My Ideal Running / Racing Conditions

Hi Friends!  Happy Tuesday!  Today I am liking up with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesday’s on The Run.  This week’s topic is your running/racing window of comfort and what conditions/temps are ideal for you? I liked this topic because I actually think about this a lot.  But, I wanted to break it down into two sections:  running and racing.  I think I look at these two things differently in terms of comfort.

Running:  

When I’m running, I like to stay in my comfort zone.  I run the same route every day because it’s comfortable to me.  I can turn my music up and zone out.  I don’t have to worry about anything.  The route is easy, it’s right outside my door, and I know it by heart.  The neighbors are friendly, and watch out for me, and I’m close enough to my house that if I need to run home for any reason I can.  While this does make things very simple for me, it doesn’t challenge me in any way.  The route is fairly flat, and it’s just easy! 

Tuesday's on the run

I think the reason why I continue to do this every day is because the unknown scares me.  The only other place that I can run in town alone is our local park.  It is more challenging and would be a better workout.  While I know this route just as well, there are so many what if’s that worry me.  What if I’m too far from my car and I get sick or hurt?  What if someone starts following me?  It has happened before.  What if??   The what if’s are what keep me in my comfort zone. 

I get bored on the same route day after day after day.  There isn’t anything new to see.  So, when I have moved outside of my comfort zone, I always enjoy my runs more.  I love new scenery and even figuring out a new route as I go is fun.  This is why I love running with my dad.  I can run routes that aren’t safe for me to run by myself.  I do try to challenge myself to move outside of my comfort zone more and try new routes.  It’s always more fun!

The Perfect Weekend New Blog Post Run and Live Happy (1)

Now, on to my ideal conditions – The perfect conditions for a run would be overcast, around 70 degrees, and with a light breeze blowing!  I know I’m pretty particular in what I like.  But, I run so much better when it’s not hot and humid, and when it’s not freezing.  When it’s humid it makes it so hard to breathe.  I also hate running when the wind is blowing super hard.  And when it’s so cold, my legs ache.  

running

 

I am also not a morning runner.  It takes me a while to wake up and for my body to wake up.  I hate when the mornings are the only time I have to run.  I have a hard time getting out of bed and getting going.  This is not an ideal time for me to run!  So, I try to avoid it as much as possible.  But, again with getting out of my comfort zone – 9 times out of 10 when I get up early and run, it’s a great run!  I always love that I have it done and can focus on other things for the rest of the day.  Plus, usually the weather in the early mornings is exactly my ideal type! 

This is how I look at running and racing conditions differently.  When I have the time, especially with long runs, I try to plan it at the optimal time of day.  I want all of the conditions to be perfect so that I have a good chance of having a great run!  That perfect time of day is usually late in the evening.  

While I can be very picky about when and where I run daily, I look at racing conditions completely different.  I guess it’s because I can’t be picky about that.  If I look at the weather forecast and it’s supposed to be raining or really cold or hot, I can choose to run another day or at a different time.  But, I can’t do that for a race. 

Racing

When it comes to racing, I’m always out of my comfort zone because I can’t choose the weather or temperature conditions.  My ideal racing conditions would be about the same as my ideal running conditions.   So, of course I would love for the race to have cool weather and not be humid.  But, with Oklahoma weather you never know what you’re going to get until you get there…and it could change in the middle of the race as well!  When I’m racing, I can’t be picky about what time of day I choose to run.  All of the races that I have done except one have been early in the morning.  When I’m racing I am always wide awake when my alarm goes off and I have so much adrenaline that I’m ready to go by the time I get to the starting line. 

running
Me and my dad at the starting line of our first marathon!

Another reason that racing is out of my comfort zone is because the majority of the time it’s a course that I haven’t run before.  I would love to be able to run the course ahead of time and be able to time myself.  But, that only happens if I run the races in my town, or if I repeat a race.  I like to know what I’m running beforehand because usually when the race description says “rolling hills”, they aren’t rolling at all!

I ran a race a few weeks ago and the description said rolling hills.  Then entire first half of the race was all uphill!  They were not rolling at all!  

Ideally, I think I’m pretty picky about what would be the best running and racing conditions for me.  But, realistically, that rarely ever happens.  I usually just plan my runs for the best times that I can fit them in.  That usually ends up being in the afternoon during the hottest part of the day as soon as I get off work.  On days that I am off work or when I’m doing a long run, I do try to look at the weather and schedule my runs accordingly.   But other than that, I’m usually running any time of day that I can fit it in.

This to me is how running can always be a metaphor for life.  While we’d like to be picky and choose how everything plays out, we can’t.  Sometimes you just have to roll with it!   

Tuesday's on the Run

 

I hope you have a great Tuesday!  What are your ideal running and racing conditions?  Tell me in the comments! 

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8 thoughts on “My Ideal Running / Racing Conditions

  1. Heather @ Polyglot Jot Reply

    I think that with anything its hard to go out of your comfort zone. I feel this way about anything that disrupts the routine that Im used to! Thats so scary that youve been followed before!
    In the winter do you do treadmill running?

    1. Profile photo of Tara

      Tara Reply

      I did run on the treadmill but we had to haul it off the other day. It quit. 🙁 I’ll have to get a new one. But if it’s above 30 degrees I’ll bundle up and run outside. It’s not pleasant at all! Lol

  2. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness Reply

    Like you I only have two routes that I run on consistently because I feel safe there and they are away from traffic.

    I’m not a morning runner either unless it’s already warm. I hate being cold when I start. Like you mentioned, the col bothers my legs!

    1. Profile photo of Tara

      Tara Reply

      The cold is the worst!! I guess that’s why I like my route – I’m not having to dodge traffic!

  3. Barrie Reply

    I totally am with you on the high-traffic safer routes for running- I feel silly sometimes, but there are too many times that like you mentioned, weirdos have followed me, so I am careful, and also this is why I don’t wear music- so I can hear what is around me. I also tell my husband what route I am taking so he has a general idea of my whereabouts- Do I sound crazy?! haha! Hope not! As far as temps, I wear lots of layers because I hate being too hot or cold-

    1. Profile photo of Tara

      Tara Reply

      You don’t sound crazy at all! Since I got my Garmin, my husband insists that I turn on the tracker every time I go run now!

  4. Sarah @ BucketListTummy Reply

    As much as I keep wishing I could be a morning runner, I’m not either. I just need time to wake up and sip my coffee. I also love the middle fo the road 70 degree weather, where I can work up a small sweat but it’s not too humid!

    1. Profile photo of Tara

      Tara Reply

      I wish I could be a morning runner too. It would be so nice to already have it out of the way for the whole day. But it just doesn’t happen! Lol

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