Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Summer Mileage Must-Haves


Is it hot in here?

Maybe. It is, after all, the middle of June.


As an avid outdoor runner, I find myself lacing up and hitting the road year-round, no matter how cold or hot the weather is. Even though it gets a bit extreme in Iowa (in winter AND summer), I'd much rather be outside in the elements than stuck inside on a repetitious machine.


That said, if I had to choose which extreme of the two I prefer, it would be summer. Granted, there's plenty of perspiration happening, but at least in the summer you have the option of actually cooling down by taking walk breaks (if needed). In the winter, you just get more cold.

So, I'm sharing my top five Summer Mileage Must-Haves. These are in no particular order, but they are the essentials that keep me happy when the temperatures approach the triple digits.

First of all, a good tank top, preferably in a bright color. I have a huge collection of short-sleeved tops from races, but I seldom wear them unless I cut out the neck (which is usually a tight-fitting crew neck) or modify them into tank tops (for a DIY demo, check out this post...Getting Crafty with a Race Shirt). Even on a cool early morning, you can either layer a long-sleeve top over the tank, or add arm warmers.



Next, I gotta have sunglasses. I have very dry skin (even in the summer), which means my delicate facial skin is wrinkle prone. I refuse to give those wrinkles  a head start by squinting...so I wear sunglasses on almost every run if there's a slight chance of the sun poking through the clouds. Not only do sunglasses protect my eyes from the bright sunshine, the lenses also act as a windshield to keep the bugs out. 


Another favorite must-have is a good pair of wool socks. That's right...wool socks in the heat of summer. Wool repels moisture, drawing the sweat away from your feet and your 10 toes. My go-to brand is SmartWool, but there are numerous other brands out there to consider. Bottom line, stay away from cotton socks!

When it's hot outside, you will need a hydration plan. I have started carrying a small (8-oz.) hand held bottle on most of my runs, even for the shorter runs (3-5 miles). In training for Grandma's Marathon, I tried (for the first time ever) to hydrate like I would on the race course...which means having a bit of water every mile or so (like I would at the water stations during the race).  I don't drink a lot of water, but a few sips are just enough to keep my thirst at bay (I seldom ever drink an entire cup of water at the water stations during a race either). Another option I have used is to circle back to my house every 4-6 miles for water (and/or a potty stop).


Last, and certainly not least, is a positive attitude. Yes, you will sweat (a lot). Your pace will slow down, If you do any racing, the odds are good your finish time will not reflect your actual ability (but that will be the case for most everyone else, too).  But, take heart in the knowledge that you'll be outside...seeing (and hearing the birds), smelling the flowers, and training in the very conditions you may experience on race day.

It goes without saying (but I'm saying it anyways), be smart. Ultimately, your safety and well-being should always win out over your ego. If you're out in the heat and start to feel light-headed, dizzy, or break out with the chills...STOP. Take a walk break, or sit down in the shade. It's always a good idea to have a phone with you in case you need to call for a ride.

Enough about me...what are some of your summer-running essentials? Do you brave it outside, or stay inside when the temps start to climb? Have you ever had to cut a run short and/or call for a ride?

** I'm linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner



 **And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout

** And, since I'll be on the road Friday, traveling to Duluth for Grandma's Marathon, I'm also linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0.

49 comments:

  1. I think I prefer the extreme hot to the extreme cold. I also prefer marathon training in the summer when race day in the fall will be cooler. I did one spring marathon and it was so tough training in snow and ice, and then on race day it was 85 degrees in April!

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    1. Totally agree with the training! I did Grandma's Marathon also in 2015, and I had such a tough time...not so much with snow, but with all of my spring non-running obligations. It was really tough getting the long runs done (and I didn't even come close to doing that!), and there were several other unexpected things pop up as well. Everything worked out well, but the switch in weather could have been another game-changer (we actually had a rainy morning instead of dreadful heat LOL).

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  2. Love your post! I can't wait to check out your article about how to get creative with race shirts! I prefer summer running too, especially summer runs in the rain. My go-to, must-have item is a visor. It protects my eyes and face rain or shine! Enjoy your summer runs!

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    1. ooooh, have fun with the race shirt project! It has allowed me to salvage many nice shirts that would have gotten ZERO use otherwise!

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  3. Why oh why do they so rarely give out race tanks?? I have SO many short sleeve race shirts that rarely if ever get worn.

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    1. I agree...I just do not like short-sleeved shirts. I'd rather have a tank or a long-sleeved shirt (preferable with a scoop neck LOL)

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  4. I need to more on my positive attitude for summer running, lol :) I agree with everything you listed, especially the hydration and sunglasses. There is no way I could run in the summer without those two things

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    1. Oh, the sunglasses! Year-round on those babies ;-)

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  5. I could certainly do better with hydration. I know it takes a few weeks to adapt to the heat so I need to keep my positive attitude

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    1. Hydration is a tough one to figure out because we all have different needs...and it depends on the day AND workout.

