9 Things I’ve (Re) Learned While Training for a Fall Marathon in the Summer

9 Things I’ve (Re) Learned While Training for a Fall Marathon in the Summer

I am alive.

I know it’s been quite a while since I posted, but trust me I have written at least a dozen witty posts in my head. My athlete, Alex, gave me a friendly reminder the other day. She said she was patiently waiting. I have been getting a lot of creative outlet time at work so the blog fell to the wayside. As it does. BUT! I’ve also been running and coaching and livin.’ (Side note: I interviewed a young man for a job and when asked what he had been doing lately his response was, “I’m livin.” Cracked me up!)

Instead of a recap of what I’ve been doing lately, I will just give you all a list of things I have re-learned during this marathon training cycle. Way back in 2017 I ran my ninth marathon, and while that doesn’t seem quite so long ago, I haven’t trained for a fall marathon since 2010! And back in 2010, I swore I’d never run a fall marathon again! Summer in Florida is BRUTAL. It’s humid and hot as hell! In order to train for a fall marathon this means slogging an ass-ton of miles in the smack dab hottest months of the year.

All that changed, of course, when I was selected to run the Chicago Marathon via lottery entry. Again, training for a fall marathon in Florida is like running on the sun, but add in the humidity of 10,000 swampy swamp swamps. With the exception of one glorious 20 miler in Iceland, I’ve been slogging my way through marathon training. Unfortunately, I have made some rookie summer running mistakes along the way. But I have learned my lessons (again) and want to share these tips with you. On the plus side, I only have five weeks to go until race day!

Here we go….

  1. Everything chafes extra when you are super sweating for a prolonged time. So after about three longs runs of some of the worst chafing ever, I realized that even if I start a summer long run with copious amounts of Body Glide – it’s not gonna last! And trying to reapply Body Glide onto a sweaty body doesn’t work! The only thing that does work is a big old glob of petroleum jelly. But you have to reapply mid run or else be prepared to scream in the shower.

2. You are going to have to slow down. No matter how much you want to hit all your amazing spring running times, it just ain’t gonna happen. And that’s OK! I’ve made my peace with slowing down while it’s as hot as an oven outside. I take myself inside on a treadmill when I want to really nail those paces on longer runs.

3. You need to both HYDRATE and FUEL more. I read here and here that you burn more calories when it’s hot and this makes total sense! Typically I can run for about an hour and feel fine on an empty stomach. However, the more humid and hot it is outside the more quickly I feel depleted. I’ve started eating small meals before even hour longs runs and I feel much better! This also includes eating and drinking enough while on your runs.

4. The earlier you run, the earlier you’re done. (And not running under full blown sun fire.) At the beginning of this training cycle I was trying to start my long runs at the late, late hour of 6 AM and I realized quickly this would not do. I suffer a lot in the heat and even though 4:30 AM is basically still night time, it is awesome to finish a run by 8 AM!

5. Socks matter! The right running socks can make or break your long run. On one long run, that wound up being cut two miles short, I had a blister on the ball of my foot that was killing me! I realized I was running in my everyday running socks. What I needed were some heavy duty wicking socks that would work harder to keep my feet dry. I have yet to find socks that are capable of this – but I think Swiftwick does a pretty good job. (I plan to change socks half way for this weekend’s 20 miler.)

6. Always carry hydration on the long runs. Ugh, I hate carrying things while running! I’ve never been a fan of having to carry my own hydration so I avoid it whenever I can. I try to run routes with plenty of water fountains, but in this heat – plain water at random intervals ain’t gonna cut it. In order to have hydration at the ready, I found this tiny handheld that is perfect for me. It’s not too heavy and I do typically have enough fountains on a route to re-fill after I’ve gone through my Infinit. And of course, I replenish my Infinit when I swing back by my vehicle.

7. Don’t plan a day full of activities after your long run if you can help it. After one particularly grueling run, I had planned a bunch activities for the day and let’s just say that did not go well. Normally, on long run days, I can mow down some caffeine and enjoy my Saturday. However, these long runs in the summer are straight kicking my ass. I have thus re-learned not to plan anything until after I get a solid nap in!

8. Take a trip north for at least one long run. While not everyone is going to pack up and head to Iceland like I did, it is recommended you get somewhere cooler for at least one long run. I swear that 20 mile run in Iceland was such a HUGE relief. I felt good and not only enjoyed running in cooler temps (54!!) but I also loved exploring by foot. Next summer, plan a trip and get your cool run on!

9. Be kind to yourself. Ok, so this goes without saying, but running in the summer is hard! When paces that normally feel easy, feel extremely difficult there’s a tendency to get down on yourself. Don’t do it! You just have to understand that everyone is suffering and your hard work will pay off as soon as the temps decrease. After all, it IS running. If it were easy, everyone would do it! Give yourself a gold star for getting out there – no matter the pace.

You Love Workout Clothes Right? Here’s a Discount for HYLETE!

You Love Workout Clothes Right? Here’s a Discount for HYLETE!

We all know at this point that clothing has switched from active wear only while working out to active wear ALL THE TIME! It’s comfortable and easy to mix and match. Not to mention, the array of options has gotten to be amazing. Hence why I was stoked to receive an email about trying the brand HYLETE.

