Marathon Training Week 3: In Need of Motivation!

Guys, let’s get real.

Remember how in love with running I was in the winter and spring? I ran not one, not two, but three half marathons, plus a 10 miler, and miles and miles of training runs. Sure, there were a few dud runs in there, but for the most part, I was running with a big smile on my face and breaking PRs left and right.

rock n roll USA

Riding high on the excitement from a great spring racing season, I took the plunge in May and signed up for my first full marathon, Richmond in November. I couldn’t wait to start training.

And then… it got really hot outside.


The wonderful Mary over at Fitness Fruition made me a great training plan (more on that tomorrow), which started on July 1, right after I came back from my Portland Fitlbloggin’ trip. But unfortunately my first week of training didn’t go well – I mentioned while I was in Portland that I wasn’t feeling well, and that continued into the next week, so I ended up blowing off all my runs in favor of resting. Last week at the beach I got in a couple decent runs, but they were still pretty lax. To be honest, the heat just crushes me. I’d rather run in 30 degree darkness and snow than 95 degrees, and I guess I kind of forgot about that small problem when I signed up for a fall marathon.

On Sunday, after getting back from the beach, I was determined to get back on track. I finally got it together and got in my first long run of training – 8 miles all through DC.


It was a HOT morning and I was running by myself because I couldn’t rally any friends to join me last minute, but as luck would have it, when I was running over Key Bridge I ran into my friend Megan (who some of you will recognize as the former MegaNerd Runs blogger)! She was also running alone and doing 8 miles, so we decided to join forces for a few of the miles and run together. I hadn’t seen her in awhile so it was great to catch up!



I love the waterfront in Georgetown – so pretty.



We had fun chatting and running together but we were both really feeling the heat, so we stopped to take a few breaks along the way. Below we are chilling out on some steps overlooking the Potomac…


Brooks sent me a new pair of my favorite Ravenna 4 shoes (as part of my Run Happy Ambassadorship with them) in a pretty new summery color – it felt good to be in new shoes since my old ones were getting really worn out after all the winter/spring running I did! Thank you, Brooks!


Megan and I ran together from about miles 1ish until 5, and then I headed back towards home on my own.

The last couple miles of the run were ROUGH. I was really feeling the heat and I made it back close to my apartment at 6 miles and was really tempted to stop, but I was determined to get in what I set out to do. Finally, my watch hit 8 miles. It might not have been pretty, but I made it!


I got in another run early this morning with my training buddy Karen, although again it was so hot it pretty much crushed me so we ended up taking quite a few water/walking/stretching breaks. It was one of those “totally not feeling it” days.


We ended up making it 4 miles before calling it quits. I’m glad we were together or I probably wouldn’t have even gone that far! At least we had nice views. :)


I’m bummed because Karen signed up to do the marathon with me but unfortunately she’s been injured since last month, which is why you haven’t seen us running together much lately. :( She’s made it up to about 5 miles but is going back to the doctor again to have her knee checked out next week. We’re both crossing our fingers big time that she gets better and is still able to start training for/do the marathon. She really wants to do the race and I definitely don’t want to do it alone! :( We’ll see…

I’ll be back tomorrow to share more details about the training plan that Mary put together for me. In the meantime, I’d love some motivation and inspiration from you guys as I begin my marathon training journey. Please remind me why doing a marathon is a good idea? :) Is anyone else having trouble running in the heat, too? Help!


  1. 1

    I am right there with ya. Although I don’t have a marathon to run, running in the heat is the least bit inspiring. I hope you’ll find your running mojo as the fall weather rolls in… what about treadmill running?

    • 2

      The only thing worse for me than hot/humid running is treadmill running. :) I get SO bored. For me, running is fun because of the scenery (and the company)!

      • 3

        haha I’m glad you said this as one day last week I got up a bit too late to run outside so I decided to go to my gym to run on the treadmill. I hadn’t done that in over a year and I remembered why the second I stepped on the machine. I did 4 miles but it felt like torture! I was so booooored!

  2. 4

    I’m having the same issues, Anne! I am training for Marine Corps right now (also my first marathon) and I’m finding the heat and humidity to be a huge issue. Boston is right now in the middle of a 6 day heat wave, marking this summer already the hottest since 1988 (and it’s only mid-July!) I find what helps it to get runs in early in the morning, even on the weekends, and patting myself on the back every time I finish a run. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also try not to focus on the paces. The heat is going to slow you down anyway, no need to get bummed about it.

  3. 5

    Ugh I SO agree with you! I’m training for the MCM marathon and have been running at 5am for the past month. This heat + humidity combo is dreadful, at best.

    I’ve heard a lot of advice from fitness experts on different summer training techniques, including this one:

    Definitely interesting, but I think I’ll just continue to power through the mid-week intervals and weekend long runs…it’ll make crossing that finish line on October 27 that much sweeter.

    Good luck!

