Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Knew I Wasn't Crazy!

This past spring, I dedicated myself to keeping my training up because usually, I start to slack off around April and May. Warmer weather and the intensity of the end of the school year takes a lot out of me, and I start to slide.
Comparing my spring/summer mileage from 2015 and 2016 really puts into perspective how hard I worked to keep my fitness up this summer.
But this year, I wanted to keep my fitness level up so summer running wouldn't be as hard. I was more consistent than I've ever been! So why has running seemed so hard?

The answer came to me in this article:
Click here to read it.
That's right; I'm not crazy. We've actually had a more brutally hot summer this year than ever before, and our winter last year was sadly mild and very short. I don't think the temperatures dropped into the 40s even once.

I'm not going to preach about global warming here, although I think it's absolutely real and absolutely accelerated by human impact. No, instead I just want to take a moment to bask in the fact that I wasn't a whiny baby for nothing this summer, and neither were you guys.
But let's take a minute to acknowledge that global warming is freaking bad and we should all be concerned about it for more reasons than just the effect it has on the quality of our runs.
The heat has been real and its effects can be dangerous. It impacts our breathing, our stamina, our heart rate, the rate of sweat evaporation (when we're dealing with humidity), and our recovery. The mild winter meant many allergens never completely disappeared, so allergy season was longer and nastier this spring, too, causing those of us with asthma and allergies to suffer more than usual. 

So if you've been feeling less than peppy on your runs lately, know that your complaints are legitimate and your effort will pay off when it cools down again!...If you're lucky enough to live somewhere that cools down.

Because now I have to cross my fingers and hope it ever really does cool down, because Florida is starting to look like maybe we won't have an actual winter again for a long time.

Have you depended on the treadmill due to heat this summer?
Would you rather run in heat or cold?
What's your #1 tip for running in the heat?



James Douglass said...

Way to tough it out, Ali! The heat makes me slower, and makes me more likely to avoid mid day workouts and really long workouts. But I reckon I actually work out more consistently in summer because of the longer days and freer schedule. It definitely helps to be doing a watersport where I can just flop into the water when I'm overheated. :)

chocolaterunsjudy said...

While I have used the treadmill this summer, I haven't depended on it. And yes, this was a brutal summer -- even up here, where the summers are usually pretty nice!

I absolutely believe in global warming, but last summer was abnormally cool. The weather is just odd. Although I'd be extremely pleased to have another winter like last winter (where it definitely got below 40 here -- but not much).

My number 1 tip is to get out there early while it's still shady & of course hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Megan @ Meg Go Run said...

Well that explains things! I do enjoy bright, sunny, sweaty summer runs. I am slow and not breaking any records, but if I am just running for the pure enjoyment, I don't mind the heat. Obviously I was a bit conflicted this summer due to marathon training and my slow paces messed with my mind... why wasn't I getting faster?? But once I ditched training and was just running to run, I did worry so much anymore.

Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor said...

I have been SO SLOW this summer. The humidity is one thing but it's the sun that really gets to me. I swear there is a 10 degree temperature difference moving from the shade to the sunlight. It is brutal and I will never understand how some people can enjoy running in these conditions. But it is nice to know that all of our complaints are validated...although...it would be nicer if the heat would just go away :)

Something that's helped me with hot running is bringing a bottle of Nuun (not just water) with me on more of my runs, and trying to go by heart rate/effort instead of pace. I don't normally train by HR but during my summer base building it was a good tool, since heat can skew our perceptions of how hard we are working.

Ana L said...

It is hot! Good job with keeping up with your running! very impressive numbers from last year to this year!

I don't do the treadmill at all in the summer, and I'm always reluctant to use it in the winter, it just makes me crazy.

#1 legit tip for running in the summer, ice beverage before, during and after.

San said...

I am super-sensitive to the weather and I almost always will opt for the treadmill (gym) when it's too hot or cold outside.

Kim Fannin said...

My last two runs have been indoors on a treadmill because of just this very thing. Its been brutal and nasty - even at the early hour I normally run!

NotRachem said...

It was hot here this summer as well. Not hot like Florida, but hot for Northern California. My friend and I were even commenting on how our July was gorgeous when it's usually foggy and gloomy. We also were easily spotted as outsiders in Alaska because of our tans. Our winter wasn't even that cold either, just super rainy, which is a good thing since we've been in a drought for three years. We need snow though!!!

Canus @ Runnerlight said...

I like the way that you put your own goal. I support you. Wishing you will get the best achievements in the next time. ^^

Ali K. said...

I always feel like it's counterintuitive, but I actually have a better workout schedule during the school year because I'm in a routine. In summer, my laziness really sets in!

Ali K. said...

I was so disappointed in the mild winter this year. I really look forward to a couple weeks of cold weather, and I felt totally let down! But I remember how hard winters can be up north, so I don't begrudge you guys your nice winters once in awhile!

Ali K. said...

I think people who love running in sunny weather are pretty badass. It's so hard for me to even walk in the sun, let alone run! But when you don't have a goal in mind and you're just enjoying it, I can see how a sunny not-TOO-hot run would be really nice!

Ali K. said...

I think the humidity slows me down more than the sun, but we've been having a LOT of both! But I totally agree, how do people enjoy running in these conditions?!

I definitely found adding salt tabs really helped me this summer. I think Nuun and things like that do help. I hadn't thought of doing HR training during the summer. That seems like a good way to take some focus and stress off slower paces!

Ali K. said...

I'm surprised by how much better looking at my numbers from last year to this year made me feel. Even though I'm feeling slower, I'm still being SO much more consistent, and that counts!

I never use the TM if I can help it. It just feels like the easy way out, and I agree with you, it makes me crazy!

Ali K. said...

I'm really sensitive to the heat, too!

Ali K. said...

It's just been awful. I actually think the temperatures feel a little better after sunrise a bit because the dew point diminishes a tiny bit.

You'll get cooler weather before I do! I'm jealous!

Ali K. said...

I'm glad you guys got some rain!!

And HI! Nice to see you in blog-land again!

Karen from Running Over The Hill said...

It has felt more brutal, so I am glad it isn't just me.
I don't enjoy heat so the thought this trend will continues makes me sad. I would chose 30 degrees over 75 any day.
I always see a big difference in my HR on runs when it is over 70 degrees, it stays elevated no matter how slow I go. My big issue in the past was I get sick in the heat, so I have done better this summer, but I am so much slower...it is starting to mess with my head some.

Karen from Running Over The Hill said...

and nice job on the mileage :)