Running Through Soup

Running Humor: My mom told me I can be anything I want to if I put my mind to it....

I finally got my butt out of bed to go on my first run here a few days ago.  I took three days off to travel and move in, and by that morning I was finally to get myself out the door and back on the streets.  Or so I thought. Three miles, I thought, how hard can it be?

Ways in Which Running at College Are Different Than Running at Home: A List.

1. Location: At home, I ran through my neighborhood, which is a gorgeous subdivision of genteel single family homes that backs up into a nature preserve.  Safety plus gorgeous views? A win-win. At school, it’s a bit of a sketchy area, and the best view I can hope for is that of a building spire from the campus. Motivational? Not quite the same as a sunset.

2. Timing: My go-to workout time at home was right after work.  I had had  a full day of desk sitting to get me pumped for being outdoors.  Here, I’ve been waking up early and going so I can ensure that I actually get my workout in.  While I am a bit grumbly about running before breakfast, I think this might actually be a positive change: it’s so early that my mind barely processes that I’m running, and I also don’t have to worry if anything comes up later in the day: I’m done!

3. People: I didn’t really know anyone in the neighborhood at home, so I was free to huff and puff and look like a total goon without fear of being laughed at.  At least, to my face. I’m sure some of the kids I passed playing outside were doing some pretty harsh judgement behind my back (we can’t all play in the kiddi pool and eat popsicles, guys).  But on campus, I know pretty much everyone I pass. Which means some awkward eye contact as I try to ensure that I don’t get sweat in my eye. Needless to say, looking extremeluy attractive while running has never been a priority. Or, you know, a possibility.

4. Route: I got so used to running a similar route everyday, and didn’t realize how much comfort there is in that.  It’s so nice to just let your feet fall where they may and follow the route that you know.  I could shake it up and run farther or shorter, but I always knew my approximate distance.  Here, I’m constantly breaking cadence to check my Charity Miles.  Usually, I think, “What do you mean, it’s only been a mile? I’ve been jogging for hours!!”  I’ve added on all kinds of little loops to add onto my time, so plenty of people have gotten to watch me run down the street, only to come back on the other side a few seconds later.  Perplexing and entertaining, I am sure.

5. Weather: Ah, I saved the best for last. Y’all, it is HOT down here.  But I can deal with hot.  What is more difficult is the fact that humidity here makes the air into soup.  It is like running through liquid, so intense you can almost feel the water in the air. Another incentive to run in the mornings!

Do you have any tips for running in this kind of heat/humidity combo?