Ah, Summer running. You love it. You hate it. You love the way you can run at 8pm and its still light out. You love that you can pack running clothes in your bag, and not have to carry a separate pack just to drag along the layers. Let’s be honest. You love that your run can end with a happy hour while relaxing outside in the sun. But, then again. You hate that it feels like you’re actually melting, and that you are going blind from all of the sweat in your eyes (can that happen??). Ah, yes. The highs and lows of summer running.
Last year, I ran the Philly 10k. Yes, the 10k that actually fell on the most humid day of the ENTIRE year. Best day for my first 10k. Not. But, somehow I decided it was a good idea to sign up for it again this year. (Definition of insanity anyone? ;-)). So, besides this minor lapse, I have figured out ways to actually make summer race planning, not only enjoyable, but pretty much amazing. So, here it goes…my ways to really make that summer race schedule work!
Pick a Fun Run.
First, things first, people. Its summer! Don’t be all serious (save that for the fall) to go all out and pick some crazy distance for the first time in the summer. I am a big fan of choosing fun runs. If mud runs are your thing. Do it up. If running through a bunch of chemically formed, colored clouds is your thing, you do those color runs! If ending a race with a beer is the best way to get you to the finish line then grab your solo cup and strap on your sneaks (oh, and see you at the finish line!). I have a few Fun Runs picked out for the summer and I’m not only looking forward to the actual race, but also to be able to hang out with friends, do something healthy, and enjoy the post race buzz…I mean, glow 😉
Make goals for the feels.
Yes, I said feels…all about the feelings. Okay, I know this is silly because who makes the race goal to smile more (well, besides me), but think about running for the experience and enjoyment versus running just for the time. Maybe its the time that you can meet your goal of running a race with a significant other, or doing a race in another state. Pick a goal that makes you feel and enjoy the race, not a goal that makes you potentially feel disappointed.
Consider the sun.
This is something I found out the hard way. Especially when looking for fun runs be sure to consider the race start and projected end time when choosing races. Keep it mind that not only is it hotter later in the morning (between 11-2pm are the hottest times!), but its also more humid and there are more UV ray exposure. I definitely had a “cute” racer back tan line/pure irish redness for MONTHS last year after a race starting at 9am.
Check that schedule.
This is the MOST important one in my book. My date book that is. Before you pick any summer races be sure to check your schedule. Think about more than just if that date is open. Even if its just a short race, you still need to accommodate time to train and rest in order to be fair to your body. Sure, you may be able to “get through” the race, but its not fair to your body to get totally exhausted and potentially injured just because you already paid to run. Think about the time you can give a race. Maybe its better to save your money, time and body until a less crazy time!
In the end, you want to make sure that you still enjoy the race. Its not about just another medal on the wall or another time in the books (save that for the fall, right?), instead its about having fun, enjoying your city and being outside. Just keep hitting the pavement when you can and enjoy that summer heat. Because, after all, just remember…soon it will be -10 and we will be begging for swear-induced blindness 😉 Well, maybe?