’m not sure where you live, but does it ever warm up to over 100 degrees there?  It does here.  Today is perfect evidence of it.  Thank God the humidity is only about 30%, otherwise it would be pretty much unbearable outside.  Not very conducive for a run later, I’m afraid.

Oh no, and don’t check the 10 days forecast if you’re not a fan of starting to melt the moment you walk out the door.  It’s a pretty brutal fact, and here it is….

6/16- 104

6/17- 99 (a nice chill down)

6/18- 102

6/19- 100

Then we have 98, 99, 99, 95, and 98.

Summer is here, and Satan is sitting his ass crack down smack dab in the middle of North Carolina.

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I actually went for a 3 mile run late yesterday when the sun went down below the tree line.  It wasn’t fun but I got it done.  It was like 92 at the time.  How will I ever endure the coming week?  I actually prefer running in the heat versus the intense cold, but these temps are making me really think hard about if that’s truly the way I feel.  I’m pretty sure if I cracked an egg outside on the ground it would start to cook today.

Historically, it doesn’t get this hot that often here.  I remember about seven years ago we had a Summer where we hit over 100 degrees like seven days in a row.  It was brutal.  The weather extremes these days are incomprehensible.  I will say this though.  I need to suck it up because winter always returns with a vengeance, and I truly don’t like to be cold.  So, as with everything else in life, I have learned to endure the struggle.  The heat must not affect my training that badly, as my Fall marathons are always faster than my winter and Spring marathons.

How about you?  Are you a cold or hot weather runner?  It seems around here that my favorite months for running are March and October

Persistence pays off

Well, I did it.  I got that twelve miler in yesterday late afternoon.  

Here’s how I survived the heat and humidity….

– two changes of shirt

– two bottles of gatorade

– three sweat buffs

-plenty of Body Glide (love this product!)

-two towels

-1 hour cool down followed by a cold shower

-relaxing on the couch for three hours

How do I feel today?  Contrary to how I thought I would feel, I woke up feeling fully recovered.  That’s what training will do for you.  I thought I was going to die, but I didn’t.  Persistence in training works.  Follow the plan.  Try to be smart about when you run, and how you run and survive it.  Give your body the rest it needs to recover, and by all means stay hydrated.  That is key!

So I feel good about the next long run already.  Training for a BQ attempt sure is different from regular training.  I know what’s at stake, and it keeps me more focused and positively impacts my routine.  I know I need to put in more work than ever before, so if I don’t, my BQ attempt will be lackluster, and I don’t want that.  I want to be ready on race day.  If that means sucking it up on really hot days, the that is what it means.  Boston doesn’t come cheap.  Especially for an aging dude that’s not in 100% good physical shape.  I don’t always watch my diet, and I should.  I have to keep focused on the prize.  Eyes on the prize, as they say.

As you step out the door during the dog days of Summer, remember that goal race.  Use that goal to get you moving.  Use that goal to better yourself, however or whatever that means to you.  Best of luck out there on the road.  As for me?  Two more long runs prior to Big Cottonwood.  An 18 and a 20 miler.  That’s all that’s left.  Well, that and about 100 other training miles between now and September 13th. image

Satan Called. He wants his weather back!

Man oh man.  I hate to complain, so I won’t.  I really don’t mind the heat, its the humidity that sucks balls.  Stanky, sweaty balls.  It’s not really fair when you can’t tell if you’ve dried yourself off enough after a shower, or if you’re already sweating again.  Ok, so I kinda complained some.  

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I have finally figured out just how draining humidity can be.  I just don’t feel like dealing with it, especially on a run.  It’s harder for me to psych myself up for a long run, when I know the minute I step out the door I am going to start sweating before I even start my Garmin.  

But run I must.  I can get through it, I know I can.  Trying to get myself pumped for three four mile hill loops tallying the magical 12 miles I am looking for today.  The temperature is 86, the humidity is 90%.  I’ve got two bottles of Gatorade at the ready, and will be lubing up with Body Glide before I get my shoes on.

