Monthly Archives: July 2012

Basement running

Let’s be honest, part of the reason that I crapped out at last Sunday’s 5k was due in part to the hot and humid weather we’ve been…enjoying…and my lack of running due to the yuck weather.  I see lots of people busting their butts outside in the sweltering summer heat, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Whenever I think about going outside and putting in a few miles in the heat, I think about ice pops and air conditioning.  I can handle ice pops and air conditioning way better than asphalt and humidity so ice pops usually win out and I never make it outside the front door. Before I know it, days and weeks go by without me lacing up my running shoes.  It makes me feel guilty and lazy.

I’ve come a long way since I started this running stuff in October 2011.  I remember when I started out I would walk then run for two minutes and those two minutes would seem like two hours!  

So after the hot and humidity 5k, I thought about what I could do with my running during the summer. The hotter it gets the less I want to run.  I don’t want running in the heat to make me hate running forever, so I was trying to think of a good compromise.  I decided to get reacquainted with my basement treadmill.  During the summer, I figured what I would do is bust out a mile a couple of times a week.   Simple enough.  This way I could still get my run on and deal with the heat.   The basement gets humid so focusing on one mile at a time helps me push through the un-comfortableness.  I hope this will help me not to lose some of the endurance I’ve gained. Who knows, maybe as I just focus on doing a good quality mile, I will start to get used to running in the humidity.  Something to hold me over until the cooler temps roll in.  

The treadmill also will serve another purpose.  When I run outside my legs just tend to stop running when I don’t want them to.  My brain says “Push through! Keep going!” and my legs are like “whatever.” and they just stop. If I just stop on the treadmill, I’ll probably smash into the wall so that thought alone is enough to keep my legs moving.   When the temperature feels good, I’ll go outside and give myself a change of scenery.  

How do you adjust your activities and exercise in the hotter temps? Or do you just continue to do what you were doing in the cooler seasons?

Gina’s Inferno

So the Astoria 5k put on by the Federation of Italian Americans Organization (FIAO) of Queens has come and gone.  It was one hell of race that felt like it took place in hell.  It was mix of hazy, hot and humid icky-ness. I think I left my body in air conditioning back at my house, because the heat did me in fairly quickly.

I was pretty pumped about this race.  I was really familiar with the race course, had a sweet new hand held water bottle to prevent me from choking on water from the water stop and was running with people near and dear to me. What more could a novice runner ask for? Cooler temps, perhaps. No humidity, maybe.

I really don’t know where to start with this race recap.  I guess the beginning is always a good place to start so here goes it.

The race was sponsored by FIAO to help fight drug abuse. The starting line was a mere five blocks from my house.  I was super excited to run this race because it was so local and because I would be running with Kim, the Husband and my Brother-in-law.  Sunday funday, folks!  Bib pick up was before the race and  was pretty organized. We took pictures and clowned around for a bit.  And that’s pretty much where it all goes down hill. Figuratively.  I wouldn’t have minded an actual down hill race. It was an out and back with parts of the course running along side the East River.  There were a few minor inclines but the heat made them seem like mini Mount Everests. Our spectators for this race were the following brave souls: my Dad, his wife, my son, my sister in law and my nephew. Top notch cheer crew in the house!

It was a hazy, hot, and humid (triple H, y’all!) start with temps in the low 80’s at 9 AM. Just the right temperature for me to melt down spectacularly. My one highlight of this race was that I didn’t chafe.  I’m counting that as an accomplishment right along side with resisting the urge to find a park bench to pass out on.

Here’s the down and dirty.  I fell apart pretty quickly.  I just could not push through the heat and humidity and I let it get to me.  Sweat and/or sunscreen was boring a hole in my eyes for the majority of the race.  I started off at the same pace with the BiL and The Husband.  I swear to God, I took my eyes off the road for a second and lost Kim. That girl is quick! Then the BiL started pulling away, and the next thing I knew, I was staring at The Husband’s back.  And then he was gone.  And so it begins.

I took lots of walk breaks that I did not want to take in the first place.  I let my mind beat the crap out of me and swore for a good majority of the race that I would never ever ever run anywhere ever.  EVERRRRRRRR. This includes running to catch the ice cream truck. Yep, I was pretty much ready to hang up my Asics.   In fact, I was going to throw my Asics into the freaking East River, but then I decided that they are just too pretty and special to me so instead I figured throwing my water bottle into the river would be better. Ahh, whatever.  I decided to hang on to that because I was kinda thirsty. And nauseous.

Fast forward past the mental warfare raging in my head to the part where Kim came out on a white horse, wearing a cape (maybe I was hallucinating about the cape and horse part) and ran the last part of the race with me.  She took my water bottle that now felt like I was holding a brick and coached me the rest of the way. She told me to keep focusing on the finish line (and I swear I hate being nearsighted because I can never focus on the finish line!) and telling me how the fam was cheering me on.  I responded with huge, ugly sounding sobs.  I was just so happy to see her and have her run it in with me.  She so wisely instructed me to take off my visor after I finished and I instantly felt so much cooler.  Why didn’t I think to do that oh,  I don’t know, around mile one? Derp.

