Just kidding; it sucks. I was hoping that singing along to Grease would make it better, but no. Humidity is way up, and my pace is way down, but I still have lots to be grateful for this summer training season.
- I actually am getting stronger. While the heat and humidity may be crushing my soul, I can feel the strength in my legs carrying me more easily over the miles. Thanks to bootcamp at D1, I can see and feel muscles in my legs that I am not used to seeing. My glutes are bigger, and helping me maintain better control on trails; my quads and hams are stronger, making each individual stride more productive; my calves are becoming more defined, and helping me stay nimble on rocks, roots, etc.
- My heart rate is no longer in the stratosphere. I still get winded in the heat and rain-forest-level-humidity of the Texas afternoons, but when I look down, my HR is actually in a reasonable range. Last year, I would regularly hit the 170s (even 180s), but this summer I seem to be staying in the 150s, even when I feel like I’m working hard. That, for me, is a huge accomplishment. I have been worried for a year that I would never have the physical heart to run the way I want to, and this is proof that I am capable of anything!
- I have running friends. Really, I have running friends all year, but summer is when a lot of us are more available to really get out there together for extended periods of time. I draw such strength from other humans, and having a variety of humans in my running-friend-tool-belt helps to keep me motivated and smiling throughout the hell that is summer running in Texas… even if that summer running turns into summer hiking and gossiping. Time on feet, amiright?
- #sportsbrasquad and positive body image. I have always had a belly. My weight has been an issue for me in the last few years, since I became a mom. I’ve spent my motherhood years mourning the loss of my old body, and pouting over the fact that hip spread is 100% real life. I realize it is dumb. No one has to explain that to me. I get it. This summer, though, I’ve decided to just do me, and that means joining with women all around the world in the #sportsbrasquad movement. After all, every body is a runner’s body!
What are you grateful for during this extra brutal season in the South?* How are you getting out, with whom, and for how long? What do you consider a successful run, versus an unsuccessful one? Most importantly, have you seen Wonder Woman yet?
*Note: my husband informs me, often, that Texas is not “The South”, but for heat-related purposes, let’s just go with it, k? Great.