Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun Run Sun

As a human, I love love love summer. Two of my favorite words in the English language?

Heat. Wave.

who could be unhappy in such conditions?
While others complain about sweating through their clothing, smelling like a sasquatch, looking like a very shiny tomato, I am happy as a little clam. Sweaty, happy, little clam.

*side note: where did that phrase come from? are clams happy? how could anyone possibly know this?*

As a runner, however, the heat is not always my friend. I'm not averse to running outside in the heat, as some are, but I am aware that it can slow me down in a race capacity. Several weeks ago now, I partook in the Women's Mini 10K in Central Park as one of my friends (and fellow Luna Chick!) happened to have an extra bib number the day before the race.

I was so excited and was looking forward to improving on my time, as I had really enjoyed my first 10K and felt sure that I could go faster.

A few miles into the race, a combination of recent over-training (another issue altogether) and that darn heat and humidity started really messing with my mind and really, really messing with my speed. I slowed wayyyy down. Ordinarily I like to run negative splits and enjoy passing people as it keeps my competitive edge engaged. During the last two miles of this race, I actually allowed people to pass me. Many, many people. UGH.

As it turns out, although I felt like I ran terribly, my time was less than a minute slower than my first 10K. I was still disappointed, and I still learned my lesson.

1. Be sure that your legs are rested and ready to go. I am not Kara Goucher, I do not need to, nor should I, run 6 days a week.

2. Stop being so crazy competitive with yourself - it's great to push yourself, but you are still a worthwhile person and athlete if you don't PR in every. single. race. 

3. Heat (or any difference in climate!) WILL affect you, and you need to be prepared! Since this event, I have encountered several articles on running in the heat (you know when you never hear of something, and it is then brought to your attention, and suddenly it is EVERYWHERE? like that.), so don't take it from me, take it from the experts:

Runner's World - one of my favorite sources for running tips and *free* training schedules

Fit Sugar - definitely a good one to follow on twitter for fun fitness updates! (reading about fitness makes me feel like I'm working out...weird? fine.)

But I think that the main thing I learned, in addition to the obvious of drinking lots of agua (welcome to the bilingual portion of this blog), is not to hold myself to the same standards of performance in different climates, and to give myself the opportunity to adjust to a new season before I start beating myself up about my times.

I mean, let's get real, I am not setting out to win the race (...or am I?!? ;) and as long as I give my all through every mile, and escape injury-free, what have I really got to be complaining about? Nada. (see, totally bilingual over here.)

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