Official time hasn’t been posted yet, but I can officially tell you that it wasn’t very good. It was slower that my last race and I was annoyed with myself.  Annoyed that I just let myself unravel.  I did win a nice parting prize consisting of a heat rash on my chin and forehead.  It’s always nice to start the work week looking like a teenager that just hit puberty.

But let’s stop this pity party so I can praise Kim, BiL and the Husband. They did awesome! Especially in this nasty weather.  I’m proud of them in ways they will probably never really know and they help keep me determined.  I’m still chasing the race I can be proud of. Maybe it will happen despite my never ever running again declaration.  Maybe I should throw that into the East River.

The only thing that ran slower than me was the raffle they held after the race in which I won nothing.  Seriously, it was like over 10 prizes and no one in my group won a darn thing. Oh well.

Let’s focus on the highlights:

No chafing.

My running cohorts.

Our cheer team.  Props to them for standing out in yucky NYC humidity and smiling through it.

Watermelon, bagels, bananas, and grapes provided by the race coordinators.  Nice job on the spread, FIAO!

Hearing my family tell me that my son was clapping for me as I crossed the finish line.  The cutest 14 mth old, ever.

Seeing my Husband on the back part of the out and back as I was making my way to the turnaround. The Husband saved some of his water from the water stop and threw it up in the air so that it rained precious little water drops on me as we passed. True love.

The guy who turned around as I slowed down to tell me that there was a gas station up ahead if I was running out of gas.  Hardy har har har.

Seeing Kim.

Kim pushing me.  She sees what I consider to be my limitations and setbacks and she laughs at them. She pulls me out of my pity party and always makes me feel like I just climbed a mountain bare foot.

So will there be another race in my future.  Probably.  : )

That’s hawt.

It’s been hot.  Hawt hot.  My next race is July 15th on my turf.  Very excited about this one, but of course, I need to get my butt in gear because I haven’t been squeezing in the runs lately.  Mostly because running in the heat is just so unappealing to me.  I could do it every once in a while (like on race day), but I think I would find it really difficult to make a conscious effort to get my run on when the temperature hits stupidly hot.

A friend of mine gave me her kid’s old jogging stroller. It’s in perfect condition and is really light weight.  I was so excited to take LP out for a run and actually be able to run with the Husband at the same time.  Of course, the second the stroller was passed down to us, the temperature decided to stay in the 90’s.  Fun stuff.

I thought running after LP ate dinner and before his bath time would be a nice time to squeeze in a run with the boys during the week. Not so much.  It was still in the 80’s around 6:30 PM, the sun was setting in my eyes, and I was trying to get used to the jogging stroller.  All this equated to a craptastic run. I think I was just unprepared for running in nasty, humid weather.

Fast forward to Saturday morning’s run.  We decided to get in a run before the sun started to blaze.  It worked out pretty well, except that neither of us are used to running in the heat.  It was 80 degrees and mostly shady but the minute we were out of the shade, running in the sun really made me feel awful, but we did it! There was going to be a Sunday morning run but it was 85 degrees at like 9 AM so I was like “Um, no “.  The husband didn’t put much of a fight on that one, either.

I bring up all this running in the heat stuff because I think I spent most of the weekend marveling at – no. Marveling isn’t the right word.  Floored.  Yes, I’ll go with floored. As I was riding to and from in my air conditioned car this weekend,  I was  floored by how many people were running in the heat of the day! Most without any water with them, some in sweat pants (!!!SWEATPANTSSSSSSS!!), some without a hat or a visor to shield them from the glaring sun.  I was s-h-o-c-k-e-d.  Really, people?  First, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the NEED to run while it is STIFLING hot. How do you breath when the air quality is crap!  I really want to know.  I’m not judging or anything, but I am just so damn curious behind this rationale.

Is it because you are training for a race and NEED to get in a certain amount of miles?

Just have to run?

Is it the challenge?

Is it because the heat just doesn’t bother you? Are you used to it?

How hot is too hot?

I get that most runners don’t want to halt their passion just because a little heat wave is rolling through, but I wonder if they ever consider an alternative.  Like running on a treadmill inside? Or maybe swimming? Or maybe running at dawn or at dusk?  Or maybe reading a book on a hammock (sign me up!).  I was really concerned that some of these runners were just going to drop dead or pass out!  I know the concept of running in hot weather isn’t new, but I guess since I’ve been running since October, I’m noticing it more this summer.  I feel like for me, there is no need to push myself like that.  I want to enjoy running and running in hot weather is just not my cup of tea.  I rather exercise good judgment.  I more or less know what I can handle, and I don’t think I could handle running in the heat of the day like so many of these runners were doing.  I guess if their bodies can handle it, more power to them.

Yes, I know this sounds like a whiny little rant, but I really am intrigued.