The dog days of Summer have arrived.  Just in time for the height of my Fall marathon training.  Trying to find a happy place about it.  It’s just hard to run when you feel like you’re wading in a swamp.

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How do you deal with heat and humidity during your runs?  Any special tips or tricks to help beat the heat?  Please share.

Lackluster June but positive outlook

Looking back at June, I am really disappointed in the overall miles I put in.  I did manage 60 miles, but it’s my lowest mileage month in the past year.  I can look at it a few ways though, and I choose to look at it as a positive.

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First of all…. June was a busy month personally, aside from running.  The end of the school year for my sons, family in town and a graduation.  I also spent a good amount of time car shopping, which has put me closer, but not in a new car yet.  I have about five weeks left on my current car lease, so I have time still.

Secondly….I am really looking at June as a recovery month. Through the first six months of the year, I have run five marathons, one Half, one 10 miler, one 10k, and one 5k.  That is a lot of racing miles, and my body is in recovery mode.  I tried to decrease overall mileage in June in effort to let my body naturally recover and regain strength.

Most of my runs in June were short distance runs.  I am focusing on quality, not quantity right now.  Working on, or rather focusing my training on form and breathing.  I have been working the hills more than anything, training for a downhill marathon in September.  So, in the process of recovery, I am trying to really focus on technique, while working my quads.  I am teaching myself a new way to run downhill, which I need come September.

Up next?  July is always hot here, and most typically humid.  I plan on starting to mix in the distance training again in a few weeks, giving myself long runs every week, and increasing overall mileage back up to the 100 mile range for the month.  Looking back at my training log last Summer, I did a lot of things right leading into Fall, so I will use that knowledge to my advantage over the next two months.

Rest has been good, and runs have been high quality of late.  Here’s to a productive July!  Good luck in your training.

Marathon training in the Summer

I knew it would arrive.  Officially it still hasn’t arrived, but it sure feels like Summer.  Yesterday was in the lower 90’s, with oppressive humidity.  Today, much of the same.  It’s time to start planning that training plan for Fall, and how to have a successful cycle and beat the heat at the same time.

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When I look back at last years training, I am amazed.  One good thing about keeping a running log is being able to gleen some knowledge from what you have done right and wrong in the past.  From daily workouts to total monthly miles, keeping track of your workouts is important.  I’ve tried to adapt training plans from several I’ve seen online or in magazines because I just don’t believe that any one plan is better than the other.  You have to be able to mold and manipulate a plan so that it works around your home and work life, vacations, appointments, etc.  I feel this is especially important during the Summer months.  Sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense to run a 12 miler for instance, on a 100 degree day.  A Summer training plan must be kept fluid, to be successful.

Dont ask me how I did it, but last year my training in the Summer was amazingly successful.  It led to great rewards in all three marathons I ran last Fall.  After a lackluster training cycle this past winter, I have to figure out what I did differently last Summer that really set me up for success.  My running log sheds some light…..

Monthly mileage last Summer:  June 71, July 108, August 122, September 131.

All good numbers.  My conclusion?  More daylight during the Summer = more opportunities to run when it fits into my schedule and when the weather is more prime for getting that workout in.

Monthly mileage last Winter:  December 77, January 74, February 67, March 63.

To me that really tells the story.  I think commitment to getting in those miles is what held me back, and affected my race performance this past winter and Spring.  I really hate getting all bundled up and run in the dark.  I am much less enthusiastic to train in the winter.  Today’s brutal heat and humidity have me wishing for those days again.  I vow to change my strategy this year.

Mixing in some recovery this week, I really need to get started with training if I want to have a successful Fall.  I’m going for that BQ in September, with a back up race (Chicago) in October.  Let’s see if I can learn from my mistakes and grow as a runner and finally get myself to Boston.

Good luck with your Summer cycle.  How do you beat the heat and maintain your enthusiasm during the Summer months?  Any tips or tricks?  Please share….