It’s Official…I’m a Yankee Runner!
The Civil War for my running persona is over. Just as they did 150 years ago, the South has raised their white flag and surrendered to the might of the North. It was a hard-fought battle, and the South certainly had it’s fair share of resources and advantages. However, in the end, the North was simply overwhelming.
I got back from a mid-week 8-mile run this morning, and when I left at 8:45AM, it was already 81 degrees outside. By the time I returned, it was 87, and the heat index made it feel like 95 degrees…at 10AM! I certainly enjoy a good sweat, and there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with being drenched in your own sweat. It’s as if your body is assuring you that “yes indeed, you worked your ass off!”
As grateful as I am to my body for the reminder, however, I’m fairly certain that I’m capable of sweating without oppressive heat and humidity bearing down on me as if I was running through a pool of wet concrete. This is not an environmental condition I will ever acclimate to, nor is it one that I can adjust my running routine or wardrobe to compensate. Alas, a person must run with at least a minimal amount of clothing in order to avoid various legal ramifications, not to mention the strange looks from passersby. With the possible exception of the new CoolMax clothing from Columbia, all of our innovations in sports science have yet to yield a way for me to be truly comfortable running in temperatures above 80 degrees. It’s just the way my body is programmed. Sunblock may prevent the sunburn, properly hydrating may keep me healthy, and light-colored clothing may have some minmal impact on my overall comfort, but until they invent a skin-tight temperature-regulating ice suit for running, I’ll still hate the hot temperatures!
Now, clearly I’m still running and I’m sure there is a part of you that’s saying to yourself…”suck it up!”. Don’t get me wrong- I AM sucking it up and continuing to train, and running earlier in the morning or later at night to avoid the worst of the heat. However, I still find myself longing for the cool fall days, the rejuvinating spring days, and even the chill of a February morning. The reality is that at least in the winter, I can add layers and provide myself with enough warmth to be relatively comfortable. Granted, it was a mild winter this year, but I’ve run year-round for the past three years now, and I will gladly take a 0 degree day that forces me to wrap myself in layers of thermal Under Armor over a 90 degree day that leaves me wanting to strip down to a thong and running shoes, stopping just short of peeling off my skin to try and cool myself off. I prefer cold weather. I can adapt and dress accordingly for cold weather.
I am a Yankee runner!