Wait.  Am I at the wrong write up?  This is about rules.  Ah, patience.  The weather part is coming up, but I thought this would be a great time to recap the RUNaway rules with these temps rising and with swim suit season calling. 

RUNaway Rules.  Here we go . . . .

1.)  No quitting.  I tell newbies that "there is no quitting on the first day of a running program", but the same holds true of a run.  Now sometimes it is ok to stop a run (ie, major pain or just a really really REALLY bad day), but barring these events, your confidence will skyrocket once your mind pushes your body to go the extra (with good sense of course).  It's already hot this spring.  This rule may come in handy.  Take it slow.  Walk.  But don't quit. 

2.)  No talking or thinking negative body image or calorie counting.  We are running to help our bodies and figures, not to beat ourselves up!  We are not going to be able to run off every square inch of fat on our hips today, so lose that thought.  And what we ate or drank last night after the kids went to bed is history.  Day over.  Done.  Equate running with a diet and it's sure to become a crap job and not a fun hobby.  So be done with the body critique when you run unless it's something like "Damn, my hamstrings are like steel!" 

3.)  No whining about the weather.  The weather.  Yep, there it is.  It's a hard rule to follow, but we run despite the weather.  If you want to be inside, then hop on a treadmill and follow these fine folks.  This is funny - watch this video.

Beware of the Dreadmill 

(Actually treadmills are perfectly fine; I just personally despise them because I'm not creative enough to keep myself on one for more than 10 minutes.)

We've got to just deal with the weather at hand.  No changing it, so we change our attitudes towards it.  Running in the elements is an experience and one that runners love to talk about after the run :)  At some point in your running routine you will run in hellish heat, suffocating humidity, "blow you backwards" wind, downpouring rain, and bitter "I can't feel my nose" cold.  The weather is part of it and it really is a wonderful part of running.  Don't let it get you down.

Speaking of weather, if we can't moan about it, how can we deal with it?  Ok, so let's put the weather in the top 2 categories that we are dealing with right now - rising heat and humidity.  Here's what's going on in that bod of yours . . . .

We are coming off of the quickest winter ever.  40 degree running weather is behind us and it's gettin' hot.  Even at rest when you are not even doing anything particularly active, your body is trying to preserve a consistent core temperature so that your heart and lungs and liver and pancreas don't boil over.  While your body is absorbing the excessive heat from the air, your heart is driving the blood through your body extra fast so that it can reach those areas to cool your body and dissipate that heat through breathing and sweating.  Put some cardiovascular activity on this heat and your heart is working overtime.  Your heart rate quickly goes way up, your breathing increases exponentially and that oxygenated blood of yours is rushing from cooling the core to fueling those working muscles.  Sounds ridiculously miserable, doesn't it?!  On top of the heat, we Houstonians basically live in a rain forest.  The humidity is at or near 100% saturation on these hot days which means that while our body is attempting to cool us with sweating, the air is so wet, that our sweat stays on our body like the candy coating of an M&M. 

But take a deep breath.  We can do this and do this well.  Here's how to successfully cope with the heat . . . . We take it easy.  Your spring and summer runs are NOT going to be like your crisp fall and cold winter runs.  Don't measure your timed pace right now - measure effort.  Remember, just like a newbie runner adapts to this new hobby, your body WILL adapt to this heat, but at a patient pace.  We keep our heart rate as low as we can when exercising (not to worry, it will still be working and getting so much more efficient).  We keep our breathing deep, relaxed and oxygenated.  We wear appropriate running clothes to draw the sweat from our bodies and we often run with a towel to mop ourselves off.  We drink lots of water and even some low calorie sports drinks to get our water, salt and potassium levels balanced.  Our body systems are building and getting stronger even in our heat training, so don't give up!!  I'll be running with you all the way, so let's stick together - but not literally :)