Today’s Lesson: You gotta run fast, to get fast.

If this were a year ago and I called and told you I was done with a lactate threshold track workout totaling 9 miles on a HUMID AF summer day by 8AM you would have thought I was clearly pullin’ your leg. Like, hard. Up and out the door by Ass Crack O’Clock with coffee no less? To THE TRACK?  No way. No how. No never.

Oh, but wait….

omg

I JUST FREAKING DID!

I swear to you. I don’t even know who I am anymore. All of this shape shifting started about a month ago when I hired a Coach and got back to blogging. Since then, I have been diligently logging my prescribed miles, interacting with my Coach and sweating my face off. Humid summer runner I am not. But I need to be. STAT. Today was Track Tuesday. It’s been mega humid here in New England. Saturday’s long run was the worst 15 miles I have run in a decade. I’m not even exaggerating. Slowest run in 10 years. I can’t even believe how bad it was. “Long and Hilly, Colby!” did not bode well for me with 90% humidity and 83 degrees. That was at 6:30am. So much for early. I died a thousand deaths. And promptly sweated out every ounce of confidence I had in me. I hate when that happens. As I was reminded today, confidence and positivity training is just as important as physical training.

Track Tuesday

My Local Track, aka The Surface of the Sun.

After Saturday’s cluster fuck unfortunate run, I began self-sabotaging. You know, looking ahead to my workouts and straight up panicking at the paces and distances whilst weather stalking? THAT’S NOT PRODUCTIVE, COLBY. Not even a bit. So today rolled around and I told myself that I was not going to let a little humidity thwart me. So what I’m suffocating? I CAN run fast. And I WILL run fast. Dammit.

Today was a lactate threshold run which simplistically speaking means you hold a faster pace for a longer time, multiple times with a short recovery, then repeat it. I mean, that’s why we train for a marathon in the first place – run faster, longer. Once you’ve built your running base, lactate threshold training is the key to getting faster – at least according to Running Yoda’s Everywhere. Pushing yourself and maintaining a semi-uncomfortable pace with a short recovery then doing it all again. In my case, I ran 8 x 1k’s with a 90 second recovery. When your body produces more lactate then it can utilize and you’ve created more waste products than you are able to clear –  BINGO! – you’ve hit your lactate threshold. It’s a tipping point. Going beyond your lactate threshold makes your legs super tired, super fast. The goal here is to train them not to, to put it off as long as possible. Toe that line. Improve your lactate threshold and improve your tipping point.  So off I went, totally effen intimidated.

Stay in the Fight!

Here’s what I learned this hot, humid Track Tuesday. And, Dear Reader, I feel compelled to share these pearls of wisdom with YOU! #LuckyDuck

  • You can convince yourself that you are NOT imploding from the heat by visualizing yourself making snow angels in the buff instead of running circles on the surface of the sun. Just stop obsessing about it. It’s hot. Get over it. You can do this without melting. I promise.
  • Running fast is hard. It’s supposed to hurt. You’re supposed to want to give up. BUT DON’T. Stay in the fight! I yelled that out loud multiple times. Like a maniac.
  • Don’t be intimidated. It’s circles on a track. Figure out how to program a workout on your Garmin, and GO. Make it mindless. Stop thinking so much. Don’t be scared. Just run. For f*ck’s sake Colby, JUST RUN.

And the most important thing I learned today?

  • I am faster than I think. I need to tell myself that every day. And I’d better start goddamn believing it.

Xoxo,

Colby

Do you self-sabotage? Are you a hazy hot running rock star? Do you yell at yourself out loud while running?  Do you get intimidated by track workouts? 

 

 

Skratch Labs. We’ve Got a Giveaway Up in Here!



Skratch LabsIn celebration of Global Running Day, which also happens to dovetail sweatingly with The Hottest Half Marathon I Have Ever Survived, we here at It’s a Marathon AND a Sprint thought it appropriate to do a Skratch Labs Hydration Pack Give Away!!! Skratch Labs  has been my go-to for all things hydration for the past 6 years. Girlfriend is brand loyal. Because when you find good stuff, you stick with it.

