The summer officially arrived shortly after my most recent 5k, but I really felt it the week before during the Braves Country 5k. I grew up a Florida girl, but didn’t become a runner until I had been in Georgia just over eight years. That also means I’m on my second summer of the three H’s in Atlanta – heat, hills and humidity. While the humidity here is nowhere close to Florida standards, it still affects me as a slower aced runner. Last year, I scoffed at articles that said pace is slower in the heat and then I saw my four straight months of 5ks getting better turn into me just hoping I didn’t run worse than at first 5k.
The struggle is real. And unlike my Florida friends, there is a hill somewhere on every 5k course in the Atlanta area. So how does an already slow paced runner like me motivate myself to keep running at all, let alone longer distances? I hydrate comstantly and now carry water with me on nearly every run. Hydration is a huge key to summer workouts and it’s not just a day before the run thing, it’s an everyday thing. I also have realized that finishing my run is more important than pace, no matter how long it takes. This means if I have to walk to cool down, I do it. I’m still moving and still faster than someone on the couch or still asleep. I have also realized it’s okay if I can’t go as fast as I’d like because it’s important to finish and hot weather doesn’t last forever.
What motivates you to run in heat, humidity and/or on hills?