    • 6

      Interesting approach… thanks for sharing! I’m doing 3 days a week of running and 3 days of cross training, so maybe I’ll take some of that advice…

  4. 7

    I ran this morning in DC, too. I usually like to do distance at night but the heat this week basically forced me into an early morning run. I only made it 3.5 before puttering out, so I understand the feeling! I have no races in the near future, but I have set a lot of ‘mileage goals’ each month/for the year, and that is helping me to get out there and get the miles in. The iPhone app “Runkeeper” helps motivate me, since it keeps track and congratulates me/reminds me to keep it up. I also like competing with friends, and it allows you to see how your friends are doing every day. I love it. Other than that, this week looks like it will probably end in some rain/cooler temperatures, so it should be better this weekend and beyond!

  5. 9

    Girl my motivation was not dying lol. Sounds morbid, but marathons are no joke. I trained to honor the race and how hard it truly is. Just imagine yourself crying over that darn finish line. It’s never really about the race. We use marathon training as a metaphor…it stands for some other thing that’s much bigger and more special in our personal lives. Which is why you’ll be in tears when you finish. xoxo

    • 10

      You’re so right – I think some visualization of the culmination of all that hard work will help for sure… and like you said remembering it’s about something bigger than just the running.

  6. 11

    I’m having the same problem here in Philadelphia! I’m training for my first half marathon, so not as strenuous as your training, but I’m stuck. I have a short 4 miles on the agenda for today, and am kicking myself for ignoring my alarm for the planned early morning run. Now I have to do it in 90+ degree heat plus humidity. I’m grateful for my Camelbak!

  7. 12

    I promise it will get better :)

  8. 13

    Of the 8 marathons I’ve done 7 of them have been late fall ones, so I’ve done a bulk of my training in the heat, just like you’re starting to do. I’m also doing Richmond (and Philly!), so I’m in the same boat. I’ve learned to get up earlier when I can to avoid the heat and if it’s a shorter run, hop on a treadmill.

    In terms of motivation, I know how awesome it will feel to cross the finish line well-prepared. I respect a marathon distance too much to just half-heartedly train and especially for your first marathon, getting in solid training will (most likely) ensure a successful and enjoyable race. When motivation is lacking, just think about that day in November when you will be testing your limits; it’s best to be as prepared as possible, so getting out there to run will make that happen. I wish you the best of luck in training and hope you have a great race!

  9. 15

    I had some issues in NYC with the heat before moving but what I find to really help is drinking tons of water and having some Emergen-C each day before the run. I have no idea why but one of my co-workers swears by it and I started doing it too. I also always have a smoothie or coconut water waiting for me. The other thing is that I’m running for time right now based on Gia’s plan for me versus mileage and it is really helping mentally!

  10. 16

    I was going to suggest treadmill running, too. I did not like running, until I decided that I wouldn’t watch my favorite TV shows unless I was on the treadmill. I basically blackmailed myself ;-)
    When I lived in GA (scorching hot summers) and did not have a treadmill available, I often got up at 4am, got my runs in and went back to sleep once I got home. I am one of those people that can fall asleep right after running 8 miles :D

  11. 17

    First, running in the heat is the worst. Try to find some shaded spots (the part of the GW trail towards Mt. Vernon is a wee bit hilly but mostly shaded from what I remember) and get out early. Running a marathon is a GREAT idea because a. with every run past 13.1 you’re setting a new PR and adding to the list of half marathons you’ve run! b. it’s a new goal to reach for c. you’ll look back when it’s all done with an amazing sense of awe at what you were able to accomplish- totally worth it! And last, if you’re anything like me, you have a time goal in your head for this race. Forget it. I repeat, forget your time goal. Make your goal to FINISH, take the walk breaks on those hot runs with no self-judgement (because everyone else is just impressed that you started), and put in the miles any way you can :). You got this!!

  12. 19

    I’m in DC too, and this weather has been killing me. My husband is also training for the Richmond Marathon (his first!) – during the earlier part of his training plan we’re still running together sometimes, and we’ve been getting up at like 6 a.m. on weekends for long runs (often followed by naps). It’s so gross, but the idea of 6+ miles on a treadmill is grosser..

  13. 20

    I purposely signed up for a half in February to avoid training during the summer heat. I have brought a lot of my runs inside and for the weekend runs I am out super early to avoid the heat. I also dream about froyo the whole time.

  14. 22

    Runners World Pinterest page always help me! I am training for my 2nd marathon in September, so I definitely know what you mean! Anytime I am totally not into running, I always check out their boards and I quickly remember why I love running so much.

  15. 24

    It’s definitely not just you – running in the heat and humidity is HARD. What’s important is to log the time on your feet for the long runs – PACE DOES NOT MATTER.

    Let me say that again: PACE DOES NOT MATTER.

    This is SO TRUE during the heat and humidity, when your pace will be much slower for the same effort level. I totally took pace off my Garmin screen while running, and look at either time or distance ONLY, depending on whether I am going for time or distance. I came home from some long runs last summer to see that I’d barely cracked 12 minutes/mile on really hot days, and this winter, I did a marathon at sub-9 pace, so, really, DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR PACE ON LONG RUNS IN THE SUMMER. It will just make you frustrated!