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Skratch Labs Giveaway Hydration Pack! All this can be yours!

Back in the day, I knew it as Secret Drink Mix. How badass was that? I felt like a hydrated spy on my whip.  It was big among cyclists who wanted an alternative to what was on the market. It was known as a hydration mix that was easy on the belly and made from “skratch”- no coloring agents, artificial sweeteners, synthetic flavoring agents or excess chemicals. In short, real stuff. Good stuff. For that reason, I tried it.

What followed was a borderline obsession with all things Skratch Labs. These hydration mixes, and since last year, their fruit chews, have fueled me through centuries, half-marathons, marathons, snow shoe races, an ultra marathon and all the way to a BQ. I found a unicorn whilst hydrating with Skratch Labs. #truestory. I chug the Exercise Hydration Mix before, during and after exercise. I’m partial to raspberry, but all of the flavors are delicious- pineapple especially.  The matcha + lemons hydration mix is the only one that contains natural caffeine. Zing! They also make an apples and cinnamon hydration mix which is sipped hot. It’s a hug in a cup. Actually, it’s a hug in a non-GMO + gluten free + dairy free + vegan + kosher + delicious cup.

Skratch Labs for days!

And if you enter this give away?

You’ll get a taste of all of them!

With hydration requirements reaching a fever pitch, HELLO SUMMER!, we thought it was time to put together a Skratch Labs Hydration pack. We care about you. Stay hydrated, Poodles. So go on, enter away.  Giveaway ends June 8th at 11:59pm! We’re linking up with the lovely Erica and Smitha to #WinAllThePrizes in their #Giveaway Roundup! Check them out. Tons o’ giveaways! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter! And good luck!

Skratch Labs Rafflecopter giveaway!

Some rules. Otherwise, I’d just toss the stuff around like pixie dust. Or better yet, glitter.

Giveaway ends June 8th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. The product provided for the review was free of charge from Skratch Labs.  Colby is a Skratch Labs Taste Agent, however, her opinions, of which she has many, are her own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. 

 

 

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Vermont City Marathon 2016: Feelin’ the Burn.

meme

I would like to preface this piece by stating straight on up front that the 2016 Vermont City Marathon and Relay was the hottest race I have ever run. EVER.

How hot?

It was soooooooo hot….

That they cancelled it. 

Yup. Cancelled it. Black flagged. As it was in progress. Done. Finished. Over. Stop, drop and melt.  Or, find a lovely Vermonter to hose you down and pad you with Popsicles whilst you wait for a school bus to drive your desiccated ass back to the finish. The news was trending on Twitter on Sunday. Vermont was trending on Twitter. How the hell often does that happen? That’s how hot it was. It was no joke.

It was the first time in Vermont City Marathon history that the race was halted. I ran the marathon as part of the 2-Person Relay and for those quoted with saying “it wasn’t THAT hot,” to you I say LIAR, LIAR, RUNNING SHORTS ON FIRE!!!  Because they goddamn were. You know it. I know it. We all know it. It was hotter than Hell. So unless you swiftly tucked your horns under your visor or jammed your forked tail into your running shorts, YOU, Overheated Devil Runner, are full of hot baked beans.

Brutal. All I kept thinking about as I watched the course warning move from moderate to HIGH, was that I felt like I was running a half marathon in a Bikram yoga class. Only add direct sun. There was no shade. No breeze. Nothing but heat. And it was radiating up from the lava field  we were running upon. There is a section called the Beltline which was easily the hottest spot in the North East that day. I can’t even explain how I felt. Cooked? Braised? Slow roasted?  All of the above!?!?  That was by mile 4. Within an hour, the warning had moved up to HIGH HEALTH RISK. I saw a runner down around mile 4. And from there until mile 13.1, I saw at least 5 more. It was horrible. The sounds of ambulances were becoming frighteningly common.  No bueno.

burlington free press image

Source: Burlington Free Press.

