"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
~ Russell Baker
People ask me all the time how I continuously bang out 80-90 mile weeks when I'm training for a fall marathon. And I get it. Summer training can be brutal. But it's also a gift. An opportunity for me to take advantage of the long blocks of time when my girls are at camp that I don't have during the school year. Plus, on top of that, my daily agenda during the summer is very different; significantly less regimented because we simply don't have as much going on. For example, instead of my typical school year routine which might look something like this - drop girls, run, splash water on face, chug coffee, go to grocery store, service car, drop forgotten lunch back at school, walk dogs, make lunch for myself, shovel it in while driving to XC practice, pick up girls from soccer & gymnastics. My summer day tends to be more like this - drop girls at bus, run, dynamics, core (though, if I'm being honest, I've really been slacking on this lately), coffee, walk dogs, stretch, rest, eat lunch while actually sitting down and tasting the food, second run, desk work, shower, pick up girls from bus. And while the girls are then home with me for the rest of the afternoon, there's a lot more down time than usual so I'm not carpooling to and from multiple activities as I usually do. On a day to day basic, I can get so bogged down by the intensity of my summer training. It's a lot of miles. It's super hard. It's really freaking hot out and that makes everything monumentally harder. But, I do appreciate what I'm able to do with the time that I have during these three months. And I'm trying to make a note of that, particularly on the tougher days, like when I'm staring down a 21 miler and it's 90 degrees outside or I've got a 12 mile tempo run and it's 90 degrees outside or when...well, you got the point. I ran my best marathon last fall. And it should come as no surprise that my training last summer was some of the most quality work I've gotten in since I shifted gears and began upping my game. So, while I'm still chasing big goals and working to reach my full potential as a marathoner, I'll continue to take advantage of these summer months and all that they have to offer me in terms of training. Plus, there's the ice cream. Summer offers a lot of ice cream, too. Just sweetens the deal even more.