Blog: Feeling the glow

(Paula Wolfson/WTOP Photo)

Editor’s Note: To mark a milestone birthday, WTOP’s Paula Wolfson has signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon. She will be sharing her journey along the way in a series of blog posts.

Paula Wolfson, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There’s an old saying: “ladies don’t sweat… they glow.”

Well, lately I have been glowing a lot.

That’s the problem with signing up for a fall marathon. You have to train in the summer, when the high heat and humidity can play havoc with your workouts.

Some folks say I am crazy for wanting to run 26.2 miles. While I will not run outside on code orange or red days (or when the thermometer is over 90, for that matter), there comes a point when you just have to pull out the sunscreen and the belt with the water bottles, put your sanity in check, and put in the miles.

When I come home, my clothes and limbs are covered with speckles of white dust — salt from sweat.

Which got me to thinking about the link between sweat and exercise. And is it true what a lot of folks tell me — “the more effective your workout, the more you sweat.”

For guidance, I turned to John Dooley — one of the docs at Foxhall Internists.

John is a pretty smart guy, and he says — listen up all you brawny guys at the gym — “the amount that you sweat is really a very poor reflection of how hard you are working.”

He says the body sweats for one reason and that is to keep cool. Doc Dooley says you can be training with the same intensity both outside and indoors, but you sweat more in a hot environment simply because your body is, well, hot.

So the notion that it is a bad idea to work out inside because you won’t sweat as much just doesn’t hold water, if you will excuse the bad pun.

Speaking of water, I also told him that the best part about training in the heat is the drop on the scale that I see when I get home. The doc said likely that’s all fluid, and once I reach for that post run spinach-banana-mango smoothie (don’t gag — it is really good!), the weight will all come back.

But there is something to be said, I guess for a natural salt scrub (yes, I’m talking about the salt left behind by the sweat). While I may not always get a runners high, in the summer, I do get a runner’s “glow.”

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