It was roughly 90 degrees by noon, which is not the only reason why the race was halted. There is something called the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature which I didn’t even know was a thing until I read about it on the Vermont City Marathon website. They did an outstanding job of keeping runners abreast of the heat situation via messaging and posting. Having run the full marathon a few years ago, albeit with a black eye, I can’t tell you enough how much I love this race. I’d run it every year. They do a great job. Besides, I love Burlington. And it’s vibe…and craft beer….and tacos…..and did I say beer?

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on May 28, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT

 

So. Back to the WBGT. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature is a composite temperature determined by measuring ambient air temp, humidity, wind and solar radiation on humans.  It’s used by athletes and even the military, to determine a person’s exposure level to high temperature. On Sunday, the WBGT exceeded 82 at 3 consecutive readings along the course. Because of this, officials were forced to halt the marathon due to the extreme heat. Tough choice? You bet. But I believe it was a smart, responsible one made by the Race Director and folks at Run Vermont. Would I have thrown myself into Lake Champlain if I was this close to finishing and it stopped? You bet.

I would have had such conflicted emotions. That’s a lot of training and sacrifice lost. Such time and effort. But let’s be honest, even in the most perfect training conditions, anything can happen on race day. With regard to the weather, it’s a total crap shoot.  I’m not sure who was going to bust out a personal best in extreme temperatures in light of the complete lack of extreme temperatures in the week’s leading up to the race. At least in this part of the country. Other than an 80 degree shake out run the day before, I hadn’t run seriously in the heat since last summer. Expectations definitely needed to be tempered. Or, completely thrown out the window. Among the runners I chatted with, they certainly had altered their goals. I know I had. It was so unfortunate for them. I would have been devastated if I were running the full. No doubt. But at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. They called off the race at roughly the 4 hour mark. My heart breaks for all those who didn’t finish. Darlin’ Rae especially. I feel you, Girl. 😦

And me? My race was a hot mess. Literally and figuratively. I am happy to say I finished with my all-time slowest half marathon time, chafing in places that will go unnamed and 2 serious heart palpitations that made me stop in my tracks and walk. What. The. F*ck. And I was salted, trained, hydrated and Skratch Lab’d up.  See why I think it was smart to stop it?  That’s scary stuff. Fortunately, I was absolutely fine. I was just overheating and overexerting myself like 1000s of runner’s that day. I am also happy to report that my running partner and I finished in under 4 hours. Right before the Black Flag unfurled. We were lucky. I’m proud of our run. I’m even more proud of the gracious Vermonters who stood out in that heat and cheered, hosed, iced, Popsicled and orange sliced their way into this hot runner’s heart. Thank you! It was a tough choice, but a safe one. One hot run does not a bad race make.  Run Vermont. I know I’ll be back. 🙂

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on May 29, 2016 at 1:24pm PDT

 

Have you ever run a race that was stopped due to weather? How would you have reacted? Hot weather runner or cold weather runner? GO!

Running, Racing and Sweating My Face Off

Big Ang Summer

It’s summer. And I know. This past winter was OFF THE CHAIN cold. I remember being in the throes of it, wishing for a sip of sunshine. That’s just it. I wanted the sunshine in sips. Small doses. I didn’t want to shotgun the sunshine. Or funnel it circa 1994 Spring Weekend Party at Brick House. I wanted to sip it. Casually. In moderation. You know, ease into summer. Like all runners should. Wouldn’t that have been nice?

