Summer Running Favorites

One of my favorite things about living in NYC is the ability to walk to work.  It is so nice to not have to deal with public transportation (or traffic, I suppose) on my way to and from work.  Going crosstown in New York is much more time-consuming than going north and south, as it only takes a little bit longer to walk as it does to take the bus.  Plus, it’s free!  The downside to this is walking through the elements – both the hot and the cold.  The cold was a little painful, as it was dark when I left for work and I bundled up quite a bit.  The heat, on the other hand, is much better, especially since it’s light when I walk home.  The worst part about walking in the summer is the SWEAT.  I carry a back pack, and the tshirt I wear to work always has a huge sweat mark on the back by the time I get to work.

The bonus here is that I change into scrubs when I get to work, so I’m nice and dry!  However, on Friday, I definitely was over being a sweaty mess on the way to work and was wishing for it to be a little cooler.  I got my wish on Saturday, as the it was only 70 and the humidity seemed to plummet!  I wished I wasn’t working so I could enjoy a “cool” run, but no such luck.  By Sunday, the humidity had come back, and by today, it was back in the 80’s.  Alright summer, you can hold on for a little bit longer.

Although I’d take the heat over the cold any day of the week (or any month of the year – who wants to move to San Diego with me??), running in the heat definitely takes some adjusting.  However, there are definitely some favorite things I’ve used to get myself through summer running.  This is also key because I’m NOT a morning person and often don’t start running until 10 or 11am, oops.  New York seems to be more about the humidity than high temperatures (although those 90 degree days beg to differ), so maybe the time of day doesn’t matter as much.  But it’s still hot, and here are some of my favorites for summer running.

Oiselle’s Flyte Short

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I love short shorts, especially in the summer.  The Flyte short has a two inch inseam that stays put for me.  Yes, I definitely have a Flyte short tan line,  but I’m okay with that.  Although I have an entire drawer full of running shorts, I find myself wearing my two pairs of Flyte shorts over and over again.  (They don’t smell, I promise……….or maybe they do.  Another reason to run alone…)  These shorts help me feel cool due to the shortness and how light they are.  Highly recommended.

Brooks Versatile Lite Tank

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I actually bought this tank in March and wasn’t sure how much I liked it.  It was very flowy, while I tend to like my running clothes to fit a little tighter.  However, this tank is great for keeping you cool in the heat!  It’s a super light material that wicks away the sweat without sticking to you.  I just did a search to potentially buy another, and it’s apparently on sale and on it’s way out!  Check it out on 6pm if you want one of your own – it’s where I found the most variety in sizes and colors.

Brooks (Run Happy) Visor

Keeping the sun out of my eyes helps to keep my face relaxed, which is really helpful when running.  No one wants to squint for miles!  This visor also absorbs some sweat off my forehead, so I’m not dripping all over the place.  I’ve also become much more savvy about protecting my skin, so wearing a visor keeps the sun off my face without having to shove my ponytail through the back of a hat.  I like the “run happy” part because it reminds me to keep running fun!  (I rotate this visor with a Nuun visor that I own.  It’s from Headsweats and is also a favorite.)

Nuun

Speaking of Nuun, Nuun is making quite an appearance this summer.  I’m definitely sweating more and need smarter hydration.  My favorite flavors at the moment include lemon lime, lemonade, and cherry limeade.  Deeeeeelicious.

Water Fountains

This is a GLORIOUS GLORIOUS sight when running.  This is a Central Park water fountain.  (Many of the west side water fountains look like this also.)  I’m a lazy runner and don’t necessarily enjoy carrying a water bottle with me.  I have no problem stopping my run for a few seconds to get a drink of water.  Many of my runs have been planned with the location of these water fountains in mind, and it is always a great day in New York when someone announces that the water fountains have been turned on.  It’s a sad day when I found out they’ve been turned off…

Keeping it slow

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a slave to my Garmin.  I love having the data, but the data also gets to me.  Why am I running slow?  Am I slow?  Is the heat slowing me down?  I should push harder even though I don’t really feel like I can.  However, this time I’ve been paying more attention to effort and keeping the effort easy.  I’m not doing speed work and not necessarily trying to set any records this time around – just trying to stay not-injured!  Therefore, slower-ish is the name of the game and that’s much easier to do when it’s pushing 90.  Plus, the numbers on my watch don’t always reflect the effort being given, especially in the heat.

