Wednesday was the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, and the kick off to a summer heat wave here at the beach (and lots of other places too!). It. is. HOT. I have ditched my lunch break runs. On Wednesday and Thursday night, I ran after Chet went to bed. Lucky for me, Wednesday was also the longest day of the year so I was able to do this without running the dark (mostly).
Wednesday I ran 3 miles (with the dog). Thursday I ran 2 miles (with the dog). It has not been easy. Every day I dreaded the evening run. Have I mentioned I don’t like summer? I struggle to find the motivation to change into my running clothes. I look for every excuse to not venture out. And then I remind myself of reality – it is summer. There will be rare days of cool temperatures, but this is the weather I will be training in until the fall. This is the weather I will be racing in for my half marathon labor day weekend. I might as well get used to it.
During the first mile of both runs (and nearly every single summer run), I wonder why I signed up to race the Rock n Roll half marathon yet again this year. Every year I say I’m not doing it again. Every spring I sign up. I know this race keeps me moving during the summer months, so it is probably the best choice for me. But sitting in the back yard with a beer after Chet goes to bed sounds wonderful too (I did do this after my run though!).
As I sluggishly made my way through mile 1 yesterday, I thought I can’t believe I did this last summer. while pregnant. Why in the world did I do that?
Why? I love running, and I had just missed out on 12 weeks of running and a full marathon. I was willing to run in any condition just to feel the earth under my feet.
Ahhh. So maybe summer running isn’t that bad. It’s not my favorite, but I’m running. I’m running, and the only thing limiting me this year is myself. Yes. It was 80+ degrees both nights after 8pm and the percentage of humidity was off the charts. BUT I AM RUNNING. And it is what I love to do almost more than anything.
It is these hot, humid, sweaty, sticky runs that make me love runs when temperatures top out at 60 degrees. It is these runs that make me feel like I’m flying when there is no humidity in the air. It is these runs that will help me PR in the fall.
So maybe, just maybe…..Today, I am grateful for hot summer runs. I’m even more grateful for the ability to run this summer. And I’m even more thankful that the only thing holding me back this summer is me because that is something I can conquer.