What happened instead was a sufferfest that lasted all damn week, turned my runs into slop, and made me nauseous. Damn. Just when I felt I was really rolling. A Running Meltdown.  I know. I’ll suck it up. I’ve got no choice. But man, that initial heat wave was BRUTAL.  It just sucks every damn ounce of life out of me. I am horrible at running in temperatures over 80 degrees. At least initially. I totally suck at it. Camel, I am not. I am hoping and praying that with a little acclimation, I turn into Helios, and laugh right in the sun’s bright, hot, fat face. Until then, I’m running alongside the Stuggle Bus. Here’s how the week went:

Monday: 5+ mile run at lunch.The elusive run at lunch, or “runch” as all the cool kids say.  Not incredibly hot, just incredibly wet. I got caught in a down pour. And in a stupid stealth move, this happened:

Yup. I found a discarded plastic “baggie” in a super seedy section of town by my work, turned that bitch inside out, ignored suspicious residue and saved my phone. And I’d totally do it again.

Tuesday: 7 miles +. Intervals. Treadmill.  12 X 400m, 400m recovery. Plus warm up. Plus cool down. Plus exhaustion. But, I did them. Then almost blew it by eating gelato for breakfast.

Gelato. Oh how I love thee...

Gelato. Oh how I love thee…

Wednesday: REST. I took my rest day seriously. Drunk Otis and I went for a walk. It was OPPRESSIVE.

Where's Drunk Otis?

Where’s Drunk Otis?

Thursday: 5 miles. Was supposed to be 6 miles. Bad Colby. Got nauseous and light headed. Cursed the heavens. Did manage to run at my prescribed pace, but nearly melted in the process. Ended run in a damn heap.

Note: I should have known I was going to spontaneously combust on Thursday. Especially since I started the day all fired up with the #TimHunt “girl-scientists-are-blubbering-temptresses-and-should-work-in-segregated-labs” bullshit.  

Stop. Just stop.

Friday: 5 miles. Was supposed to be 6 miles. Bad Colby. Again. Packed black t-shirt, black shorts, black hat. Died 1,000 deaths. Did not get nauseous. Progress. Did however consume shaker of salt the moment I staggered in the door. Checked weather app before run and this is what I got. (P.S. The actual temp was 86. Liar.)Hot

Saturday: 6.2 mile trail race. This was the second race in that Trail 2 Trail Series I ran a month ago. Such a great race series. If you’re in the Northeast- check ’em out. I ran. I sweated. I got lost. I had a goddamn blast. I love trail races! Although I am quite certain I left with malaria. And a tick borne disease. In a very happy twist, I managed to come in 2nd in my age group and consumed a small watermelon at the finish. YES!

In a heap.

In a heap.

Sunday: 20 mile bike ride at break neck speed. I rode with My Other Half. Which means, I rode a Stage of the Tour. You pretty much know you are screwed when you look at your bike computer and think to yourself: Huh. Check me out! I’m riding well! 25mph. Lookit me go!  Then you glance back up and realize you got dropped LIKE YOU WERE STANDING STILL by your Beloved. He turned the screws on my tired ass. And dropped me like a hot, sweaty potato.  Agony.

But beautiful.

But beautiful.

Total miles run:  Just shy of 30.

Total miles biked: 20. They were a blur.

Gallons of sweat lost: 6.

How long does it take you to get accustomed to running in the heat? Hot weather runner or cold weather runner? How do you hydrate during long runs: hydration vest, hand held or plant water bottles?

Half-Marathon Amnesia

So this happened.

Unless they are Colby and Tina.

Yup. This actually happened. Tina and I BOTH forgot we were running a half marathon TOMORROW. How the hell does that even happen? To be fair, the thought crossed our minds late last week, but I honestly thought it was on Sunday. Which makes sense, because I had the “Today is Monday” feeling all goddamn week. I have zero idea what day it is. Although I was just informed (to my absolute delight) that it was Friday. WINNER! That’s what happens when you come off of a FANTASTIC vacation filled with copious amounts of beer. I blame it on the Heady Topper. Relive the fabulosity here.

