Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer officially begins, and I'm already over it

Two days in a row — yesterday and today — I've run in conditions that reminded me, in a bad way, of this year's Rockford Marathon. (I actually ran the half, but the T-shirts make no mention of such a thing.)

Even though I left the house at 8:30 or 8:45 a.m. and ran between 3.5 and 4.5 miles both days, the sun was blazing and the humidity high, making what was probably 80-degree temperatures feel much, much worse. Thank God for the energetic breeze, except that it was coming at me rather than propelling me for most of the way.

The drawback of wearing these pretty turquoise shorts, rather than the black ones, is that they show my copious sweat all too well. Taken after 4.5 miles on June 20 in 80-degree heat.

Yep, I'm cranky. Mostly at the weather, but even more so with myself.

Remember how I said I was going to phase out the sub-four-mile runs? That lasted until yesterday. As much as I'd like to blame my shortcut on knowing I was risking being late to an appointment, or on being smart in the heat, I honestly should only blame my mental weakness.

I kept thinking of this quote during the run, and even more so as I finished:

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
— George S. Patton, U.S. Army general and 1912 Olympian

It would've been physically easy to run another quarter-mile past my complex and then double back, despite the heat, humidity and sun. But my mind was whining about wanting to shower in the air conditioning ... and inside I went. The runners I would later see in the early to midafternoon, cruising along unshaded pavement, shamed me even further.

Today I benefited from A) remembering the article in the Des Moines Register pointing out that we'll be prepared for the August weather after this heat spell, B) knowing what kind of misery I was getting myself into and C) preparing a new route, with which I wasn't familiar enough to abbreviate on the fly.

My splits and pace were worse, but my spirits slightly better. Finding this also might've helped:

Dear park somewhere along 50th Street, THANK YOU for having a water fountain.
And as today is the first day of summer, it looks like I'd better plan on using all of those strategies — and every available water fountain — for a while.

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