Summer Headaches and Jiggle-Free Runs

Betcha can guess which one I prefer.

Let me define the Jiggle-Free Run (JFR), for those of you who aren’t runners. The JFR is that euphoric moment when at some point during one of your runs you realize that NOTHING IS JIGGLING.

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I always thought it was just a myth, right up there with the Loch Ness monster and those free Disney cruise tickets you see on Facebook. But I can happily say with confidence that it’s not just a myth – I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this phenomenon at least two times in the past 3 years I’ve been running. It looks something like this: one minute you’re trotting along, wearing the same clothes you always wear, along the same route you always take, keeping the same pace you always keep. And then… you suddenly realize your tushie isn’t bouncing up and down anymore. Your thighs aren’t rippling with waves of kinetic energy. Your arms aren’t flapping in the breeze. And just like that, you realize that you are, in fact, jiggle-free. Now, it doesn’t always last – like I said, over the past three years of running I can only remember this exact incident happening to me on two occasions. Just two. For some insanely unfair reason a Jiggle-Free Run on a Monday does not guarantee a Jiggle-Free Run on a Tuesday. 😥

Here’s where those evil summer headaches come into play.

You want a JFR? Then you gotta keep running. No excuses. That means even if it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk outside, you’ve gotta get out there. But running in the summer heat means you’re almost sure to get summer headaches. So achieving the elusive JFR means you’re just going to have to suffer with those horrid summer headaches. You just can’t have one without the other.

Or can you?

Not to brag, I think I may have cracked the code for avoiding the dreaded summer headache.

Now, before you give me my Nobel Peace Prize or whatever honorable award you feel should be bestowed upon me for my discovery, let me be straight with you. First of all, these are pretty no-brainer tips that I’m pretty sure I’ve chosen to ignore for the past few years. Second, they are working really well for me, but there’s no guarantee that they will work for you. Sorry. But hopefully seeing that these tips worked for me will motivate you to try them or find your own secret weapon and get you closer to a JFR of your own. 🙂

  1. GO EARLY. I know some people run later in the day or early evening, but that just doesn’t work for me. And if you think about it, running late in the day means you’re running in an environment that’s been heating up all day long. The pavement, the air – it’s all been cooking as the day has progressed. I’ve found that going early in the morning means that everything is cooler. Even if that means it’s only 95 degrees out at 7am instead of 100 degrees at 7:30am. 😀
  2. DRINK WATER. So basic, right? But seriously, a dehydrated body is a body that can’t function at optimal levels.
  3. TURN IT DOWN. If you run with earbuds in, check your volume level. It’s super easy to turn it up to overcome the noise of traffic, barking dogs, or whatever, but make sure you turn it back down! I’m completely convinced that a lot of my headaches have been the result of too-loud music pounding directly into my brain.

I’ve been following these 3 tips faithfully, and despite my previous complaining about summer running, this summer I have managed to get out for a 2-4 mile run at least 4 days a week – headache free!

Now, if only I could do something about the swoob*… 😀

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*swoob = boob sweat 😉

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