C’mon Feet, Let’s Go!

Feathers along the river.

Feathers along the river at the park.

The author of Mink Deadly’s Mathematical Adventures posted that he knows he is a runner because he is crazy enough to race in the heat. I don’t race (yet.) But I do run in the heat. Last week the first day I ran it was 82 degrees. The second day it was 84. The humidity was so high, it felt like I was running in a steam bath.

But you know what? It was okay. Yeah, I was sweating buckets and I am sure my face was a bright “is she going to be all right?!?” red, but I did it! The first run was at River Park, which was great – and being by the water really helped with the temperature. The other great thing about River Park is that it is big, really big. So, even though there were a lot of people walking, biking, playing games, picnicking and just sitting by the water that night, it didn’t feel crowded. I love that.

One other thing happened that made me happy: as I was coming back on my final loop, I noticed a man running towards me in the opposite direction. He was incredibly fit and wearing some kind of team jersey. The minute I looked at him, I thought “soccer player.” I don’t know that he was, but he had that tough, strong, compact build that makes me think of team sports. He was also obviously an experienced runner. As we passed, he looked over at me and gave me a small grin and a short nod. He had a look of recognition in his eyes – one crazy fool to another, running in this heat… it was the nod of one runner to another. I don’t know how so much could be conveyed in such a short gesture, but it was, and it made me feel like a million bucks.

A sweaty, tired million bucks.

The second run was at one of the local college campuses. I’ve run there a couple of times before. It’s a gorgeous campus, with lots of walking trails and paths through the woods. I’ve also been working there in the evenings doing freelance work. I lucked out that night – my freelance partner gave me the night off. I had a little suspicion that might happen, so I had packed my gear, just in case.

Everyone that day was complaining about the heat… even people who love summer were complaining about it. Me? I kept my mouth shut. One of the unexpected benefits of losing weight has been that summer heat doesn’t affect me like it used to. Summer used to be my least favorite season, but now I am loving it. (The downside, of course, is that I am cold all the time. I finally realize why older folks move to Arizona and Florida – it isn’t just to avoid snow!)

The campus is mostly shaded by big trees, and it was after 5:00pm, so even though it was 84 degrees, it wasn’t that bad. My time didn’t turn out to be very good, but I didn’t care. I am still getting back into the swing of things and I was running up hills and through areas I don’t know very well. The important thing was that I got out and didn’t let my concerns about the heat, or anything else, stop me!

And I am heading back out this weekend!

Sitting at the river's edge after my run.

Sitting at the river’s edge after my run.

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