With the Chicago Marathon just 8 weeks from Sunday, summer training is in full swing. I have had a wide range of workouts- all in the blazing heat. Some have gone well and others not so much. Running and racing in warmer temps is definitely not my favorite but I know it prepares me for a stronger fall racing season so I know I just have to push through and make the best of it like like everyone else.
Right now my mileage is typically around 60 miles per week. I’m not doing any doubles and I tend to have one or two hard effort workouts depending if I have a race that week. If I’m not racing this includes a long run. The rest are easy runs. I think calling any run easy in the summer is a little misleading. Is there really such thing as an easy run when temps are in 80’s and dew point is 75 or higher? I try to take it as easy as I can on those days and when I’ve been able to run with a friend we always keep it at a conversational pace. We also carry or stop for water a few times. This is the only way to survive running in the summer in the south!
Last week we went on vacation to Orange Beach which is the closest beach to Arkansas- just a little over 8 hours away. We met up with my family for a one week vacation and it was great. Lots of time on the beach relaxing and just hanging out at the condo.
A few years ago we started the tradition of running a race sometime during the week together. Four years ago we couldn’t find a road race so we made up a family fun run.
Two years ago we ran in the Quiet Valley Rooster 5k in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Last year we ran in the Back to School 5k in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
My sisters and I started looking for a local race months ago but we weren’t having any luck. Then about a week before the trip we found a Tuesday night 5k in Mobile, Alabama (about 45 minutes from Orange Beach). At first I thought it was a date typo. A race on a Tuesday night? It turns out this is the first race of their local running season and it’s always the first Tuesday night in August. The race always has 300-400 runners/ walkers and is known for the many door prizes- one of which is two plane tickets any where in U.S!
I wasn’t extremely confident about how I would do since it was just 3 days after the 4 Mile Classic. I planned on doing my best- whatever my body could give me and remember that it was for fun. (Although in my opinion it’s always the most fun to run hard and race well!)
The Crime Prevention 5k started at 6:30 pm and the temperature was in the 90’s. Having just run a 25K in the 90’s I figured how hard could a 5K be? Let’s just say trying to run at regular 5K pace in the heat of the summer is BRUTAL. It was just plain hard. Having sore, tired legs didn’t help but I kept reminding myself it would be over soon. I had hoped to go sub 19 but that definitely didn’t happen. My race splits are a perfect example of positive splitting a 5k! From the half mile on I was 4th female and that is where I stayed. I was catching up to the 3rd female but just couldn’t pick up my pace enough to make it happen. I finished around 19:22. 4th female. (1st AG). Splits: 6:00, 6:13, 6:26, 5:46 for last .12. (Avg. 6:12)
My older two kids and my sister Tricky also ran. My dad walked and actually came in 2nd overall male in the walking division! Tricky placed 3rd in her AG while pacing Abi. Abi and Anthony both won their age groups.
My longest (and hottest) training run was on Friday, our last full day in Orange Beach. It was originally scheduled for Saturday but we were supposed to leave that morning and I knew trying to “squeeze in” an 18 mile run would make for a rough morning. So Friday morning I headed out early with a specific route in mind. Fortunately, right near our condo was right next to a six mile stretch of sidewalk/ paved trail so I planned a little out and back. Then I was going to do part of it again to get to 18.
Weather / Fuel: This was the tough part. Even at 6 am it was in the 90’s with dew point in mid 70’s. I knew I would need a few water stops. I carried a water bottle part of the time and fueled at miles 9 and 12.5. (I had water at 3, 9, 12.5, and 14)
My sister biked 30 miles that morning but met me at mile 12.5 and she ran 5 miles with me. She asked what pace I needed and I told her anything sub 7:30 would be good. She did great- her 5 with me were at a 7:08 average!
I pushed it a little on my last one and when I finished I was DONE. This run really wiped me out. It had to be the heat. splits: 8:00, 7:36, 7:27, 7:21, 7:22, 7:32, 7:21, 7:16, 7:16, 7:21, 7:18, 7:17, 7:09, 7:15, 7:07, 7:08, 7:03, 6:46. (Overall average- 7:19)
Eight weeks to go!!