Apparently I’m a pretty simple person…

Well, that about sums it up!  Light clothing, keeping the sun out of my eyes, and hydration!  Mind blowing stuff, I KNOW.  Running really isn’t that complicated, right?  I will admit that I used to run in $1 socks from Target, so I have graduated to wearing running wicking socks year-round.  Big steps here, my friends.

What are your summer running must-haves?  Or are you ready to transition to fall?  Just remember, after fall comes winter…

Myrtles and a Haircut

Sometimes I feel like I’m gambling when I go out for a run.  Ever since this groin pain started earlier this year, I get really nervous that it’s going to come back.  It’s like when I hurt my back a couple years ago – with every step, I wondered if I’d get that OMG-I-can’t-move pain.  I can feel something not 100% in my groin, but it hasn’t been pain.  So when that pain returned last week, I immediately took time off since that’s the only thing that helped last time.

As a side note, resting while at home really worked out well – last time I took time off, I still had to walk around allllll the time.  I walk almost two miles to get to work, then walk around at work all day, then walk two miles home.  Taking 15k-20k steps per day isn’t necessarily “rest.”  I’ll let you figure out which day I went back to work, ha:

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The more and more research that I do, the more I think that I have some degree of osteitis pubis (inflammation of the pubic symphysis [where your left and right pubic bones meet, aptly named]).  The described symptoms really fit in with what I feel, and I don’t like it!  Most of the information I’ve read states that this can takes months to years to heal – ahhhh!  There’s also a chance my bone are just out of alignment – perhaps I should see someone about that.  But either way, I realize how important it is to strength my hips/back/core and the eight million muscles that help hold the hips in place.  Gracie at Complicated Day has mentioned many hip exercises, one of which is the Myrtle routine.  (I also saw it on Allison from Inverted Sneakers, a new favorite read!)  It’s a series of exercises that strengthens the hip girdle (girdle rhymes with Myrtle, hence the name…)  It’s pretty quick to do, but still hips on a bunch of different areas in the hips.  I plan to do this often to help strengthen (and maybe get some flexibility…) my hips.  You can check out the video and exercises here.

I did the Myrtle routine this morning and then headed out for a run.  The plan was to run five miles, taking it easy and paying attention to any pain.  (Of course, stopping if I had pain.)  It was a little toasty and humid (low 80’s), which certainly helped me keep the pace easy.  It’s harder for me to hold back the pace because I just like to run, but I think I over stride to help compensate for being incredibly inflexible (a reader pointed this out to me earlier this year!), which could definitely be putting extra force on my hips.  I feel like my stride shortens when I run slower, so that should help as well.

I survived the five miles – no real pain, although I did feel a tiny bit achy near the end.  Average pace of 8:27, so not too bad although I feel like I should try to take it slower…maybe.

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I showered up when I got home and then headed out to get a haircut – my last was in November, so it was certainly time!  I always feel like I need to wash and dry my hair because going to the salon so they can see what my hair actually looks like.  I guess that’s something like brushing your teeth before you go to the dentist?  Who knows.  Getting a haircut is always a nerve wracking experience for me since I really haven’t had that many haircuts in my life.  I didn’t get my first haircut until I was 13, and it was certainly traumatic to have two feet of hair cut off.  (Yes, that really happened.  I have pictures, but I don’t know if 7th grade Susan is ready for the internet…)  I only get my hair cut every 9-12 months, so I’ve been pretty limited.  Otherwise the small talk in the salon chair makes me nervous because I’m really bad at small talk, especially with someone I only see about once per year.  Or once in my life, since this is the first time I’ve moved to New York that I’ve repeated a hair stylist – I really liked him!

I showed the stylist a picture of what I wanted, to which he said, “Well……….that’s kind of what your hair already looks like.”  Fail, Susan, fail.  I mainly just wanted long layers with the addition of some side swept bangs.  Maybe I just should have said that, oops.  He actually cut my hair dry, washed it, then did the bangs – I’ve never had my hair cut that way, but I like it.  I’ll let you be the judge:

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I do realize that my hair (super straight) doesn’t really like cooperating when it comes to bangs (nor am I good at styling them), so this is about as close as it’ll get.  I think it just adds a little something different, and they’re still long enough to get out of the way at work or when running.  Hooray!  Otherwise, I cut off more of the blonde at the bottom – I last got highlights about a year and a half ago, so I’m slowly going back to my normal light-ish brown.  (Eric thought I got my hair colored this time too, so maybe it does look a lot darker…)

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