It has been awhile since my last “On the Run.” I don’t remember what the last article was about? What I do know is that several folks have told me that they have missed it. So, I promise to make an effort to bring back some of my tales of “On the Run” from the past 38 years. I am still puzzled why anyone would want to read what I have to say about running when there are so many other things one can find to read out there about running. Maybe it’s my simplicity? Maybe it’s my ability to relate to most folks? Maybe it’s just the simple fact that I am pretty blunt and tell it like it is? Whatever it is, I promise to keep it going.
This summer has been hot. Day in and day out hot. I noticed this time of year that my shoes are wet after only 5 miles of running. Despite the heat, I am not ready for Fall to get here just yet. I enjoy all of the seasons and what each one has to offer. I like to live in the now. Let’s look at some of the things that make summer such a wonderful time of year.
The first thing I enjoy about this time of year is longer days. Having the extra daylight makes finding time to train much easier. Want to run early? It’s daylight by 5:30am and getting to see the sun rise is always a special moment. No need to worry about how many layers to wear, no gloves to forget or extra warm hats. You will only need to basic gear for running this time of year. If you don’t want to get up early, no worries run late. You can start a run at 7pm and still have plenty of daylight. Sunsets are always another special time of day and I enjoy each one.
One of the things I always notice on my runs this time of year is the sounds of summer. I have never run with music. Running is my time to think and observe the sights and sounds around me. It’s also time to focus on my next goal. My favorite sound is the sounds of katydids. Do you ever notice this? This sound takes me back to my home in Gadsden as a kid playing in the yard late night. I love to hear them. I always notice this sound this time of year. Seems like the first thing I heard on my way down Big Cove Creek Greenway yesterday was the sound of katydids, wonderful.
I see more people out this time year. I remember back in winter when I went through several weeks without seeing one single person out on the streets exercising. It was kind of nice having the streets all to myself but even with all of the heat, lots of people are out running, walking and riding bikes. This is a good thing, now if they will continue on through the winter.
Make no mistake; if you have an early fall marathon on your schedule, getting your long runs is going to be more challenging in this heat. Here is how you deal with this. Try to start your long runs early in the morning. Direct sunlight can be brutal this time of year, also look for shaded areas to run. It feels ten degrees cooler in the shade. Carry a water bottle. I don’t just take water. I take GU Brew and I ice it down. Another wonderful sound is the rattle of ice in my hand held bottle. As long as I have the rattle, I have cold fluids. I also make loops from my house so I can refill the bottle. I pour a lot of water over my head regularly. Salt or Succeed tablets also helps your running in this heat. If you will continue to do these things along with nutrition every 30-45 minutes (I like Honey Stinger gels) you will get better results. You will get through the long run and with all of the extra attention to fluids and nutrition, you will recover faster. Marathon training will be challenging as always, but much better.
I am already looking forward to my next long run tomorrow morning and I hope you are too. Enjoy your summer running and the things it has to offer, I certainly do.