Apparently we are running what has been billed as “The 2nd Hilliest Half” in Connecticut. Which begs the question: What the hell is the 1st Hilliest Half in Connecticut? Where is the ranking? Or is it a weird marketing ploy? Second Hilliest Half my ass. We’ve run two in particular that would make a billy goat puke. This one will be at least 3rd Hilliest by our standards. So as you can imagine, our touch of Half Marathon Amnesia has us both mildly concerned. So does tomorrow’s humidity. And the allergies which have suddenly crippled me. In all of my years on planet earth, I have never so much as batted an eye at pollen. This year? I am a wheezy puffy sniffy hot mess. T-Bone ain’t feeling so hot either. Should be a Classic Colby and Tina Shit Show. (Sadly, pun intended.)

What jogged my memory, you ask? This text from Tina bright and early this morning: Half Marathon AmnesiaFollowed by a string of expletives, an arched eyebrow and a CAN’T WE JUST MEET FOR BLOODY MARY’S AND BAG IT FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

No, Poodle. No we can’t. We can give up Bloody Mary’s, but we’re not quitters.

Have you ever forgotten about a race? Have you suddenly developed allergies that have left you in a sneezey wheezy heap?

Fairfield Half Marathon. The (Final) Recap.

Heavens to Murgatroyd.

Here’s what MY recap would read if I were allowed only 3 lines.
It was hot.
It was humid.
I KNOW it was my last Fairfield Half.

Tina wrote an excellent recap of the FFH (and yes, feel free to insert the f-word and ‘hot as balls’ into that acronym as you see fit. ) You can read Part 1 of our recap here. We decided since this Fairfield Half was our swan song, we would write the recap in two parts. Double your pleasure!

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The Course.

I want to state for the record, that the Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon is brilliantly run by JB Sports. They do a hell of a job with all of their races- they are always well run, well marked and well supported. Fairfield has everything a half marathon should- a spectacular rolling course through a beautiful shoreline town, a great post-race party right on Jennings Beach, bands along the course, an ample number of water stops, and a boatload of spectators cheering wildly. It’s a great race. Honest. But, ya gotta love the heat. It’s usually the third weekend in June which means that no matter what the forecast is the week leading up to it, figure on it being 90 degrees, 0.5 mph wind, with 100% humidity. I’ve run this beast 5 years in a row. That’s been the story every year.

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5 years of Fairfield Half Marathon Medals!

And yet, I still run it.

5:30AM. Rise and shine. Pad into the kitchen and make coffee. Debate on making a coffee slushy instead. I’m thinking ahead. Anything to lower my core body temperature. Opt for a cool shower. Should have taken a pre-race ice bath. Eh. Live and learn Colby. Live and learn…

6:00AM. Out the door. Get gas. Contemplate feigning a pulled hammie and bailing while filling up. I wonder if this would be acceptable to Tina. Somehow I believe Tina is also planning an exit strategy of her own. Somehow I’m sure that we would never do any of that. It’s already 79 degrees.

6:45. I get to Tina’s. We have our philosophical discussion regarding why we decided to do this. I swear my lip quivers ever so slightly. I think her eyes tear up. Toughen up Buttercups. We’re doin’ this. I steal Tina’s Glide. Grab Gatorade. Out.

7:30. Park. Look up at the sky. Ball up fist and curse at the heavens. Cloudless. It’s well into the 80s.

8:15. Waiting in line at porta potty in a lava field. Squeeze the last sips of liquid from our water bottles and crawl to the start. I pull Tina to a sliver of shade. We are standing next to ‘Tan Mom’ in Nike Frees. Booty shorts, aviators and 17lbs of hair and extensions cascading down her back. No pony tail. What the?!? I gasp. Tina cringes. We scoot away. Far, far, away from all that hot hair.

8:30 – We’re off. I am SO not thrilled. When is it over? This ain’t good.

