Tag Archives: summer

Oh, the humidity!

11 Jul

My body seriously needed sleep last night so I didn’t even set my alarm for an early morning run today. I was looking forward to a twilight run tonight instead. Alas, I was stuck at work even later than usual for a Thursday so the run did not happen. Oh well, such is life.

Last night I did get an evening run in, though. Since I’m racing Sunday, I’m now in easy mode and took this run at a nice comfortable pace.

Holy humidity, Batman.

As I went along, it felt more and more like I was wearing a hot, wet blanket over my head. Yuck.

Good thing I did a core circuit before running, otherwise I would have drowned in a pool of my own sweat on my exercise mat.

I think they’ve decided to rename this area of the US the Northeast Tropics.

The August issue of Runner’s World had an article about the affect of humidity on performance and risk for heat illnesses. Relative humidity above 40% starts to impact performance. As temps rise from 75 – 90 degrees, heart rate can go up 10 to 20 bpm. Add the humidity and your perceived effort is magnified even more.

Considering the humidity has been in the 80-90+% range as of late, it doesn’t take a rocket cardiologist to figure out that the ol’ ticker is working hard to keep your body moving.

There are rumors from the weatherman that there will be some relief from this oppressive humidity soon. Fingers crossed for comfortable weather Sunday morning!


Danger: Heat Zone

5 Jul

I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July! I didn’t race, but I did a sweaty speed workout on the track in the morning before the BBQing began. To those who did race, I hope you stayed cool, ran fast, and enjoyed the festivities.

trackredwhiteblue wm

Hey, look! Red, white, and blue for Independence Day!

As I was at EMS the other day to grab a couple of things, the July issue of Women’s Running caught my eye. Without even glancing at this month’s features, I bought it. When I got home and started checking it out, it was clear that the universe put it in my path for a reason. The whole issue was dedicated to running in the heat.

julywomensrunningConsidering my recent struggles with this Summer’s scorching heat and tropical-esque humidity, I obviously needed to read this. In reading through an interview with a physiologist about the difficulties of running in the heat and potential heat-related illnesses, this smacked me right over the head:

heatdangerOh, hello. I’m pretty sure that what I was experiencing on that miserable long run was a mild case of heat exhaustion rather than an issue with hydration. I don’t know why this didn’t cross my mind previously, because I know about heat exhaustion. Talk about a real “duh” moment. I guess sometimes you just really need a big reminder.

Arm yourself with information. Here’s First-Aid for heat exhaustion.

Anyway, now that this article has scared me in all the right ways, I’m making sure to be extra careful about running in this heat. Some things that stood out to me so far in this month’s issue:

  • Temperatures above 80 degrees (F) have a negative impact on performance. Other factors, including personal, will determine risk for heat illness.
  • Your sweating rate plays a big factor in how prone you might be to heat illness (I’m a sweaty sweater).
  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency and could be fatal if untreated.

Ways to prevent heat-related illnesses and stay cool:

  1. Let go of your expectations for pace and distance. Running in the heat is very tough and you should train based on how your body feels. Focus on effort rather than pace.
  2. Run before sunrise or late in the evening when the temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t right on you.
  3. Wear as little clothing as possible! Or keep it loose. Wear a visor, sunglasses, sunscreen.
  4. Bring water or electrolyte drinks or set up a “cooling station” on your route with plenty of water, ice, fuel, towel.
  5. Take breaks.
  6. Dump water on yourself throughout the run or wear a bandanna around your neck with ice cubes in it.
  7. Run indoors with the AC up.
  8. Take up a hot yoga class to acclimate to the heat (Schedule it two days before or after your run).
  9. Bring your cell phone, wear your Road ID, run with a friend, and/or tell someone where you’re going.
  10. Be flexible. Check the weather and plan your runs for the week, but don’t force it if it’s too hot. It’s better to skip a run than hurt yourself.

Running in the heat is serious business, so be safe! Prevention is key, so if you start to feel any dizziness, lightheadedness, cramps, or nausea, stop.

On that note, I’m planning to get up before sunrise on a Saturday (tomorrow) to try and get a 10-11 mile run in before the earth catches on fire. I’m a little nervous about next weekend’s Boilermaker 15K, so getting through this run is going to be important in determining my race strategy.

Run happy and run safe!


What I’ve Been Eating Lately (WIBEL?)

3 Jul

It’s Wednesday, and in the health and fitness blogging world that means there are posts chock full of food pictures for participation in What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW). (If you’re not familiar, just go ahead and Google that. I’ll wait a minute.)

If you’ve been following run+breathe+be for any length of time, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I don’t post a whole lot about food. There are two main reasons for that: 1) I’m not a recipe goddess and you’d be pretty bored checking out 1,982 photos of chicken breast, veggies, and couscous and 2) logging the sheer amount of snacks and candy I eat on a regular basis would scare you and embarrass me.

Overhauling my diet has been a goal of mine for a while and I’ve made small steps in the right direction. But I keep it real here and my eating habits are not exactly what I’d like them to be. I mean…I didn’t get the athlete cookbook I asked Santa for, soo00…..

OK, just kidding. I really need to take some responsibility here and keep working toward a more balanced diet. Honestly, my diet is not terrible, but there are a few things I think I can change that would make a huge difference. Such as less processed sugar and junky snacks and learning some more really quick and easy recipes using whole foods. Is there a Pinterest fairy godmother I can call?

Now that the preamble is out of the way, let me show you a few things on my plate lately. Please note that these are only a sampling of what I’ve been eating and they are definitely not from the same day.

IMG_3175Luna Fiber bars are becoming a morning staple for me. It’s kind of like a mini PB&J that goes really well with a skinny vanilla Cafe Au Lait (the cheaper, more caffeineated, equally-as-delicious cousin of the skinny vanilla latte).

IMG_3254I spotted this corn pasta at Trader Joe’s and thought, “Hey, why not?” We’ve actually been eating much less pasta than we used to. I whipped this up for dinner one night and it’s pretty good. The texture is more grainy than regular pasta but less gummy than whole wheat pasta. The sauce is pretty good, too. This reminds me that another TJ’s trip is in order…

IMG_3183Strawberries!!!! There’s nothing like in-season, local, fresh fruit and veggies.

image (1)I like to toss together a quick and easy salad for lunch. This one is Trader Joe’s Sorrento mixed greens, grape tomatoes, croutons, shredded mozzarella cheese, a slice of deli turkey, and TJ’s reduced fat cilantro dressing. It’s delicious!

IMG_3252Ice cream. It’s summer, enough said.

image (2)I’m a fan of Angie’s popcorn and this salted caramel kettle corn is pretty good. This is going to sound out of character for me, but I think I like their Boom Chicka Pop better.

image (4)Tuna salad has been my jam lately. Wraps, sandwiches, paninis…it’s on my plate approximately once a week. Intervention necessary?

image (3)Only the best pastry in the entire world – French macarons! We had a variety of these for dessert at our wedding and I’m obsessed with these little bites of utter goodness. These are a frozen variety pack from Trader Joe’s. Thaw and enjoy!

Wanted: Fairy foodmother who can wave a wand and make healthy, whole, delicious, satisfying meals appear before my eyes as needed. Position available immediately.