How should I prepare to run where you live?

it hot

Y’all, it is always hot here but especially in the summer.  You know that, everyone knows that or so you’d think.  Apparently not everyone knows that.

Today I saw another one of those tourist runners, you know the type.  They come every summer for a week.  I don’t know where they come from but they’re milky white and they run really fast and they think they are invincible, and then, they meet Florida.

And they think all they have to deal with are these fellows:

gators

Gators in Florida, who knew?

So they head out for a run and they don’t bother to acclimate or slow down or prepare in any way, shape, or form and that’s why at least once a week during the summer I pass ‘the bench’ where I see ‘the tourist’ and I know exactly what has happened.

dead tourist

At least he’s not dead

Except for the 3 days of winter, it’s balls hot here.  All. The. Time.  You seriously have to acclimate your body, it doesn’t matter who you are or how well you run or how many years you’ve been running.  Even serious athletes come early to prepare for races because they know how damn hot and humid it is.

Really people, it’s hot. Did I mention how hot it is?  All the time?

parking your car in Florida

Start out slow, run slower, wear less clothing, go out earlier and listen to your body.  I’ve met people who have moved here and literally went all out for two weeks and then it hit them like a ton of bricks.  They have pains and sometimes suffer injuries because they weren’t listening to the signals their body were trying to send them.  I have one friend in particular who had such severe dehydration it took her 5 weeks to recover!

There are two things that I do that help.  One thing I like to do is something I do on shorter runs and that is ice my pockets.  I have a few pairs of lose shorts with deeper front pockets and I put small sandwich bags half filled with ice in the pockets.  It’s cool and it feels good.  When it melts I pour it over my neck.  And sometimes, I just put straight ice cubes in my pocket.  They cool me off as they melt and if it’s extremely hot or I wake up later this is a must for me.  I know it sounds silly but if you add it to the other measures you take, it makes a difference.  (Once I ran out of water and being able to drink the water from the melted ice in the ziploc bags was a Godsend, trust me.)

The other thing is something I do for runs lasting over 6 miles, and I’ve done this for several years.  I sit in a warm bath for a half hour before running.  It helps warm my body up and acclimate me to the warm temperatures and I think, it helps me run longer.

I’ve read recently that there is research that backs up my theory and I had no idea about this, so that just proves that I do know it all.  (Kidding)  It does help though and afterwards it feels really nice to have that contrasting ice bath!

Anywho, I really hate seeing limp tourist on ‘the bench’ every week in the summer time and I hope any of you who have never run in Florida before will heed the warning and prepare before doing so because if you take precautions and prepare, there’s nothing like running in Florida and it should be on your bucket list for sure!

You may want to put it near the end of your bucket list, just in case.

Now, tell me what it’s like to run where you live and how I should prepare if I were to run there.

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