Miles 1-3. Despicable. Come on lungs, breathe. Zero rhythm. I am moving. But I don’t feel good about it. Rolling course, lots of turns, lots of hot, stinky, sweaty people. And ps: If you REEK at mile 2, you have an issue. It may be glandular. Either that or you need a new high efficiency washing machine or a bonefire to burn those stank ass shorts. Actually? Just strip down and throw them on the black top. They’ll ignite in a few. It’s in the 90s now.

Mile 3. Sirens. Ambulance. Runner down. Oxygen. You are kidding me. Why am I doing this? I send telepathic messages to Tina. ABORT! ABORT! {Pause.} Nothing. Run on.

Miles 3.5-6. Contemplate The Meaning of Running. Decide I still love it, despite how badly I want to cannonball into Long Island Sound. Also decide I am not running this one again. I’m miserable. The heat is EPIC. Every. Year. I see the Boomslangs, Tina’s son’s band. They ROCK! I dance by, fist pumping, screaming like I was on fire. Oh wait. I think I am. Consider stopping, then run harder.

Miles 7-9. Shade? Shut. Up. It’s minimal but I’ll take it! I am melting. Fall into a great familiar rhythm. (Well, that only took 7 miles…) Fear I really am a distance runner. Smile wildly at the notion.

Mile 9. Lean runner down. Fit. Oxygen. Whole shebang. Shit got really real. That’s two. This blows.

Mile 9-12. Calculating how far I have to go with every step. It’s excruciating. Glance at my Garmin. Not bad considering I’m running through fondue. Decide I’m finishing in 2 hours. Shake a leg Colby.

Mile 12-12.5. Realize I’m running next to a Marine holding an American flag. I’m amazed how anyone can run holding anything. People cheer loudly for him. I wave as if I’m part of his entourage. For a second I’m Miss America. I’m blowing kisses. I am certain I have heat stroke.

12.5- 13.1. Sweet Baby Jesus. The Finish. Down a dirt path. Huge crowd lines the gravel runway. Sand kicks up. I swear I see a camel. I’m hallucinating. Oh no I’m not. The finish line! Mission accomplished! I hijack a pitcher of water and stagger off to find Tina. We laugh at how we REALLY ran the same race- mentally, physically and emotionally. We pinky swear we’re not doing this again.

Who are we kidding?

I finish at 2:01.
It must have been the kisses.
I’ll take it.

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Summertime Blues

It’s no secret that Colby and I are not exactly fans of running in the heat. But since summer is almost here and there are lots of hot-weather runs and races for us in the near future, we have fully accepted that we are just going to have to suck it up. Sigh.

Gearing up for the hot & sticky running season ahead, I thought I’d write down some of my favorite tips for running in the heat. If you can’t beat ’em, join ‘em…

1. Wear light clothes. And I don’t just mean lightweight, I mean light in color, too. Dark clothes absorb heat. Loose fitting clothes will feel cooler than tight ones, as well. Save the black compression shorts for when it is cooler.

2. Avoid cotton like the plague. Look for fabrics that wick unless you want a hot, soggy mess stuck to your skin for the duration of your run. And a nice case of road rash afterward.

3. Speaking of which, loose-fitting tech clothes – though way better than plain old cotton in the wicking department – do not possess magical powers, and will still get damp, especially along the seams. Since wearing wet clothes is an invitation to chafing and road rash, be sure to use Glide on any skin that touches the seams, waistlines, etc. of your clothes. I always get “bitten” on my back by the waistline of my shorts even with Glide – I can only imagine how bad it would be without it. Yowza.

4. Wear a visor. Or a loose fitting, breathable hat. Keeping the sun from beating directly on to your face will make a world of difference in your comfort level.

5. Wear sunscreen. Running with a sunburn will only make you feel worse, both during and after the run.

6. When you are sweating a lot, water alone isn’t enough to keep you safely hydrated. Make sure you switch up plain water with a drink that contains sodium and electrolytes. Your stomach may not like this. Be sure to experiment with different drinks (or gels or chews) before race day.

