Normally Memorial Day week brings with it comfortable temperatures and signs that summer is just about here. However, this hasn’t been a normal weather year, so the fact that it was in the 90’s today somehow is not a shock to me. None-the-less, it did prove to be quite a sunny afternoon for the loads of yard work that awaited us, an ongoing project courtesy of some less-than-attentive prior home-owners.
In addition to the constant project that is yard work (which is quite a new item on my to-do list, having grown up without a yard, and been an apartment dweller my whole life up until now), this long weekend is a great time to not only reflect on our history, but also to think about running to do items or goals for the summer. With the exception of a few shorter races, the months of June, July, and August are off limits for racing- the summer heat is not my friend, and if you saw how much I sweat on a regular basis, you’d agree!
I’ll be running Dam to Dam (20K) next Saturday, and then driving up to Minneapolis with some friends to run the Minneapolis Marathon. Dam to Dam was my first long distance race, and I love the Minneapolis area, so I’m looking forward to a final race weekend of the spring season. After that though, it’s time to start thinking about my summer training goals, and where I’d like to focus my energy. I’m sure you are doing the same, either because you’ve already committed to some fall races, or because you are thinking about whether or not you should commit. Here are some “goal” areas to consider for the summer.
Speed Work: Summer is about the only time that I think more intently about working on my speed, and the local high school track, which is only a few blocks away, and always open, will provide a great venue for that work. The proximity and ability to easily stay hydrated will make this a no-brainer…hopefully 🙂
Hills: I’ve done much better about my hill-work so far this year, but I want to be even more intentional, so I’ll be looking for as many opportunities for hill-work as possible. This isn’t necessarily an easy task considering I live in Iowa, where corn fields make up a rather large percentage of the landscape, but there are a few hills that can still offer some challenge!
Biking: Aside from the fact that I committed to ride the entire week of RAGBRAI, I have found that I love cycling in general and the window of opportunity for getting on the saddle is much smaller so I’m planning on taking advantage!
Nutritional Experimentation: This will be happening on two fronts. First, the beautiful epicurean and I will be trying a plethora of new summer recipes as we strive for healthy and anti-inflammatory eating. In addition, I hope to use the summer months to experiment with some new running nutritional items, so stay posted!
Change of Scenery: When I started running, I quickly learned the roads of my small Iowa town much better than I ever did while driving on them (I’m a bit directionally challenged). However, there are still some roads in the areas where my feet have yet to fall, so I aim to change that.
Now, “speed’, “hills”, and “food” mean many different things to different people, so perhaps these goal areas can serve as a jumping off point for your own summer to do list. Once you start setting those goals, I’d love to hear them!