It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Summer
I grew up loving summer. I also grew up in Michigan, and I’m pretty sure everyone there grows up loving summer. I mean, nobody says, “Gee, I’m so excited for February and all that gray slush on the sidewalk!” Come on, Michiganders. You know what I mean.
Anyway, 12 years ago (almost to the day!), I packed up my car and moved to Florida. Well, May in the Sunshine State is hot. And humid. Oh, man, is it humid. Later in the summer, the daily afternoon thunderstorms start rolling in, which sometimes cool things down for a few hours, but right now, in May, it’s just sweaty.
I still love the summer attitude—people are so much more likely to round up a group for sand volleyball or to go swimming when it’s hot out, even though it probably would’ve been far more pleasant a month or two ago when temperatures were closer to 70 or 80. But I have a hard time getting out for a long run when it’s 90 degrees. Hell, three miles becomes a real challenge when by the end of the first mile in I’ve soaked through my shirt and a steady stream of sweat is dripping from my ponytail.
You know how up north, people move their exercise indoors in the winter to avoid running on icy pavement? Down here, it’s the summer months that drive me inside. Be on the lookout for some more DVD reviews between now and September, is what I’m saying.
But! It won’t be all indoor workouts and occasional races. This summer, I refuse to let all those long runs over the winter go to waste. And I’m going in with a plan.
First, I will start getting up earlier. For one thing, it’s cooler early in the morning, which will make it easier to get in the workout that I want to do. Plus, as much as I hate doing it, I know that making early workouts a habit make me far more likely to just do the work. Probably it doesn’t hurt that training first thing in the morning doesn’t give me hours of sitting around complaining about how hot it is, either.
Second, I’m going to lower my expectations. Not a ton, but enough to keep myself from getting frustrated. Part of what I hate about running in the summer is that I’m slower. So much slower. And since I’m already one of the slowest runners I know, that’s a big bummer. But you know what? It’s fine. Everyone slows down when the temperatures rise, and I need to be okay with an 11-minute mile pace that takes everything I have to maintain. If I can improve it, that’s awesome, but if that’s what I can do, that shouldn’t leave me feeling so frustrated.
Now, don’t let all of this whining mislead you. I wouldn’t move back up north for anything—I’d rather be a little extra sweaty for a season than have to scrape ice off my windshield every morning for months at a time. But I’m curious to hear from you guys. Does the summer heat impact your workouts in any way? —Kristen