7. Hydrate before you head out for a run – drink a glass of water before you head out the door. If you have a race coming up, be sure to start hydrating with extra water, coconut water and/or sports drinks a few days before the race. Lots of juicy fruits and vegetables, chia seeds and some salty foods in addition to water in the days before a race or long run will help keep you hydrated.

8. Hydrate while you run. Be sure to bring water with you if there is no water available on your route. Camelback bags, hydration belts, handheld water bottle holders – there are plenty of options for carrying water with you while you run, including the old school option of just carrying a water bottle in your hand. Colby shared a great idea with me a few years ago –she stashes water bottles along her route before she heads out for a long run, so she has a fresh supply at regular intervals. I usually put them in friends’ mailboxes that happen to be on my route, so I can easily swap out the empty bottles for the full ones. If your stomach tolerates it well, add in a sports drink at some point during a long run or race. I can’t drinks sports drinks during a long run or race, but do just fine with coconut water.

9. Hydrate after you run. Sense a theme here? Hydration – it’s a Good Thing. Make sure you switch up plain water with a drink (or food, chew or gel) that also contains electrolytes and salt – especially if, like me, you have limited stomach tolerance for drinking sports drinks before and while running. If it sounds like you basically have to hook yourself up to an IV for the summer – well, that’s about right, if you plan on doing a lot of running outside.

10. If you are racing, focus on running smart, not fast. If you take the few seconds to stop at water stations for a drink or two, you will probably finish the race faster, not slower. And you will feel a heck of a lot better at the end. A race in the heat is not the time to try for a PR.

11. On the subject of wet clothes…lots of hot weather races have sprinkler stations. While running through cold water can be instantly refreshing, tread lightly when it comes to the sprinkler station. Running afterward in wet clothes may make you feel worse and give you a rash and/or blisters. Probably best to hit a sprinkler station toward the end of the race, so you aren’t running for long in soaking wet clothes and shoes.

12. Putting a coldpack or running cold water on the inside of your wrists is a great way to cool down quickly after a run. And it feels great.

Anyone else have some good hot-weather running tips? Let me know. It’s a blissful mid-60’s/low 70’s here in CT this week, but we’re not fooled – we know it’s not gonna last for long….

Vermont Covered Bridges Half Marathon – The Recap

What we signed up to run.

What we signed up to run through.

What we actually ran.

What we actually ran on.

Let me tell ya, this race was less about covered bridges (there were only 2) and more about running miles and miles on hot asphalt that felt like running on the surface of the sun (there were probably 10 of those).

Holy heatwave.

For anyone who is not in the Northeastern United States, we had a heatwave over the weekend that extended into Vermont.  Yes, that same green, leafy, normally-cool Vermont where we had a half-marathon on Sunday.  Given that it SNOWED in Vermont over Memorial Day weekend, running in a heatwave was the last thing on our minds until a few days before the race, when we finally had to accept the forecast as accurate. Now, some of you Southerners might love a good heatwave, but Colby and I are New Englanders – cold weather people.  Throw us a deep freeze – we love it! Give us a blizzard – we’ll grab our Yak Trax! Hurl an icy wind at us – that’s what balaclavas are for!   But heat? Haze? Humidity? That’s what makes these grown women cry.

Nonetheless, that’s what we had on our hands on Sunday.  A “situation.” A hot, hazy, humid situation. It was 76 degrees at the start (at 8:15 AM) and somewhere in the mid- 80’s at the finish. Aside from a 2 mile stretch on a trail alongside a shady stream (which felt like a different race altogether), it was hot, sticky and uncomfortable for every single step of that damn race. But we did it. And I must say, Colby and I are pretty freaking proud of ourselves. We worked hard for this one and we did it. We are especially proud of Colby’s sister Andie, who has been sick and unable to train properly and nonetheless finished the race, raising $500 for a local homeless shelter in the process. That is determination. Go, Andie!!