    As for the mid-week runs, just get up super early and get them done with. They’re important, too, as you need shorter runs to keep your body in good working order to handle the weekend mileage.

    You’ve got this!

    • 25

      So true about the pace. Thank you for reminding me of that! Every summer this happens and it feels crazy hard to do a pace that normally is easy for me. I’m like, “I’m a terrible runner, blah blah.” And then fall comes and I’m like “I love running! This is easy!” Let’s hope that happens come November. ;) And in the meantime, I will remember… PACE DOES NOT MATTER!!! :)

  16. 26

    I’m feeling the same way! When it’s 90 degrees at 5am, it’s tough finding the motivation to lace up. My marathon isn’t coming up until January, but I’m still trying to keep my base and do what I love. I’ve been running with coconut water to keep my electrolytes in check – it’s made my hot runs much more bearable!

    Good luck! :D

  17. 28

    UG. I hear you! I can not run in the heat… I have been using the treadmil in my gym. IS that cheating? probably. Running on the road is so much more difficult! I think the biggest thing in mind is keeping in mind how you are going to feel when you cross that finish line! Its going going to make you really really really happy! That’s what I think about when I am not in the mood to work out. I say to myself “in an hour from now will I be more happy if I do or do not work out?” the answer is always “If I do” so then I go.

  18. 30

    I run as early as possible in the mornings to beat the unforgiving Florida heat and humidity and make sure I hydrate, especially the day prior to a long run. Hammer nutrition’s HEED is an awesome product to hydrate with and is very easy on the stomach.

  19. 32

    UGH I totally know what you mean about the heat!!! This morning I ran a four mile loop from my apartment in Arlington into Georgetown, and it was the hardest thing ever. My pace was much slower than normal and the hills in Rosslyn made me stop to walk a bit, which I can normally run up just fine. Good for you for staying determined- you can do it and it will all be worth it in the end!!!

  20. 34

    I hear you about the heat. I live in Florida and I’m training for a half ironman. And what I hate most about the heat is that you have to start your run super early in the morning just to try to make it bearable. During the summer months, I really miss my sleep!!

  21. 35

    Ugh!!! I totally hear you on this one. I actually trained for my first full marathon in the summer heat – an August marathon. I don’t know what I was thinking! Two major things helped me: a fuel belt (I’d wear it even on short runs!) and icy pops… I had a freezer full and would always enjoy a few when I got home. I would often repeat “run to the icy pop” in my head… it worked wonders! And then the usual advice: run in the morning or evenings…. wear an ice pack on your neck. Go for distance not pace. You’ll be out of the horrendous heat soon hopefully! A full is an AWESOME experience and you’ll be SO happy you did it.

  22. 37

    The heat was the worst part of fall marathon training for me! Fortunately, when I was training for Richmond last year my really long runs (17+ milers) were in Sept/October and in Upstate, NY we have the BEST weather for that (the foliage doesn’t hurt either!). Hope its not too hot in DC and you get some crisp, cool fall days for training! Good luck! It will be worth it! :-D

  23. 39

    My boyfriend and I are training for our first half marathon (VA Beach Rock and Roll Half) right now. We ran on Roosevelt Island this morning and it was SO hot and humid… Chris said he felt like we were in a rain forest. We were planning on doing another lap but ended up leaving the island and running across the Key Bridge to catch some breezes. I think the only way to run in this heat is to get up at the crack of dawn (5:30). The two things that gets me out of bed and moving are — less heat in the am – DO NOT want to run in 97 degrees!! And having it over and down with for the day so when I come home I can make dinner and watch House of Cards ;).

  24. 40

    Could you do late evening runs? I’ve been in D.C. once during the summer and it was HOT and I’m from Alabama, haha. Best of luck, you’ll get back in the swing of things sooner than later!

  25. 42

    What a beautiful running spot! I’ve really, really wanted to get back into running and have run only twice so far. The heat is definitely discouraging me from getting out there. At 7:30 in the a.m. it’s already almost 80 degrees and humid. Ugh!

  26. 43

    Way to go for getting back into it! I get down about running in the summer, too … hang in there! Just know that even if your pace is slower, it’ll pick back up later!

  27. 44

    I always struggle with the heat and humidity but also ran my first (and only so far) marathon in the fall (MCM 2011). A lot of those summer runs were super hard but I did them anyway (many of my long runs were done with Megan too! She was training for Philly that year). You’ll be feeling super strong come November when the weather cools off and most of your training was done in this swamp!

    • 45

      I also wore my camelbak for pretty much every training run 5 miles or longer because I sweat a lot and am always thirsty on these hot and humid days. I think it helped a lot.

  28. 47

    What nice scenery when you are out running. I would give anything to be able to run around that area everyday.

