This summer has been cruel to runners. I love running in cold weather. I’m faster and do not look like I personally dug the Grand Canyon when I finish. Summer running is not for me, but I do it. Fall is my favorite season of the year and I try to fill my schedule with races or one big race. Training in the summer is a must for fall races.
Last year, I ran the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon and then the Cincinnati Half Marathon one month later. I hope as this running boom grows more races will be scheduled in late fall/early winter. I would totally run at least a half in December, January, and February! Weather may be a problem, but that could be part of the lure of the race. Just a thought.
These thoughts generate from my horrible experiences with running in the heat this summer. Off on a 10 mile trail run, the heat drained my energy at mile 3. I hate mile 3 of any run or race. If I can survive mile 3, I am good to go any distance. This day, I could not survive mile 3. From 3.0 to 3.6, I developed a headache and insatiable thirst. I wore a 2-bottle fuel belt that day, so I was prepared for thirst – but not to this extreme. I drank my water supply, plus a PowerBar gel. At some point after 3.6, my head began feeling as if it were crashed between cymbals with each step I took. After vomiting, I knew to stop. Usually 7pm runs on this trail are cake for me.
I called my husband and thankfully he was still in the area. We met at a point where the trail crosses a road and I was never so glad to sit in his vehicle with a big fat powerade. As I chugged powerade and rested my head on the seat, he asked, “Why didn’t you finish?”
I glared at him. He probably saw his life flash before his eyes as his expression shifted from curiosity to oh crap I shouldn’t have said that. He recovered with, “Your iPod tan lines are sexy.” Good recovery! Chicks are suckers for compliments, especially in a low moment like I was experiencing.
This shows how brutal Mother Nature can be despite all preparations. I wore light running clothes, sunglasses, and a fuel belt. I had hydrated well all day and the previous day. The temperature was 93. Mother Nature 1. Me 0.
It is important to know how to play it safe when running in heat. Gear, as in a hydration belt, may be necessary or timing. Many people run in the mornings. This is not an option for me. My morning begins at 5 am and my body rejects getting up earlier. I often run at night, on the dreadmill, or before the hottest point of the day comes.
Here are some tips: