Friday, August 20, 2010
You may have been wondering how my Summer of Running has gone. Or not, probably? Where I live, summer's not over for two more weeks, but I am going to tell you anyway. Because you already know the Summer of Fun part has been a huge success. The city pool, scads of picnics, Popcorn Wednesdays, day trips, ice cream, playgrounds, the zoo, homemade Popsicles, visits to the farm, cooking, baking, movie night, bookstore storytime, the splash pool, the sprinkler, playdates, the county fair... More fun would have been nearly impossible.
But the Summer of Running? Might as well have been called the Summer of Struggling to Run in Dewpoints of 72 and Humidity Levels of 80% or Higher.
In June I vowed to not skip any runs until Labor Day unless it was over 90 degrees outside (including the heat index) or storming. And honestly? I think I may have skipped just one run under those conditions, and maybe not even that.
The problem was that there were many, many days with heat indices over 90 degrees. Also, on the days I did get out to run, it was suffocatingly humid most of the time. Seriously, I can recall three runs in low humidity--three times I bounded out my door easily and fast, and pounded out several hilly trail miles like I could conquer the world. THREE TIMES in the WHOLE SUMMER. Therefore, all the other times, I struggled and suffered and hobbled and panted, alternating running with I-can't-go-on walking intervals, coming home drenched. I have run five miles straight, without any walking breaks at all, twice this entire season. To give you some perspective, last summer--a largely cool year--I ran five or six miles (no walking!), three to four times a week, over and over and over again, with nary a thought.
So, the Summer of Running was not. I didn't get back up to my normal mileage, I didn't get in killer shape, I didn't enjoy most of my runs. It was pretty much a giant disappointment.
But you know what? It has been a real Summer of Fun, life lived to the fullest most every day. And that's more important. But I still hope for a break in the humidity in the next two weeks. I'd like to end the summer on a high note. And then go running with joy into fall.