Here’s a little something about the brand:

“HYLETE is a performance apparel brand created for the modern athlete yet priced for everyday use. By working closely with everyday athletes, veterans, and gym owners, they’ve developed the ideal fitness apparel. With innovations such as their proprietary materials to their multiple length options, HYLETE stands out among their competitors. Better yet, they have a competitive edge in pricing since they cut out the middlemen by selling directly online.”

I was sent a pair of shorts and a tank in exchange for a post.* And ya’ll know I love a good pair of shorts! The shorts I received are the Serenium II flex-knit zip pocket 3″ in black. And the tank is the Accent II Quad-Blend Racer Tank.

I was a little bummed that the shorts didn’t have a liner, but I love how they fit and that they have plenty of pockets. The tank has pockets on both sides as well and I actually used them this morning at Tribal Multisport strength and conditioning to hold my band. (Better photo of shorts HERE and tank HERE.)

I was originally sent a size medium, but they were a little big so I was sent a small and they fit perfectly. The waistband is super comfortable and never felt like it was rubbing (I hate chafing!) and the relaxed leg opening was great for lunges and squats. I wore some athletic undies underneath and that worked like a charm.

This image is all of us in some stage of a monster walk! Sorry for all the band work photos. My assistant was working with one arm, the other is in a sling from a crash. Get well soon Erin!

This outfit will make it into heavy rotation at the gym and as a bathing suit cover up/casual wear. I love shorts that can slip on over a suit easily and these are really comfortable. I don’t feel like my thighs are being smooshed either and that’s always nice!

So what’s in it for you? I’m glad you asked. I’ve got a 40% off coupon for you! Use code HM4948 to shop and get 40% off! I’m personally eye-balling their sports bras. If they are as comfy as this outfit, count me in!

Happy shopping everyone!

*All opinions are my own. I wouldn’t lie to you. I like this brand, for real. But I did get the outfit in exchange for social shares and posts and yada yada yada. You know the drill. #ad #spon #allthatjazz

An actual post about my running

An actual post about my running

I’ve got two weeks before the Halloween Half Marathon and I felt compelled to share with you all where my running stands today.
I had been running a bit more since before I left for Chicago and am finally starting to get my confidence back.* While I did have the one good nine miler, I also had two pretty craptastic runs before I left and I will attribute them to stress.
I ran a four and a half miler on the Tuesday before my trip and felt short of breath and tired. It was supposed to be a five miler and I just felt too pooped to go on. Lame. I followed up that hot mess with another four and a halfer that felt like I had never run in my life.
Lame – 2, B.o.B. – 0.
It’s amazing what stress will do to your running. Especially if you are the type of person who lives in their head. To say that I am an over-thinker would be an understatement. It would be akin to saying “runners kind of like to talk about running.”
Enter Chicago.
The Redhead and I ran a little two miler on Saturday** and then I hopped in with her for that amazing four miler.
Upon my return I felt rejuvenated and refreshed and am so happy to report that I had a great five mile run on Tuesday and a nice six mile, albeit hot, run Wednesday night.

My eight mile “long run” (yeah, I am back to 8 miles being long) didn’t go so great last night, but it’s my own doing. I decided to drastically cut back the carbs after Eat Fest 2009 and felt really sick after my run. Serves me right. I need more carbs than I allowed. I am chalking this run up to stupidity.
My hopes for the half are that I have a good time and don’t feel any pain. I really don’t expect a PR. I just want to build up that endurance again so that when Gasparilla arrives I am ready to kill it.
I am off to Detroit today for the Detroit Marathon. I’ll be back on Sunday and hope you all have great weekends.
*Thanks again for all the support during my injury. You have NO idea how much it meant to me.
**I leave you with this photo of my FIRST run through a corn field. Not as fun as it looks on TV kids.

Do You Remember Your First Time?

Hello Loyal Readers. This is Coach EK, your guest poster for today. As you know, your regular host, B.o.B., is winging her way to Chicago for her cheering/pacing duties during the marathon. So, she has turned the forum over to me today. Actually, she tried to turn it over to Lloyd the Attack Terrier, but he had an important nap appointment, so the honor fell to me.

Anyway, on to today’s topic – Do you remember your first time? And before we go any farther, we are not talking about *that* first time. Minds out of the gutters – this is a running blog. I am talking about the first time you laced up some running shoes and headed out the door to try this “running” thing.

My first time was way back in the dark ages – the 1970’s. It was 1978 to be exact. I was in high school then, and had visions of running on the track team. At my school, track was in the spring, so we had to do a fall sport to prepare. Cross-Country was the logical choice (I mean football? – c’mon). So I had the summer to get ready for the Cross-country thing. And that meant running. O.K. How hard can that be?

So, one morning in June of 1978, I decided it was time to start. Heading out the door, I was dressed in a white cotton T-shirt, jean shorts (very fashionable), tube socks, and $10 K-mart gym shoes. There was no watch, GPS, GU, Sport drink, wicking material, headlamps, or any other modern item. Just me and the open road.

I had planned a 2 mile run, plotting it out from a map in the phone book, It was all of 2 miles. How hard can it be?


I did not know about pace, or splits, or miles, or stride, or any of these modern ideas. It was just go out and run. For about a mile. Until I got a side stitch. And eventually had to stop. And walk home. Yes, running could be hard.


The next day, I was back out and did it again. And this time – I made the 2 miles. And I have not looked back since. And 31 years later, running is one of my best friends, in good times and bad. It has been there for me, to comfort me and test me and teach me.

Who knew, from that one run all those years ago, where the road would take me?

What a journey!

So, do you remember your “first time”?

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