May 30, 2013

Summer running has begun

I woke up feeling MUCH better than yesterday. It must have just been some weird stomach bug, but thankfully it didn't last a long time. After I got the kids off to school this morning, I ate breakfast and while I was drinking my tea, I thought about doing my long run today instead of tomorrow. Jerry is off work tomorrow, and it's a big day (he'll reach "Lifetime" status at WW!), so I'd like to spend some time with him.

I changed into my running clothes and decided to drive to a spot to run along a road that I rarely like to run on (the sidewalks are uneven, there are traffic lights, etc.). I wanted to keep my pace pretty slow today, and figured running in a different spot may help.

Running at a slower pace is really hard (mentally) for me, but I would really like to work on slowing my pace for my long runs--mainly to enjoy them more. With marathon training starting soon, I don't want to dread my long runs! And now that my big sub-2:00 half-marathon goal is out of the way, I don't feel pressure to run fast. :)

According to the McMillan Calculator, I should keep my long run pace between 8:57 and 10:16/mi. I decided to shoot for around 9:30, and only look at my Garmin once per mile to reassess.

It was hot outside. Like, reallyfuckinghot, and I almost changed my mind altogether about running. I know that those of you from Texas or Florida, or other hot and humid states, probably think that 82 degrees is a nice temp, but for this girl (who likes 30-40 degrees for running), it was HOT. And really humid.

I brought my handheld water bottle with me, because I knew I'd need it in the heat. I headed out for an 8-mile lollipop route, and then I figured I'd just do an out-and-back route after that to get in 12 miles. I started running at a pace that felt comfortably slow; I was aiming for 9:30. When my Garmin beeped at mile 1, I saw 9:29--not bad! Usually I have a hard time with judging my pace by feel. I really started having second thoughts during mile two. If I had been running at home, I probably would have done four miles and called it quits, but because I drove and parked somewhere, I was invested. I kept going.

I finished mile two in 9:30. Mile three is when I felt myself slowing down. Then miles four and five were on a gravel path through a park, in full sun, and I would have happily accepted a ride home if someone had asked ;) At that point, I wasn't sure that I'd even be able to maintain under a 10:16 pace! It's amazing how much the heat and humidity affect my pace.

Just before mile five, I stopped at a water fountain in the park and refilled my water bottle. I was really fighting in my head whether I should just finish the run at mile eight, when I got back to the car, of if I could stick it out another four miles. I debated this the entire way back! I stopped again for another water refill at a fountain about a mile from my car.

At around mile 7.9, I was stopped by a train. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty happy to take a legit break ;)  That was when I decided to do a compromise--I'd run out an extra mile and back, and that way I'd get in 10 miles--not quite the 12 I'd planned on, but not just 8, either. The last two miles felt like they took forever. During mile 10, I couldn't get my heart rate back down into Zone 3; it was in Zone 4, and even though I felt like I was going really slow, the heat was really affecting me.

I saw a billboard advertising $1 soft drinks/sweet tea at McDonald's, and suddenly I wanted a Diet Coke in the worst way (strange, because I am not usually a pop drinker). I thought about that Diet Coke the entire last mile, and planned to get one on the way home.

Finally hit 10 miles, and was SO happy to be done! I was completely drenched in sweat. I was really proud of myself for sticking it out, despite the heat.

My average pace was 9:57/mi. Average heart rate was 151 (goal was141-156 bpm).

On the way home, I drove through McD's and got a large Diet Coke. I drank the whole thing on the way home, and it really hit the spot. I spent a lot of PointsPlus the last couple of days because of my stomach issue, so I probably won't be getting a long run treat today.

I think part of the reason I love hate love running is because I feel SO good when I fulfill some sort of challenge. Today's run in the heat was a big challenge for me, but I felt amazing when I did it!


  1. I always crave diet cokes during hot runs!!!

  2. do you usually run earlier in the summer? I like to walk (...gearing up for a couch to 5K...I've never run in my LIFE) before 8 am here in S california (coastal- I'm a real heat wimp)

  3. Awesome Katie!! Mind over matter for did amazing.

    I am in Canada and the $1 drinks at McDonalds are my favourite part of summer. Hmmm maybe the only good part ;)


  4. That's amazing you did that in the heat like that. I think over 75 is too hot to run if it's in the sun. I just can't take it. People act like I am a wimp, but I start to feel really shaky and sick. During the hot months I usually get up really early and run, like when it's still dark, or I go to the gym and do the treadmill. Today the high was 88, and I went to a park with trails this morning where it's completely shaded, and I could handle that. People I know that don't run don't seem to understand how much hotter you get when running. A lot of times in the mornings here the humidity is 90%. It's terrible. I love running in the fall when it's chilly in the mornings and I don't feel like I'm going to pass out.

  5. That's WAY too hot for this Washington girl! Good for you cranking out 10 in that!!!!

  6. Your comment about just how hot it was made me spit water!!

    It WAS brutal today...DS#1 and I ran at 6:30pm and it was just so stinkin' awful. We were glad just to be done, who cared about the pace!!

    Great job on getting in 10 miles in that heat!!

  7. I would go home with heat stroke and be useless for a couple of days after. I have to really be careful. How do you recover from a hot run like that?

  8. Even though I prefer hot weather and it doesn't bother me to run, even in 90s+ degrees, I still run slower when it's hot. It drives me crazy because it really doesn't bother me the way it bothers some and I feel best when it's hot but I run slower and I don't even feel like I'm running slower.

