OMG I’m Melting!

Good Morning from Starbucks!!  Comcast has officially screwed up our internet for the 7th day in a row so here we sit, Landon and I, enjoying complimentary WiFi and coffee… We totally got cake pops, too.  Thank you, Jana’, for the gift card!

Alright.  I admit I have been cheating at exercising for the last month and a half – or most of it.  I have been playing on the deadmill and elliptical and avoiding running outside AT ALL because of the new climate I’m exposing myself to (minus the few hikes and organized runs).  Maryland, as compared to Minnesota, has some challenges that I just didn’t comprehend I was going to have to deal with.  I knew it would be hotter here, and expected it to be humid, but I have never lived in such a place so my expectations were fairly limited.

I researched running tips in hot and humid weather before we moved here to try to get the one up on this place.  I came up with the obvious running early in the morning when it is cooler out, carrying hydration, slowing your pace… duh.  But as I kicked the pavement this weekend when it was 91F and ugly humid (enter my 11-min/mile pace), I felt like a rookie runner sucking air out of a thin straw as sweat dripped off of my everything… Seriously, it looked like I jumped into the Chesapeake!

I follow a couple wonderful runners and bloggers on social media who also happen to tough it out during these summer months.  They’re pounding the pavement more frequently, faster, longer and in hotter temps than my Minnesota blood in Maryland, so I have come across tips to help myself adjust, and maybe survive my first “more south” summer running season on the East Coast.  I also dug deeper than the Pinterest articles I had stumbled through casually before moving to get some ideas and here’s what I found:

Allowing your body time to adjust to the new climate is a good idea.  So maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I’ve only recently moved a few of my workouts outside!  I need to acclimatize to higher temps and other environmental changes (hellooooooo humidity!).  So starting with shorter runs outside and slowly adding time or mileage will help me get used to those differences!  This also makes such sense as to why my runner inspirations on Instagram have been able to tackle better and more mileage outside and I’m struggling and slow…They’ve lived there longer and that’s just what they’re used to.  I started adding temps and humidity to my run posts to share, but mostly for me to be able to look back and see where I’ve come.  In a month or two, or this time next year, it will be nice to have that measure to see what kind of progress I’ve made, (if any!).

Pre-planning a route for better conditions.  I run with a hydropak most of the time, but during one of my Pennsylvania runs recently I didn’t have it and it was too warm for me to survive. I WAS MELTING.  I wanted to challenge myself and really needed a sweat-sesh, but no one wants to put themselves in a risky situation.  I did loops that included a water break at the in-laws every 2 miles.  It gave me a chance to cool down, hydrate, throw back some electrolytes and then give it another go.  The first loop I tried out was a bad idea… not a lot of shaded area, black top that radiated intense heat back in my face and just made things hotter.  I switched it up after that and found a shaded out and back and that alone was a huge relief!  Of course there were more hills so my effort was still intense but the adjustment was worth it.

I’ve discovered a couple post-run cool down options that make the light at the end of the tunnel a little more enjoyable… Freezies, popsicles, and my personal fave – an ice cold brew! (not always acceptable, but when it is – it’s so good!) Running and beer are my peas in a pod!

I’ve noticed a big difference when I factor in how I hydrate going into the run as well.  Not just sufficient water before the run and during, but even so much as the day before and how much water I drink makes my muscles work smoothly. My brother told me a boot camp motto: the water you drink now will help you later… That has come in handy so many times!

Following people on different social media platforms who can provide you with motivation, inspiration and sometimes advice can be the kick in the butt to start kicking the road.  Fitaholicmom on Instagram is one of my inspirations/fitspirations… she’s always on the go and lives in Texas! Her group run posts, fun-run IG’s and perma-grin make me feel like one day I might get the hang of this!  In a recent IG about a week ago, she posted that she tried “boob ice” for the first time and that it was worth it… So I’m bound and determined to throw a couple ice cubes in my sports bra for a run one of these days.  I’ll let you know what I think of that!

Runtothefinish is another IG (and blog) I follow for runner inspiration, she’s in the hot and humid Florida.  Sometimes just having posts, quotes and pictures from other runners in your face is enough motivation to get something, anything, in.

We’ve had a good run of heat since we moved over a month ago, and I’m finally getting the courage to venture out in the heat… Now if I only had the courage to join that running group that meets a couple times per week in the apartment community we moved to.  Making new friends is hard!

If anyone has suggestions, or fun ideas to try to #BeatTheHeat leave me a comment or send me a message… I need all the help I can get!

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