I am a self-professed lover-of-all-things-summer. I love hot weather; I love sitting on my deck in the sun with a great book; I love working up a good sweat on a run. Hamburgers on the grill, sleeping in, fresh corn on the cob, ice cream – what could be better? Temperatures for two weeks over 100 degrees? I hate it! If my husband reads this (which he’d better), he will remind me of my words at every opportune moment, but I am going to say it anyway…I am sick of summer! Oh, I love my time off school, and am not quite ready to embark on another school year, but I long for crisp fall Saturday runs, sweatshirts, and running in shorts and long-sleeved shirts.
The extreme blazing heat is no good for my running. It is difficult to breathe, my legs feel like bricks, and my energy is completely zapped. I have been running by myself because I want to stop for water (a lot), and my walk breaks are rather frequent. I might go out intending to run 5 miles, but stop at 3 because I simply cannot move. And the sweat…wow. I don’t mind sweating, but when it is literally pouring off every body part, it just gets gross.
This morning was going to be different. I awoke early and headed to town at 6:30 – I was going to beat the heat! I decided that my pace didn’t matter as long as I kept moving forward. I just finished the book An Accidental Athlete by John Bingham. He states, “Too often, it seems to me, we miss the most important reasons to run because we are so busy running. We get so caught up in the days and weeks and miles of a training plan that we run right past experiences that would make all the training worthwhile.” I thought about that as I ran this morning. I made a conscious effort to take in the run and to forget about my pace. I left my Ipod in the car, and instead ran to the symphony of nature and the awakening of the city. I enjoyed the songs of the birds, the barking dogs, and the peacefulness of the Ohio River. I stopped at every water fountain and even took a break and dropped in a friend’s house for an ice-cold glass of water. I walked about a half mile in the middle of my run, and I enjoyed simply walking. Was it hot? Heck, yah. Did I enjoy the run? Absolutely. I ran 5 miles – slowly, but surely!
While I want to improve my pace and continue to run half marathons (when it cools down), I also want to take more time to embrace the act of running. I began running as a form of exercise, not to compete in the Olympics. What I love most about running is the time with friends, the time alone with my thoughts, and the time outdoors. I need to remember that on my next slow run!
For this afternoon, when the temperature is supposed to reach 108 degrees (YUCK!), I will stay inside playing with my grandson, Layne. My daughter Bethany is on her way back from St. Louis, and will spend the day before heading back to Indianapolis, so I will also enjoy some time with her. In the air conditioning.
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