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  6. I'm amazed at how a good pair of running sunglasses can make a sweaty run less annoying. Best thing I've bought myself recently!

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    1. I cannot imagine running without sunglasses! I have ventured out a few times on cloudy days without them, and it never fails...the sun somehow finds me LOL

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  7. I wish there was a mouth shield to keep the bugs out. Yesterday I swallowed some gnats--gaaak! My biggest fear is inhaling a bee.

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    1. Oh gosh! Yes, we runners do need a mouth shield!

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  8. agreed of the two, I will actually take summer. I think training in FL for 8 years basically meant I did it non-stop :) all about the great sunglasses

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    1. Summer running definitely is my favorite. I don't love it every day, but I definitely prefer it to the other options ;-)

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  9. Well-said! It's pretty rare for me to use the treadmill in the summer, I prefer being outside even though I would much rather run in the cold than in the heat! I have few running tank tops but with the summer we're having (and it isn't even summer yet), I may need to buy a few more!

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    1. I'm in tank tops all the time.....I just can't do the running bra "solo" thing. Eww. if I was 20 years younger...maybe, but that ship has sailed LOL

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  10. Great post! I definitely agree, a positive attitude is key :) And I love my sunglasses in the Summer. I know it's in my head but it helps me feel like it's just a little bit cooler if the sun doesn't seem as bright :)

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    1. I agree...having a "shaded" perspective on the sunlight does gives the illusion of being under cover...sometimes...

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  11. Love this list! I usually wear a hat and no sunglasses, but I really should wear both!

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    1. I usually have both a hat (or visor) with my shades...I can't stand squinting.

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  12. How funny that I said sunglasses and a tank top. 😂

    I 100% agree about summer running. Even if it's hot and sucky it's so much better than being cold!

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  13. I agree with the sunglasses and the particular socks! I love my injinji socks and wouldn't run without those.

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  14. Visor + sunglasses. I want to protect my eyes! People don't seem to think the sun damages their eyes, but it does, and my vision is poor enough to begin with.

    You're so right about the racing in the heat, too. And that gets me every time . . . you'd think I'd learn. But all those summer miles sure help come fall!

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    1. The fall races feel oh so sweet, don't they?

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  15. Totally agree with you on all of these!! It is already triple digits here--high of 107 tomorrow--so I've been thinking about these things a lot lately! I also love circling back to the house for water and a potty. I'm not one to pop a squat behind a tree, haha.

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    1. ha ha...I'm not much into public squatting, either ;-)

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  16. Good luck with your marathon this weekend! Have such a good time. And this post is awesome...love everything you included!

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    1. Awww, thanks!! I'm looking forward to my little adventure up north ;-)

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  17. Uuugh....with heat comes humidity here in the DMV...yuck so I have to say cold for me.

    Must haves for me...visor, sun screen and shorts.

    Good luck this weekend. Safe travels and run happy!

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    1. Thanks!! WE have decent weather on the radar so far...

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  18. I always wear a hat! But I guess it doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, I always have a hat on to provide a bit of shade from the sun.

    And when it's too hot for me to bear, I opt for the treadmill. But the weather is perfect for the pool which is where I'll be 'running' for the next few weeks until my foot heals.

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    1. I'd love to try pool running sometime....

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  19. I'll definitely take the warmth over the cold any day. It's been so hot and humid this week in Chicago, and no complaints from me! I love the race shirt re-design idea!

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    1. Exactly! The heat always wins out over the cold!

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  20. I try to run as early as possible, but in mid-summer it is already sometimes 90 degrees by 6 am! I carry a handheld filled with nuun, plus plan my route so that I pass a few drinking fountains. My 12 ounce bottle won't last when it's really warm.

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    1. I use an 8-oz. handheld...and THAT seems heavy!;-) I suppose you get used to the extra weight of a bigger bottle...right?

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  21. I never even thought about using wool socks in the summer - that's a great idea!

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    1. I thought it was crazy at first, but when I heard the 'magic" they actually do...well, I was sold ;-)

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  22. I am sticking with my 3 runs per week outside- but fewer miles for now :-)

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    1. I'll be doing fewer miles as well...in a few days... ;-)

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  23. Yes to all of these in the hot running weather. Hot running is hard, but I actually prefer it to too cold weather.

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    1. I can handle the cold, but I definitely prefer the heat!

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  24. If it reaches triple digits I am totally okay with skipping a run. I think I'll stay home and swim instead. Thanks for linking up.

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  25. I do love smartwool socks! Oh, and having a positive attitude about the heat does make a big difference!

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  26. I have gotten a race tank from only one race and it was a duathlon. I really wish they would choose that option for more summer races! I rarely wear sunglasses while running but I always wear a cap which keeps my face shaded...but I haven't thought about wearing sunglasses to keep eye wrinkles at bay! Every little bit helps!

    Good luck this weekend!

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