  29. 49

    I SO feel you on this! After I moved from Massachusetts to South Carolina, I decided it was a great idea to run the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon for my first 26.2. Let’s just say I had NO idea what I was in for with the SC summer!

    How I got through: 1) early start times were non-negotiable. 3 1/2 hour 20-milers meant that I HAD to be hitting the road by 6 AM. 2) I designed routes in loops that passed by my car/house so I never felt stranded miles from cold water/GU/Bandaids/whatever. Loops also helped break big mileage down into manageable chunks. 3) Running buddies! (But you know that!) 4) Know when to use the treadmill. 108 degrees? Tornado warnings? Scary lightning? Time to head inside. 5) Remember that discouraging runs are guaranteed to happen, especially in the heat. They are in no way indicative of a lack of preparedness. 6) Visualize that finish line! It will feel amazing. You will be so proud.

    Go get ’em!

    • 50

      I love these tips! I have thought of the loop one (because honestly, I am drenched after 10 miles – can’t imagine doing 20 miles in the same clothes, so I want an opportunity to change if I need, ha), and I am glad others have used that successfully!

    • 51

      Thank you! :)

  30. 52

    Ugh – yes! This heat/humidity is killing me! I’ve been training for a half marathon in August, so I know there’s a very good chance I’ll be running in the heat. My strategy is just to add in walk breaks every mile or so, even if it’s just for 30 sec to help cool my body down. It’s a tough balance between pushing myself and staying safe. Good luck with your training!

    • 53

      I always struggle with that balance, too. I don’t want to slack off and be lazy, but I also don’t want to overdo it in this weather! It’s sometimes hard to tell where laziness ends and insanity begins…

  31. 54

    I can’t run in the heat either (I turn purple and my fingers swell and I generally look like I’m about to pass out), but the BIG perk to a fall marathon is that by the time the weather gets nice and cool – about October here – all of a sudden you’re super-speedy and in the middle of the race you’re thinking that even a marathon can’t possibly be as horrible as that 10 miler you did when it was 83 degrees with 90% humidity!

  32. 56

    yep. it is freaking hot. my only advice is to go in the morning. like 5:45 a.m. and for long runs, go with a group or a friend to help you think about anything other than the heat! and finally, acknowledge mother nature and be okay with a slower pace. it’s totally acceptable to run 30-60 seconds slower per mile (and even slower on 10+ mile runs).

  33. 57

    It looks like you have tons of great advice from others, but just think how AMAZING it will feel come November and you get to go out and run for 26 miles in 55 degree temps after training in 70-90 degrees. This is why I love fall marathons.

  34. 58

    RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. This is my 4th week of training (I’m doing MCM), and it is killer. The heat sucks and it is really hurting my confidence. Even though I know my pace is suffering because of HEAT, it’s still really difficult to separate that from my feelings on my abilities, especially when every single run just seems so.hard and not always enjoyable…I hate feeling like it’s a chore, but honestly, that’s what I’m feeling a lot of lately!

  35. 61

    I love your blog especially because we are doing very similar things right now! I live in DC and am training for my first marathon (MCM) and am having the exact same issues. My strategies so far for dealing with the heat: running with several run clubs (they make u feel bad if u miss it!), running on trails in rock creek park (so much cooler), and circling around the zoo to run through the mists (It’s amazing in the morning!). I spend all day inside for work so regardless of temperature, I am usually just excited to be outside running in this awesome city, even if its slowwwly! :D

  36. 63

    I hope it gets better for you! Until then, whenever my training partners say WHY are we doing this, I simply say, because we can! Try using that for some self motivation next time you feel down or like giving up :)

  37. 65

    What kind of hydration pack do you have? I am in the market…

  38. 69

    I live in FL…so it feels like it is HOT 24/7!!! I make myself run (although the pace is slower) during the summer. And outside heat trumps the treadmill ANY DAY!! I absolutely LOATHE the treadmill…I get so bored, it is uninspiring, and I try everything I can to make sure I don’t have to go on it!!! That’s truly what keeps me motivated!!!!

  39. 70

    I have never run a full marathon, but I’ve done several halfs. When I did my first, I was REALLY sick. I couldn’t breathe because of my sinuses, I was shivering from head to toe, I was aching all over, and doing like an 11 min./mile pace. Around mile 8, I could have just sat in the middle of the road and cried, but that just made it so much more worth it when I finished. That race taught me more than any successful run ever could. Good luck with your marathon training, I know you’ll do well! :)

  40. 72
    Meghan C. says

    Hi Anne! I too am training for a fall marathon in the DC heat and literally just yesterday started panic-Googling “overheating AND summer running.” Definitely wasn’t anticipating how hard it would be to train in this heat. I try to stay hydrated and run early, but especially with a week like this in the high 90’s I’m giving myself permission to do some treadmill running. For my long run I might do half outside and then half on the ‘mill. Not as fun for sure, but the slow pace, frequent breaks, and intense/crazy sweating are so hard to deal with for 11 miles! But it’s definitely a privilege to be able to run and use our bodies in this amazing way–and come fall this will all be a distant memory (I hope!) once we finish the race. Good luck!

