Thursday, July 20, 2017


Ya'll it's hot! I mean, of course it is hot - it is after all Summer in South Carolina, but it is really really hot. And I know, it is cliche to say, it's not the heat, it's the humidity, but I'm not even kidding, IT'S THE HUMIDITY.

Every morning, for the past 3 weeks now I've woken up and looked at my new favorite weather app, WTForecast (seriously, this thing is HILARIOUS) and the humidity level has been at least 90%. It starts to take a toll on you. I keep telling myself, just think how badass you'll be in the Fall, but something has got to give. My running has suffered drastically in this.

These cows know what's up
For example, this past Sunday I met a friend for an 11 mile training run. We started at 7 am and it was 96% humidity and 73 degrees already. To say it was rough would be an understatement. More like miserable!! It wasn't as bad as my last month's worst run ever (see here) but it was bad. I honestly was hoping that my friend would want to bail after we did the trail once, but she was a trooper, so I was too. At one point during the run I heard some mooing and looked over and a whole herd of cows were chilling in the river. I was super jealous of them! Afterwards, I was able to literally wring out my hair and create a small puddle!

Unfortunately, I have a Half Marathon coming up in about 2 months so taking the summer off is not an option, however, I am toying with reducing my miles and doing more cross training until the worst of the summer is over. The next few Tuesdays will be trail runs in the woods to help with the worst of the heat. I may suck it up and do some treadmill as I have access to a gym.

How do you keep cool in the heat of the summer? Any tips (or even commiserating) are 100% welcome.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5th annual Common Heart Firecracker Run

This year my Fleet Feet Training Group chose as their Summer goal race the 5th annual Common Heart Firecracker Run. It was my first time running this race, but I had heard some really great things about it from friends, so I was excited to do it. Not only was the course highly praised, but it is a great local race in that it supports the Common Heart charity, a local food pantry that does a lot of amazing work in the area. I signed up for the 10K course.

We've been having a rough summer here in the Charlotte area already as far as heat and humidity and race day was no exception. In fact, it was 98% humidity when I arrived that the race site in the Lake Park Village in Indian Trail, NC (about a 40 min drive for me). The Start/Finish area was located right in the village center near a big park and shops, so there was plenty of parking available. My training group coordinator had picked up our packets for us the day before so I cannot comment on pick up, but the packets were in red, white, and blue bags and contained the usual trinkets, a few pens, key chain, magnet, lots of sponsor flyers, literature about Common Heart and the race shirt. Shirts were your basic 100% cotton grey unisex t-shirt with race logo on front and sponsors on the back. TBH, I will probably never wear it.

15 minutes before the 7:30 10K start, we were all called to line up at the Start. The 10K course was a large 3 mile loop around the Lake Park Village with a few turns here and there (basically, it was the 5K course twice with the start backed up .2 miles from the finish to get in the requite miles. The 5K course had been officially certified, but not the 10K. 

There was lots of cloud cover and some slight rain at the start, which did nothing to dent the oppressive humidity and temps were already rising in the mid-70s. The loop was beautiful, winding past the park, through the business district, around a lake and weaving through a few streets in the neighborhood. There were lots of course volunteers and a few police officers to direct traffic (the roads were partially closed, but being inside a neighborhood, there was very little traffic, all of which was held or re-routed away from runners. There was an aid station at the half-way point of the loop so 5K runners got 1 water station at mile 1.5 while the 10K runners passed it at 1.5 and again at 4.5. The clouds dispersed pretty quickly after the start and soon we were in full sun with little to no shade on the course. The course was very flat, but the humidity and the heat made the race a real challenge. I fell pretty short of my 10K PR but it wasn't my worst 10K performance and the course atmosphere, scenery and supporting a great cause made up for my lack of performance. Let's put it this way, I plan to make an impressive come back when I run it again next year.

There were no participation medals for either distance, but 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall and AG winners received medals with 1st and 2nd also receiving gift cards to Omega Sports. Overall all, it was a great, well organized race for a great cause on a beautiful course, and I hope to run it again.