This week’s training recap: 29.5 miles. 2 1-hour strength training sessions during the week, a couple tiny runs, a 6.4 mile run Wednesday, a 12.9 mile run Saturday, and a 6.7 mile run Sunday.

Choose Your Long Run Conditions

Saturday’s plan was to run a handful-plus miles starting at 6 am, and then run the Liberty by the Lake 10K in a nearby town at 8 am. It’s a cute little race I had run before, and the Groupon made the 10K event beyond a good deal!5k

Well, it’s Texas, and at 4 am, it was 77 degrees and 75% humidity. Ugh.

At 6 am, a few of us started running to get those early miles and ran the 10K course for a while, registered for the race, and was at the starting line dripping sweat at 8 am. So at the race start, I had 5.85 miles behind me, and sadly had let the pace creep a little faster than I should have for a long run.

The 10K race starts, and within about 30 minutes, it’s blazingly hot…. And this course has absolutely no shade. It’s a dirt trail running right along the side of a lake, and we’re surrounded by just scrubby brush the entire out and back.

By 9 am, it’s already 90 degrees and still decently humid along the lake. We still have two miles left in the race. It was miserable. My running partner and I basically walked the last two miles in.

heat

And hence, the title. Whenever possible, choose your long run conditions to be favorable to your goal! Although the money savings for that 10K was wonderful, I’m sure I could have done 13 miles somewhere else where I could stay mostly in the shade. And I could have felt less drained after the fact.

I’ve generally been good about picking my routes and times for runs around decent temperatures and shaded areas. And going into this weekend where I’ll have my very last 20 miler before the San Francisco Marathon, it will definitely be on my mind as I pick that route!

Coming Up This Week: It’s 4 weeks to race day! At the end of this week, I’ll have my last 20 mile long run and then 3 weeks of taper. I can’t wait!

Libby Jones has been running for 5 years, is a self-described “serial half-marathoner”, but has never attempted the marathon distance. She is also an active part of the Dallas-Fort Worth running community. She is the Founder and Race Director of theNew Year’s Day Half Marathonin Allen, Texas; founder of the North Texas Runners running club; contributor to theHeels & Hills and Heels & Hills & Him women’s half marathons in Irving; the North Texas State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America; past Dallas Running Club President & 2008 RRCA Scott Hamilton National Outstanding Club President Award Winner; and an RRCA-certified running coach. She’s also a wife to Steve and a mother to Marissa (3 yrs) and Sophie (3 1/2 months). Read her blog “The Active Joe” and follow her on Twitter @libbyruns