“Summer Running” vs “Summer Training”

Usually when the temperatures and the humidity starts to rise, I move from “training” mode into “running” mode. That’s where you go out and pound the pavement but not for specific races or times, because running 4 miles in 90% humidity is endurance training for people who actually can’t stand the heat. I cut my miles to smaller amounts so I can keep running but not kill myself, I try to force myself to ignore my times, and I make myself enjoy the run as much as possible.

But there’s a chance I could run a half marathon in San Antonio at the end of August, while we are there for Brian’s best friend who is retiring from the Air Force. The group I am going with will most likely not even notice me slipping out the door on a Saturday morning at 4:45am to make it out to the race location, and even if it takes me 3 hours to complete the race, I think I could be back before any of them are really up and moving around.

Which begs the question: do I stick to summer running, or do I switch to summer training?

Races are my motivation. There is something I can’t get enough of when it comes to races: the mundane training regimes, the camaraderie of the runners out there ready to do the work necessary to score that finishers bagel and banana, the idea of pinning a number on my chest and slipping a tutu around my waist… it just gets me hyped. But when summer hits, and it gets hot and humid out, I usually take a few steps back and chill out some.

I don’t stop running, because previous training has shown me that if I focus on the summer running and keeping consistent, I do better in the fall.

But a race in the summer has the possibility to kick my ass back into training mode, and do some serious work. It’s also a race in San Antonio, which after some research and some emails out to people there I have learned is HOT and lack of humidity makes it feel HOTTER. If that were even possible! I bet it would be easier to do without the humidity, after training for three months in super humid months.

It’s the Triple Crown Challenge by I Ran Marathons. I’d do the one on Saturday morning. If I really wanted to push it, I could do the one on Sunday morning before we flew back to Jacksonville, but I’m not that adventurous right now. (That and each race is $70, on top of our other expenses for this 5 day vacation) It’s an out and back route, which is easy. Starts and finishes at a hotel, with the gun going off at 6am. Says they will have water/food ever 1-3 miles, but I would most likely still carry water with me. Medal and shirt for each race, packet pick up race day before the event.

I could slip out of our condo/hotel and use the rental car to get me to the start with my trusty Google Maps on my phone. I could go run with some complete strangers then return to some of my closest friends for a day of celebrating, beer, and fun. I’d keep it on the DL because this trip isn’t about me, it’s about Kevin and his retirement, but again – if I start the race at 6am, and finish in 3 hours, I’m still back at the hotel before too late. I could be showering and eating while they are starting to wake up.

I haven’t registered for it, but in my head I kind of already have. My Summer Training will start the week of June 9th, and I’d be using the Hal Higdon novice 2 half marathon training program. I had to change it around a bit since I work on Saturdays and won’t be doing my long runs that day, but it seems to work out.

So it looks like I’m shifting from “Summer Running” to “Summer Training” and I’m terrified and excited about it. I have some purchases to make in the water carrying options and mapping out some training runs on Sundays since those will be my long runs. I have to register for the race after we solidify a place to stay, and I have to work out my running with Kat.

I’ve already mentally accepted that I am going to do this, and it’s not going to be for time. It’ll be for fun. Now, I just need to get the details set so I can register. 🙂

2 thoughts on ““Summer Running” vs “Summer Training”

  1. MCM Mama (@mcmmama) says:

    Do it! You’ll have fun. And I think I saw on Facebook that you said it’s a trail and you don’t have any place to train on trails. I did a trail half without ever having run on a trail before. The key things are to slow down or walk on the steep parts, watch your footing, and be courteous to those who want to get past you. Oh, and throw your time expectations out the door. Trail races usually take a lot longer than the same distance on the road. Good luck!

  2. Jennifer LE (@runningwithpugs) says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me! I don’t think I ever really fall out of training mode. If I don’t have a race on the horizon, I’m nowhere near as motivated as I could be. I also think you’re being incredibly thoughtful by keeping the focus on the retirement.

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