  41. 74

    Totally in the same boat: signed up for Richmond Marathon, dying every hot run. Sunday morning I ran 5 and had to stop 3 times (when I normally can slug through that w/out stopping at all). It is SO tough in this heat, but I just keep telling myself that I just need the time on my feet and going slow is better than not going at all. Oh and allowing myself walk breaks (like you did) is also turning out to be key. This week is brutal in DC!

  42. 75

    The heat’s been killing me on runs! I’ve been trying pretty hard to improve on running and increase mileage but I can’t get beyond 5 miles without feeling like I’m going to pass out. I more my runs indoors on the treadmill some days just because it’s better than nothin’!

  43. 76

    There is nothing worse than running in the heat. Especially here in Scottsdale, it is 112 degrees outside on a daily basis with no cool wind. I avoid it altogether to be honest with you, and run on the treadmill (unfortunately).

  44. 78

    I hear ya! I’m training for my first half-marathon in October, fall in northern WI perfect running weather in my opinion, but like you I forgot about training in July & August! This past week has been pretty rough, but I’ve been trying to get up and go around sunrise so that it’s a little cooler and less humid. I’ve been telling myself that as long as I get my miles in I won’t beat myself up!

  45. 79

    We’ve had unexpectedly warm weather in Ireland the past two weeks…only about 68F in the mornings when I head out at 7am which is just as much heat as I can handle! Definitely couldn’t do 95F! The heat totally kills me too. Well done for trucking through. Does it get much cooler in the evenings or really early in the morning? Love the new Brooks! We have such a poor selection here – I have the Glycerin 10 which I love! How do the Ravenna’s compare in terms of the type of shoe? Sorry so many questions!

    • 80

      The Glycerin shoes are for more neutral runners and the Ravenna’s are more of a support shoe for mild overpronation! :)

  46. 81

    Hm, not sure what to say to be honest as at the moment I am increasing my distance – managed to get up to 10 miles yesterday for the first time!!! I’m in that place you were this spring and long may it last! Sorry I’m not much help!

    I do have a question though, is there any specific post you wrote about fueling for long runs and about body changes when running more?

    • 82

      I’m jealous – good for you! :) I haven’t written specifically about fueling in detail, but I can definitely touch on that when I share my training plan tomorrow!

  47. 83

    Oh boy – I loatheeeee running in the heat! Luckily in SF it doesn’t get THAT hot, but we’ve had a couple week heatwave (I’m training for my 2nd full, Chicago, in October) and it was BRUTAL. I had to be out the door by 7am to make sure I got my miles in without heat stroke. They do say to expect to run significantly slower and to not even remotely care about pace in the heat/humidity while training… and water water water (and salt!) I’d recommend EARLY mornings or evenings runs while you’re in the middle of summer.

    The treadmill gets boring, but if you need to – fire up an ipad and watch some TV? That usually gets me through it! I also read books/magazines but I recognize I’m a total freak in being able to do it.

    Just keep telling yourself that every run matters, and that every run is preparing you for 26.2 so that you can finish happy – it sounds like total BS but I swear there’s a reason for every run. :) Excited to follow your training!

  48. 84

    The heat is killer. I’m in the south-eastern part of VA and its about 98 degrees right now. This past Sunday I went out at 11:00am to do an 11-mile run (great idea, right?!). I made it to mile 7 and had to finish the last 4 inside. The heat is just exhausting! I’m training for the Outer Banks Marathon in November and the summer weather is making it super difficult and my dates with the treadmill are happening more often than I’d like them to be. I watch all my shows on my phone and it helps.

  49. 86

    I definitely feel this post!!! Last year I trained for and ran for my first marathon in Disney World. The biggest blessing of the whole process was training alllll through the fall and winter (like you I would MUCH rather do a run in the dark or 17 degrees than handle this heat and humidity). When we got to the marathon in January it was 80 degrees! It was miserable, but I finished!

    I agree with so many of the above posts – every run matters. And if you have to stop, who cares? Every run matters and feeling like crap happens! Even when I felt my best last fall and totally in shape I still had weeks where my 3 and 4 mile maintenance runs felt like torture.

    Bring lots of water on those long runs and aim for shade! I’m training for the MCM in October so I definitely feel the pain of this training season!

  50. 87

    I’m new to running and it’s refreshing to see that I’m not the only one struggling to get the motivation to put miles in when it’s hot outside. The first step is getting out there & even though you runs may not ‘end pretty,’ you’re still getting out there & getting it done. Keep up the good work!

  51. 88

    I trained for a fall marathon last summer and it was miserable. I started long runs on Saturday at 5am. But I can tell you that when race day arrives, the cooler weather makes you feel amazing. Don’t worry about pace when you’re training – the cool weather at race time will take care of speed.

