Learn to better tolerate the heat. If you know me, you know I don't do well in the heat. I'm a sweaty sweater. I blame my mother and father for passing on their ability to sweat buckets to me. Thanks parents. I've always been someone who's very warm all the time. Growing up, we were really poor and didn't have air conditioning. My bedroom was always upstairs, and I basically spent every summer of my adolescence with heat rash all over my chest and stomach because of the heat and my body's inability to handle it. Uff da. I've always been the sweatiest kid on the basketball court, the runner who could wring out their hair/bra/tank/socks after a humid run.
In the past I've worked to avoid the heat. Waking up at ungodly hours to run in the coolest temps of the day, switching around workouts to have the most optimal conditions for workouts and long runs, planning my racing schedule around the seasons, but this summer I'm going to switch things up a bit. This goal, is in part put in place because Grandma's half is just around the corner. And if the past two weeks are any indication, it could be hot as hades out there. We're spending a decent amount of money to run the race, stay in Duluth, drive all the way out there, etc. and I don't want to waste all that money on a day that I say "I'm not even going to try, it's too hot!" (In the event that it's black flags or close to, please give me permission to say this! I won't not run, but I definitely will be keeping it easy effort if necessary for safety!)
I plan to spend some time in the early mornings running when the humidity is at its worst (my kryptonite, really). I also plan to spend some after work runs, probably easier paced runs, running in the heat. The best way to get better at something is to do it, right? I'm also going to practice focusing on effort during these hotter and more humid runs vs. looking at my Garmin for how things are going. During our track work last week in 80+ degrees, my repeats at 3k-5k pace were not at 3k-5k pace, but the effort I was running was as if I was racing a 5k on an 80+ degree night.
I'm also trying to spend more time outside during the day, taking lunch breaks outside (in the shade to save my poor skin) and limiting my air conditioning in the car. What's a little sweat right? It's summer! Rest assured I'll still have the air blaring when I sleep at night because no adult needs a full front side of heat rash. Barf. I'm also working on eating more cooling foods to help reduce internal inflammation so my perception of heat is different. TBD how that works out!
This is already probably too long for most people to read so stayed tuned for #2 and #3!