If I may digress from race recap for a minute, I have to share what an AWESOME weekend it was, hot and miserable race aside.  We stayed at Andie’s adorable weekend house in Vermont and she was a hostess extraordinaire. We essentially had a private chef in the form of her friend Terri, who came to cheer us on and made us an amazing dinner on Saturday. And we had our wonderful friend Michelle, who also came to cheer us on, provided lots of laughs and fun girl talk and stocked us up with every magazine currently in print. It was a great girls’ weekend and I don’t think I have been that relaxed in ages.

When I arrived at Andie’s house, the first thing I realized was that I didn’t get cell service there.  What a gift! For a mother of 3, to have a weekend getaway while the kids are home with the husband is a treat. To arrive and find that no one can reach you easily is like checking into a hotel and finding that they have upgraded you to the Presidential Suite. We spent Saturday doing nothing – the most important kind of nothing, where you sit around and talk about everything from Kim Kardashian’s Met Ball gown (Oh, my) to ideas for new business launches. Heaven.

OK, back to the $%^%$#*!# race.

The course was beautiful and it would have been a really fun race had it not been so miserably hot. The course started at Suicide Six, a small ski area in Pomfret, Vermont, then wound its way to and through the town of Woodstock. If you have not been to Woodstock, think of what a Hollywood set for “quintessential quaint New England town” would look like. That’s Woodstock. (Also, if you have not been to Woodstock, you should go. Seriously. Put it on your list. Beautiful town.) The course continued along sizzling country roads and that heavenly shaded trail, through two covered bridges and ended at the Polo Fields in Queechee, Vermont.  The scenery was beautiful and wonderful people lined the course to cheer us on. Even the bands that played along the course were like something from central casting for a Vermont town  – high school bands, fife & drum corps, senior citizen music groups in straw boaters playing Glen Miller songs and even a drum circle of bongos to represent Vermont’s crunchier side. Oh, how I wish I could have taken it all in and enjoyed it more. But the heat!

This was absolutely a put one foot in front of the other type race. Self talk was the only thing that pushed me through the discomfort. That, and wearing a visor (I don’t know what I would have done if the sun had actually been able to beat down on my face) and stopping at every water station for a cup of water or two. Definitely the type of race where you need to focus on running smart, not fast. Now that I’m home and fully cooled off – 2 days later- I can say that I am glad I ran this race because I am proud of how I ran it. If I ever start to doubt the power of mind over matter, I will think of this race. I talked myself through every uncomfortable mile. And did it.

I am, however, still thirsty.

Transitions

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I ran 5 miles yesterday. It was 16 degrees.

I ran 5 miles today. It was 76 degrees.

It’s official. My lungs have picked up their bronchioles, wheezed “What the f*%# Colby?!” and quit.

I’m not complaining. Really I’m not. I miss Bundlin’ Up. I really do. And its only been a day. After reading Tina’s Ode to Yak Trax earlier today, I’m dying to bust out mine and take them for a spin. But just not here in Sunnyville.

I struggled today. 5 miles at 76 degrees? Total struggle bus. And 76 degrees isn’t even that hot. It’s the delta. Its the 60 degree change without increasing my fluid intake (unless rum counts as hydration. Coconut water it is not, but mixed with it? Hmmmmm.)

I’ve been slacking when it comes to drinking water because of how cold its been at home. “Ahhhh. It’s cold out. I’m “hardly” sweating.” That mindset translates to me drinking a thimble of water a day. That doesn’t fly down here in South Flahhhhrida. I was a salty, dehydrated, sluggish mess. I blame myself.

Moral to the story: Drink Up People.

No matter what the temperature. Don’t be fooled into thinking your need for water and electrolytes disappears with a cold front. Especially when your training remains the same. Keep hydrating. Tomorrow is supposed to be 83. I bought some Gatorade which, by the way, does not go well with rum.

Cheers!

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