  52. 89

    Training for a marathon is tough, but actually running one is another beast altogether. The work that you’re putting in now will certainly pay off later.
    I’m training for a fall marathon now as well and when we had our heat wave two weeks ago, I felt miserable. My paces were off, I felt drained, and I couldn’t seem to get rehydrated as quickly. But when the heat broke, my paces actually dropped more than they were before the heat wave without as much effort.
    Keep your head up, you’re going to get through this. And crossing the finish line of your first marathon knowing how hard you fought to get there is one of the most amazing feelings ever!

  53. 90

    It does get better! The summer is almost over! Start earlier on your runs. Capital Crescent trail is great as is mostly shaded. Let me know if you want to run together sometime. I need to start running at 630 or 7am on Saturdays.

  54. 92

    On January 6, I started treadmilling watching the series 24. I am now in the middle of Season 7. Jack Bauer has saved the world so many times!!! I look forward to doing it, so I just
    keep on. I’m looking for a new series for when I complete Season 8. LOL

  55. 94
    Lauren K says

    Oh my gosh, you and I are like two peas in a pod with this…I HATE heat! A part of it is just this crummy running season (which will get better and make the race feel like the breeze) but another thing to try is pull a Lauren and run before the sun comes up! Waking up at 4:30 am sucks, but it is SO WORTH IT in the end. Eventhough it is still humid, not having the sun on you can make world of difference. Trying it 2 mornings a week could definitely be something to consider :)

  56. 96

    Running outside in the heat is ROUGH!!! It makes 3 miles seem like 10, I swear. I guess my advice is to go before the sun rises or when the sun sets (my preference!). As a former Floridian, those were certainly my only options when I would want to run outside in the summer! Good luck with training! :)

  57. 97

    Love those new Ravenna’s!! They are my go-to running shoe too!
    Keep at the running, each painful run with make the marathon a little less painful!

  58. 98

    Sounds like you just need to move to SF… though you might actually prefer the heat to our hills!

  59. 100

    I’ve never trained for a full in the summer, only halfs. The heat in SoCal can get rough and we don’t have the humidity I was used to when growing up in the Midwest. Just set small goals and look don’t look far ahead in your training plan and worry about the weather that could possible happen in a few weeks. Trust me, after you cross the finish line you’ll be hooked and forget about the horrible training runs you may have.

  60. 101

    Ok you…. You have been my inspiration-my go to on all things nutrition. You have been so helpful to me with my first half last sept. 2012. (Btw-it was one year post sternotomy , to celebrate….). My surgeon and his staff were thrilled for me. I followed your blog and your running/nutrition advice and I am a happy and healthy woman.
    I run and workout early to try to beat the heat-currently am training for a half 9/13 and one more 11/13. This morn I ran 7 in 100% humidity at 71 here in MI. This will pass as the temps will level soon- unlike DC…. However I think the runs you do today make you a better runner tomorrow. You can do this- try to run a bit earlier on your “run” days- it is way betterI tell you. I actually take off at 5:45a.m. I always have a slice of 2 of your receipes: 5 minute peanut – butter bars and quinoa bars. I find these are truly helpful- last sat. I did my 10 mile long run and felt really good …… You can do this- you can. Lots of us are cheering you on- count me as a cheer er too!

    • 102

      C., I’m so honored to hear that I’ve served as inspiration to you! What an amazing accomplishment to do your first half last September (especially one year post-sternotomy)! Congratulations and I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes. Thank you for inspiring me in return! :)

  61. 103

    I’ve only run 2 marathons, and I’m not running one this year (decided to focus on half marathon distance). I definitely trained for those 2 in this DC heat and humidity. It was always tough for me, but I motivated myself a couple of ways. Like a lot of folks have already said, the biggest motivation for me was knowing that I would cross that marathon finish line. There really is no better feeling in the world. I also felt like I talked to my friends and family so much about training for the marathon that I had better buck up and put my feet to the ground! The other thing I found that really helped was carrying my headphones when I needed them. I also asked friends to recommend songs so I had some music to associate with them! It made me feel like my friends were right there with me, even if they aren’t runners!

  62. 105

    Like all the other comments, you/we are not alone in this heat. I run around the same pace as you (normal days) and my 8 milers have been the same time. I almost don’t want to run with a Garmin or watch so I’m not beating myself up over the pace. I run either at 4:30am with a group or on my own a little later (depending on the day) and it’s still muggy out. Atlanta weather. Ugh. My clothes are completely soaked and I feel beat for awhile after. I did just get new shoes in the mail today. Plus coconut water has been helping me in the recovery. I signed up for RNR St. Louis marathon at the end of Oct. So my advice to you and myself is to keep on pushing. Don’t worry so much about pace. This will be my 9th marathon and I have set PRs in the fall race so it can be done. I got my BQ in a fall race. Can’t wait to hear your training plan.