  9. Nice work! It was HOT here in Wisconsin the last few days. (93 yesterday.) I rode yesterday and opted to strength train today. Didn't feel like baking on the sidewalk. Tomorrow that happens! Haha!

  10. I'm the same as you -- the colder the better when I run! I really struggle during the heat waves we have (it's generally pretty mild here) and if it's even 70 degrees in the morning, I'll skip that day. Our heat waves don't last long -- 2-3 days, generally, and it's usually the hottest day when it doesn't cool down at night, so I rarely skip a day for heat reasons, but it does help me make sure I get my run in first thing in the morning!

  11. AnonymousMay 31, 2013

    We're having perfect running weather. 50's and looks like it may sprinkle, but hold off for my runs! So diet Coke reminds me it's pretty much Friday! I drink a diet Pepsi every Friday. So religiously that I drank one on a Wednesday and was so thrown off the rest of the week. I love your long run pace. That's where I'm hoping to get this summer. My fall goal is to run a sub 2:00:00 half and you're where I need to be! Great post!

  12. AnonymousMay 31, 2013

    I live in the metro Detroit area and really struggled through my run this morning too. I got up earlier to beat the heat but the humidity really wore me out. I ended up needing to walk some. I wasn't sure if it was the weather or just one of "those" runs. I' m secretly glad you found it difficult too. Misery loves company, haha. We suffered but we finished! Yay us!

  13. AnonymousMay 31, 2013

    Not that I like to see you have a hard time but when it does happen it helps me when I have my hard runs.....I don't feel like it is just something wrong with me. If a runner like you can still have off days there is still hope for me yet :)

  14. It was hot out there yesterday! I sat outside during lunch yesterday and soaked it in, but to run in it? no thank you. :)

    But I dare say yesterday evening had to have been worse! So humid!

  15. I hate running in the summer! I think you earned that pop!

  16. Did you have any issues with your knees when you started? what do you recommend?

  17. Hi Katie,

    I had a question unrelated to running, but I know you are a cat owner and lover and thought maybe you could give some input or someone on this board could. There are two stray cats that used to frequent our yard and we would feed them a little, but they never would come near us. Then they left and never came back. Well, I think one of their babies that they had in our garage a while back was stuck in a tree last night. My boyfriend took her down and she has been glued to us since. She is super friendly and actually sits in front of our door as if she wants to come in. She just stares at it waiting. We just find it so unusual for a cat to just automatically attach itself like that to strangers. You think this cat may be domesticated and not a stray? She keeps rubbing her face against things and even made friends with the neighborhood dog that comes by as well to play. They became friends quickly. It was rather cute. They rub noses together and the cat will rub up against the dog and the dog just has this look of "What is this thing?" LOL. I just thought I'd get your thoughts on the behavior, as I've never seen a stray be that friendly.

  18. Great job- heat definitely is a challenge! Oh and it made me giggle for some reason to see you cuss in your blog- caught me by surprise for some reason!! haha

  19. I drink way too much diet pop--Diet Squirt being my drink of choice. Once in a while I'll get a Diet Coke or Pepsi when we go out, but that's just because restaurants don't have Diet Squirt. Speaking of McD's, I'm hankering to try their new De-Lite Egg McMuffins with egg whites. I think they're only 250 calories, maybe it was 210, I looked it up on-line a while ago, but I've forgotten exactly how many calories they are. But they're certainly do-able for a low-calorie breakfast. I just haven't found a good time to go get one. They also have a blueberry smoothie right now, that has a splash of pomegranate juice in it, I'm going to get hubby one of those. He drinks a lot of pomegeranate juice to help in his cancer fight.

  20. Always talking to ourselves in our heads lol. It's the devil and the angel on your shoulders for sure.

  21. Aargh. I hate humidity so much. I've been trying to run at the gym, but the treadmills don't have built-in fans, and it gets pretty muggy and stuffy in there too. /whine

    I find Jog FM really helps me stay on-pace. I run a 12-min mile right now, which is 130 bpm. You can put in your target pace, and it'll give you a list of hundreds of songs from all different genres that fit your target pace. I find that having my 12-minute mile playlist keeps me from running too fast (or too slow). Eventually, I'll increase my music to 11:30 to help me get used to increasing my pace. They have an app. :)

  22. Great job getting 10 done!!
    I used to be able to run no matter how hot but as I've gotten older I tend to hit the treadmill more often!!

  23. It was 93 here in VA yesterday, so I took my butt to the gym for a treadmill run. I started running this past January, so like you, I would much prefer to run in the cold!

    Your diet Coke story hit a sore spot for me....I gave up my diet sodas two weeks ago today! I wish my desire for them was gone. Now that I'm off the artificial sweeteners, if I crave a soda, I have to have it choke down the calories with a regular one. I haven't gotten that desperate yet.


  24. I don't run but I take my bike for a ride as often as I can.

  25. Great job on your run. That is some HOT weather, and when you couple temps like that with humidity it can be miserable. Awesome job sticking it out.

    I am always disappointed at my times when I run in heat, but you have to remember, everything is relative. I think that summer runs are good training because when you go to do a race at 7am and it's 55 out you feel ready to attack!

  26. Hey we have crazy weather here in Oklahoma too. But really, I prefer reallyfuckinghot over reallyfuckingcold to walk/run in! lol.


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