5 Summer Running Tips

Baby it's hot outside!

And if you are like me, you are training for a fall race. Two in fact for me. The Kaua'i Marathon on September 6th and the Honolulu Marathon on December 13th. That means one thing, I need to make my summer long runs happen and not use temperatures as an excuse and with the Maui Marathon reaching record highs in temperatures last September, I need to be tough. Tough but not stupid. Overheating and dehydration are not good training elements and really should be avoided at all costs. Don't you agree?

So here are my top 5 summer running tips:
  1. Hydrate: Summertime is not the time to skimp on your hydration and I am completely for carrying your own hydration whether it be plain water or a sports drink. However, I would urge you to consider a sports drink for longer runs, especially in the summer, to ensure your electrolytes stay in balance. I like running hands free and my CamelBak Marathoner vest continues to be a blessing in my life. My vest is nearly two years old and is still holding up beautifully and if that doesn't attest to quality, what does? And hydration isn't just on the run but before and after. Be sure to keep your body hydrated for so many reasons. You can read more about hydration and dehydration HERE.
  2. Run in the cooler hours: This seems pretty straight forward doesn't it? You may just want to head out earlier in the day or later in the evening to log your long runs when the temperatures are cooler. I get wanting to train in the heat to get used to the heat. Truly, I do. I look forward to my Texas runs as heat training runs but if I know I am going for miles and miles, I will head out earlier. It is just the smart thing to do.
  3. Protect your skin: Summertime isn't just warmer temperatures but sunshine. Lather on sunscreen and for me, extra BodyGlide, to ensure your skin is protected from sunburns and chafing. You can even find me putting on my sunscreen before my running clothes to ensure I do not miss little patches of skin near the edges of my garments. I also try to convince myself that all that extra sunscreen provides a bit a chafing protection too. What do you think?
  4. Protect your eyes: Many people can forgot that their eyes need to be protected from the harsh sunlight, which can bounce back up into your eyes from the asphalt etc. I have very sensitive eyes so it is hard to forgot about them but I have also found some sunglasses bug me on the run as they slip and slide; however, Meb suggests in his book that this is because I am looking down a wee bit too much on my run. He may be on to something. Who am I to question Meb? I have also invested in a good wicking running hat that helps shield my eyes from the sunshine and it has the added benefit of keeping wispy hairs out of my eyes.
  5. Listen to your body: I can't stress this enough....LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! This is not only true during our hot summer runs but every single run we do. I wouldn't be where I am in my running streak without listening to my body and sometimes that means running less or slower. In the summer heat, running slower may be just what you and I need to do in order to hit our running distance goals. That is okay. Be kind to your body and it will repay you by performing well for many days to come.

What are your summer running tips?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my Texas running.

Daily Bible Verse: And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years." ~ Genesis 1:14


Aloha {or howdy} from Texas

Let me tell you one thing, colds suck! Recently mine have turned nasty and I so wish I talked my doctor in sending me to Texas with antibiotics "just in case" as my cold turned nasty and I ended up spending an arm and a leg on a clinic visit and antibiotics but it is worth it. Slowly but surely I am getting better and better but my right ear, the one that I guess has a perforated eardrum, is still feeling clogged but that isn't stopping me. I run for Toby! I am on vacation! I am enjoying life with darling daughter at the pool even if I have to be the mom who keeps her head above water (that is really tough for me but I am determined to keep this ear dry and happy so it will be nice to me on our flight home and no, I am not going to an ENT beforehand like the clinic suggested). 

Today I thought I would share some fun with you such as the text I got from my buddy Toby!!!!

It made my day!!! And now some random photos for you. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for antibiotics and that I was able to get some...no matter the cost. Really, the benefit does outweigh the cost.

Daily Bible Verse: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10


You are what you eat

If you had a childhood anything like mine I am sure you heard "You are going to turn into a xxx if you eat another xxx." You can fill in that xxx with whatever it is/was that you couldn't resist. Fast forward to today and I realize there is still a small list of go to foods that I do eat on a very regular, almost daily basis (I am listing my top 10 and please note, I do eat chicken or turkey on a regular basis too). Fortunately, it isn't Snickers anymore but for fun I thought I would look into what these foods offer my body as it is true, we are what we eat.

Bananas - We all hear bananas are a rich source of potassium but did you know they contain higher amounts of vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C? The potassium helps maintain good blood pressure and keeps your heart happy. The sterols in bananas can even keep your cholesterol lower and bananas help keep you regular due to their fiber content. From the athletic perspective, the potassium in bananas can help keep muscle cramps at bay. I even read you could fuel on the run with bananas but they said you would be eating 1/2 banana every 15 minutes?? No way!

Blueberries - The antioxidants in blueberries make them quite beneficial for nervous system and brain health and may improve your memory. The good news is that blueberries can be frozen without damaging their beneficial antioxidants and that is really good news because the vast majority of the blueberries I eat are frozen (and organic and I read organic blueberries are healthier)! Blueberries contain vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and copper.