  63. 106

    I have actually made some nice girlfriends here in Paris who want to run with me, so I have been making it for fairly short runs (8k and under) but lately the heat has been in the 80s (not a lot for the US but a lot for Paris with no AC anywhere…) and my heat rash on the legs you will remember from our Italy trip is back in full force every time I go out for a run. Ugh. Heat = death. Find some routes in the shade? Could make some interesting exploring! Or trail runs under the trees to keep it cool? Hang in there!

    • 107

      That is so awesome that you’re running around Paris. I can’t wait to come visit and have you show me your favorite running routes! :) Oh and I miss your heat rash. ;)

  64. 108

    I’m in the same boat. Running in DC in the summer is rough. And I was running so well in the spring and now every run is a struggle. It is all about acclimating and understanding and accepting that you will slower. Once your body acclimates, your pace will get a faster and then the weather will start cooling down. I think summer running in DC comes down to survival. Get your miles in, being careful about staying hydrating and listening to your body. And remember, we all slow down in the summer. And if you ever need a running buddy, I’m in serious need of one. I’m scared of my first marathon this fall (MCM) and my running buddy who was going to train with me dropped out… Having a buddy can help distract you from the heat! Or…you can at least complain together…

  65. 109

    I am having the same issue right now. I’m ~halfway through training for a marathon 9/22. This will be my 11th marathon, but I trained for most of the others with a combination of running groups and running buddies. This one is solo, and it is getting boring. I’d say recruit whomever to help with whatever portions of your training you can. My boyfriend ran the last 6 of my 16 miler with me last weekend, and a few weeks ago he biked alongside me while I ran 13. When you’re on a run, and struggling mentally or physically, think of it as perfect practice for the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. I envision myself running towards the finish line, with a BQ time on the clock. I’m a firm believer you should enjoy and appreciate the entire process of training for and running a marathon. It’s no small commitment, mentally or physically, and ultimately it is a choice you’re making, not something you HAVE to do or are forced to do. Relish and cherish it – you’re doing an amazing thing. Everyone of those miles is getting you to the finish time! I’m excited to follow your progress. Your running progress this year has been awesome!

  66. 110

    It is the opposite here and too windy, cold and raining to run outside so I’m doing all my long runs inside which are a bit boring. You should read Becky at Olives n Wine’s latest post as she talks about exactly this.

  67. 111

    I have the exact same shoes – so pretty I love them. Can’t believe I got them in Australia before they turned up on your blog. I usually see things on US blogs and have to wait forever until they are available here!

  68. 113

    Totally on the same page with you and everyone else that has commented. I live in New Hampshire and we are going through a heat wave. If I don’t get out and run by 6 am, it won’t happen because its way too hot! Music really helps with motivation and I was also going to suggest the treadmill for the unbearable days. I know ou hate it ( I do too) but Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake has some AWESOME treadmill workouts that got me back into running this winter.

  69. 114

    I’m running Richmond, too. It’ll be my 6th marathon. Training never gets easier for me but a few tips for the heat.

    Find a park or road where there is shade. I ran back and forth in an area that was about 0.4 miles long yesterday to stay out of the direct sunlight. It’s the direct sunlight that gets me, not the actual heat.

    Be sure to have plenty of water (as cold as you can carry – I sometimes freeze my container halfway the night before) with you. If you have no way to carry fluids, drive your course in advance and drop fluids (definitely good to do this with partially frozen liquids).

    Consider less clothing. While I am not nearly in the shape you are (just think 51 year old that has had 6 kids, 3 C-sections), I have, twice already this summer, run without a shirt. I cannot believe how much cooler it is. It means more sunscreen but I have gotten over worry about blinding drivers with my very white stomach.

    Happy training and maybe we will see each other in Richmond.

  70. 116

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to read this post!!! i still consider myself a “new” runner and was gearing up to think this was finally THE year to register for my first half marathon, Baltimore in October. I’m having trouble pulling the trigger on registering, partially b/c of how my running has felt lately. My last two “long” runs have been very discouraging with lots of breaks and some walking, and one ending early. I have been on the verge of tears both runs, thinking to myself that maybe I am not cut out to run. My pace has been a lot slower than usual. Reading your post, and all of the comments, has made me feel a TON better! I think I need to adjust my thinking about running during such a hot time and conquer the battle mentally as well as physically, while still being smart…thank again for some great insight!

    • 117

      I think we all need to adjust our thinking it sounds like – lots of great advice from everyone! Best of luck with your first half – you can do it!! :) And I promise running feels better when it’s not this hot.

  71. 118

    I completely sympathize with how you’re feeling! I ran on the treadmill Monday evening because of the heat, and during the entire run had to fight the urge to stop. I feel like I’m able to keep a better mental mantra while running outside than inside. I ran a 10K Sunday morning, and although it was just as warm I felt much more motivated to keep going than I did on Monday on the treadmill. Just know that you’re not the only one feeling this way, and hopefully the heat and humidity here in DC will give way soon and make it much easier for all of us!

