Summer Runnin’

Back in January I wrote a post about Winter Running and how to be smart about dressing for the chilly temps while training.  It doesn’t feel that long ago that I was bundling up in all those layers but here we are in July with all the opposite problems.  I admittedly complain a lot in the winter about snow and cold and how it’s so dark all of the time, so when the summer season rolls around I don’t allow myself to gripe about the heat.  That being said, there are some precautions and adjustments that have to be made to run safely in the higher temps.

I wrote several paragraphs in my winter post about what to wear.  Summer is way easier because you wear a lot less.  It takes far less time for me to grab shorts, a sports bra and tank top than the 12 piece ensemble I have to get together in the winter.   I’m obsessed with the lulu lemon run swiftly tank.  It’s a staple so they always have them and the colors are constantly changing.  I love the fit of this top and how well it breathes so it’s never too heavy against my skin.  On the bottom, my two favorites are the Nike Tempo Track short or the lulu lemon speed short.  The priority is that it’s all wicking material to keep you as dry as possible.  Just like winter gear, you can also find great deals on breathable shorts and tops at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.

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left: Chrissy and I bundled up in Feb; right: Chrissy and I sweating our butts off in July

The most obvious challenge for running in the heat is hydration.  While in cooler weather I’ll just plan my route around finding water every 4-6 miles, when the temperature is in the 80’s I will want to be able to hydrate at least every mile.  For many years this was a challenge for me since the ‘go to’ gear for hydration is a fuel belt.  I can’t imagine trying to get through a long run wearing something like this but for many runners they are comfortable and a great solution.  Eventually I found this hand-held  water bottle from Nathan and it works great for me.  The hand strap makes it comfortable to hold the bottle without gripping and they have recently updated the design to make it easier to hold and improved the lid to prevent leaking.   It also has a pocket big enough for a few Gu’s, some cash and it fits most cell phones.  I’m on my 4th bottle.

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Nathan Quick Draw bottle – I love this thing

Me and my Nathan Water Bottles…A love story

I bought my first hand held bottle to train for and run Philly in 2009.  I truly believe I would not have BQ’ed if hadn’t been for that bottle.  I definitely saved time not having to stop at crowded water stations the first 13 miles (I qualified by less than 14 seconds) and then Kate took it with her since she was running the half.  Unfortunately, I was forced to sacrifice the bottle at mile 15 of Chicago in 2011 since I missed seeing the person I was going to hand it off to.  At that point in the race it felt like it weighed 20 lbs so I tossed it to a stranger and then Kate and I had a moment of silence to honor all it had done for me.  I purchased a new bottle (#2) but my dog at the straps on that one.  The 3rd one is still going strong but Kate bought me the new updated design for my birthday.  I had no idea Kate was so heavily involved with my water bottle history until writing this.  Its special.

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Kate buying my new bottle at Marathon Sports for my birthday.  See below for an update on the baby she’s carrying!

I ran into a Nathan rep at the City Sports Back in the Day 10k and he was showing me some of the other products they offer.  There are tons of options out there to be comfortable and stay hydrated so check them out online or visit an athletic store that carries those products.

Another piece of advice I have for summer running is taking advantage of the extra daylight hours.  The sun is up at 5:00 am and it’s still light out at 8:30 giving us runners more time to get the miles in without use of reflector gear or headlamp.  It’s also a little cooler in the early morning hours and the evening providing a bit of relief.  If I can handle the alarm, I will try to get out of bed before 5:30 with hopes that the temperature isn’t too high yet.  Then I am back at home with plenty of time to do a quick ab workout and maybe even stretch before getting ready for work.  Okay, I never stretch but I would have time for it if I wanted to.

Don’t forget the sunscreen.  They make all kinds of sunscreen that is supposed to be sweat proof so slather it on before you go out.  I use separate sunscreen/ moisturizer on my face because my skin is very sensitive.  If anyone knows a trick to relieve the pain from sunscreen sweating into your eyes, please pass it on.  It hurts so badly.  Still, use the sunscreen.  I also use a lip balm with an SPF in it because my lips do tend to burn and it’s not pretty.

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A small sampling of all the sun/skin products I own

Even if you avoid the burn, we ladies will still end up with tan lines from sports bras and tanks.  To solve that problem, I now have a beautiful collection of racerback sundresses to accommodate the clear divide between my exposed shoulder blades and the mid back protected by my lulu lemon tank.  I’ve embraced my racerback tan lines at this point – it’s all part of the Run Like a Girl lifestyle.  A good sweat is good for you so go get yourself some SPF 30 and get out there!

Comment with your favorite and most useful summer running tips!

By the way – the baby that Kate is carrying in the picture above (taken on June 28) is the newest addition to the Run Like A Girl family.  Welcome to the world Grace O’Malley who arrived on July 7th – five weeks early but healthy as can be.

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Meeting Baby Grace for the first time

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