Steel cut Oats - We have all heard oats are good for your heart and some may argue steel cut oats are healthier due to less processing and perhaps less sugar. All oats are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and protein and for me, that is a great way to start the day!

Beans - black or pinto - Beans can make your heart healthier and contain a range of cancer-fighting chemicals. The fiber in beans helps maintain a healthy gut and may make you feel full longer...although I am not convinced but perhaps I am just a very hungry person. I blame marathon training. A serving of pinto beans contains 15 grams of protein and 20% of the RDA for iron, 8% of the RDA for calcium, and 2% of the RDA of vitamin C. For black beans, a serving contains 15 grams of protein, 20% of the RDA for iron, 5% of the RDA for calcium, and no vitamin C and here I thought black beans were better than pinto beans. Maybe there are other factors at play.

Tomatoes - Tomatoes are another heart healthy food and the lycopene in them can help lower cholesterol plus tomato extracts can prevent the clumping of blood platelets. In addition, tomatoes may contribute to better bone health and may have anti-cancer benefits.

Almonds - Did you know almonds provide 49% of our RDA for biotin and 40% of our RDA for vitamin E? That is pretty cool! Besides helping keep our hearts healthy and lowering cholesterol, almonds may protect against diabetes. But just remember, whole almonds with their skins provide more heart happy protection and not only are they rich in protein, they provide calcium and iron. I now buy whole almonds, run them through the food processor, and add that to my morning oats in place of peanut butter.

Garlic - Garlic seems to be the magic food that many turn to for a happy heart, for anti-cancer benefits, and to boost their immune system. Some add that is can help fight dementia. Regardless, I love the flavor and cook with it regularly and yes, you can catch me eating roasted bulbs of garlic by themselves. Love them! P.S. And I do add some extra cloves when cooking when the family is battling colds.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon just may fight inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria in addition to lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and treating yeast infections. But honestly, I am not adding cinnamon to my coffee, oats, and tea for those benefits but for the flavor. I also question just how much cinnamon one would need to consume for a therapeutic benefit.

Tea - black or green - Tea may be good for your heart, have anti-cancer properties, encourage weight loss, and lower cholesterol but I truly find it a relaxing and therapeutic way to consume some extra water. I do waiver between caffeinated tea and decaffeinated and love a good chamomile tea at the end of the day to help me relax. And yes, with the onset of colds and coughs, I will turn to a hot cup of tea and perhaps add some lemon juice and honey with hopes I will be back to 100% sooner rather than later. But in case you are wondering, black tea has the highest amount of caffeine and green tea has the highest amount of ECGC, a powerful flavenoid that can fight free radicals.

Coffee - Coffee is a vice I should let go of because it can lead to a stuffy nose for me but for those less sensitive, it is also a nice pick me up and a good source of antioxidants. It may reduce type-2 diabetes, prevent Parkinson's disease, lower the risk of cancer, prevent liver disease, and is good for the heart. By golly, perhaps those pro's outweigh the con of my stuffy nose?

What are your top 10 foods you consume?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I recover quickly from my "coffee stuffy nose".

Daily Bible Verse: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31


My Virtual Mission

I am on a mission, a virtual mission, to run to Toby and to spread awareness of Down syndrome everywhere I go! It really is a neat mission and even though I don't go to "Mission Control" daily to update my mission, I log my miles daily on my paper log and on Daily Mile, so when I do report in I can bring things up to date. Plus I am in almost constant contact with my buddy through his amazing Mom.

Why am I telling you this? Because it matters. It means the world to me and I am so honored and blessed to run for Toby that I want to jump up and down and shout it from the mountaintops. God perfectly matched me with Toby, my forever buddy, and his Mom, my spiritual counterpart and sister in Christ. Together we are achieving great things through our daily battles and hurdles. We share our joys and our tears but most importantly, we share our prayers. Life is so much better when it is guided by a purpose and that purpose is not the number of medals on my hanger, shoes in my closet, likes on my facebook posts, or comments on my blog. What matters most is how you make others feel, how you pray for them, putting someone's needs ahead of your own, and following the path that you are truly meant to follow in your life.

The Kaua'i Marathon is quickly approaching and I am scared and excited. I have been knocked off of my training plan more than I would hope for due to colds. Colds have entered our household more so than ever this season and I have fallen victim to the coughing and my lungs have yelled out. But through this I remember, I am blessed to be able to run every single day through this. I am finding that things are indeed out of my control in so many ways. Perhaps God is trying to teach me that I need to let go of "my training plans" and follow His. I have faith I will do just fine come race day. I am not looking to PR. The course is a tough one with pretty intense hills but that is fine. I know it will be tough and my goal is to run it without losing my faith or purpose in running. To remember I am blessed to be able to run, that I am setting a good example for darling daughter, that I am running for Toby and Down syndrome awareness, and most importantly, I am running the race that God has set before me.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that in the virtual world I can run on water. It makes me smile just to think about the ocean and reefs below my feet.

Daily Bible Verse: The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9