  72. 120

    What about literally dumping some water on your head & face when you get really hot? That’s what I do. It’s not pretty but it does the trick. :) You can do it!

  73. 122
    Melissa R. says

    Good morning! I read through a lot of the great comments and advice you received! I’m not currently in training for a marathon but I do run about 60 miles a week just because. I live in Alexandria. I know you aren’t an evening runner but I went 10 miles last night at 7:30pm and it was actually quite decent out. I run mainly on the Mt Vernon bike path — north from Old Town (where I live) if I don’t need bathroom/water stops and south (10 miles to Mt Vernon from my house) if I need shade/hills/water/bathrooms. If you every need a long run partner, I’d love a buddy. In fact, anyone interested in a partner now and then? I run about 8:30s in general but am open to slower/faster. Flexible schedule (sounds like a personal ad). I’m 44 and a mom and will talk the entire run if you want to keep your mind off the miles.

  74. 123

    The heat is killllling me. I did 4 miles this morning with my friend Steph and there were quite a few stretch breaks. I know it’s just a matter of getting used to it, but it’s taking awhile!

    As for motivation…just think of how you’re going to beast through the cooler marathon after training in this heat!

  75. 124

    Some hibernate in the winter, but the heat makes me want to hibernate in the summer! I’ve seen people out on Bayshore in the middle of the day. I just don’t know how they do it! Keep your head up – the marathon experience is so much fun! My goal – don’t be last :)

  76. 125

    Hi Anne – I’m a fellow DC (well, Alexandria) resident, and have also experienced a major running slump as a result of the heat/humidity. One thing that I’ve started doing is “bribing” myself with point-to-point runs that end somewhere fun, like the crepes stand at Eastern Market on weekend mornings :). Then I’ll metro home afterwards. That way I’m not repeating any distance or looping back (so it really feels like I’m covering a lot of ground) and I have something fun/delicious to look forward to on the other end! Good luck!

  77. 127

    I was gone the last two weeks in Colorado on vacation and I set out Tuesday for my first run back and thought I would suffocate on the air. It’s SO HUMID here! Forget about the heat, it was just as hot in Colorado and I was still knocking out my runs (even at elevation!)…but this humidity puts me right on my back.

    I only did a 5 mile run and the whole time I was thinking to myself “why am I doing this? I could drop out of my fall races.” Ha. I’m glad I finished, but boy I hope this heat/humidity wave passes!

  78. 129

    I was just writing a post about this for tomorrow! Marathon training in the summer is TOUGH! It definitely helps to cut yourself a break with the paces and know that you are working much harder than the paces reflect. Get up as early as possible for the long runs, and hang in there! Hopefully your 20 milers will be in (slightly) cooler temps!

  79. 130

    I’ve been struggling to get my runs in too! Not just the heat, but all the travelling and get-togethers that go along with summer have made it hard to stick to a routine. Instead of having something already on the books to train for, I’ve been thinking of signing up for a half marathon as extra motivation. Everytime I try to wake up early to beat the heat, I just hit snooze five million times and I’m thinking I need the accountability of a training program to actually make me get up. Just remember, every mile you run is a mile closer to your goal! That’s what I tell myself anyway :)

  80. 132

    Someone probably already threw this out there but just think of how much stronger of a runner you become in those temps….I have done a few spring races and found race day really tough after training all winter only to get a random heat wave of 80 degrees in an April/May race. Training in the summer temps and racing in the beautiful fall cooler temps will be a huge benefit on race day! I love your blog- you are always motivational to your readers!!

    • 133

      Thank you for reading! :) And you are so right about having a cold race day after training in heat. Way better than training in cold and then having a hot race day – that’s a mess!

  81. 134
    Samantha says

    I moved from Northern Michigan to Atlanta, Georgia the DAY I was supposed to start training for my first marathon… training really hasn’t taken off like I would have hoped because of the heat here! So I am also looking for the motivation.

  82. 135

    Anne, I totally hear you! The heat kills me too and my energy level – it sucks out every bit of energy possible. I would kill for a 40 degree day and darkness right now. Thankfully today was a bit of relief and I got my 6 in. Just keep the faith that fall will come and you will be ready. I ran one and only marathon. 4 weeks before it having a surgery and then 1 week after a hysterectomy. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it but determination and craziness helps! :)

  83. 137

    It is so reassuring to hear I’m not the only one struggling in the heat and humidity. My half-marathon training has been dragging through the weather and it has become so easy to feel as if my fitness level is not improving at all, and that I’m actually losing endurance. The one comfort I’ve been able to take is that when there is an occasional cool day, I’m able to just zip along and it reminds me that the misery of the heat is actually really helping me.


  1. […] you all so much for the words of encouragement on my last post about losing my running mojo to the heat! It’s very reassuring to know that many of you feel the same way, and the tips were really […]

  2. […] my friends! Guess what? Thanks to your advice and enthusiasm, I ran 10 miles this morning with my friend Kathleen, and I didn’t feel like death! What […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.