Running in hot, humid weather is difficult and demoralizing. I walked more than 1 mile of my long run, and felt like a failure.
My longer runs are all scheduled for Sundays. I like to sleep in on Sundays. The only problem is that the sun gets up its strength when I’m dozing, and throws a blanket over my head when I finally get outside.
I was putting off my run, even though I always look forward to them. I was scared, somehow. Each Sunday, I run further than I ever have before in my life. Each Sunday, I’m nervous to put on my running shoes, little shorts, and raggedy wife beater, then head out the door.
I’m running 9 miles this coming Sunday. Last Sunday I ran 8 miles. Rather, I pushed through 4.5 miles, walked for 2.5, then ran the last mile. Horrible, cramp-y, sweaty suffering. I also like to imagine alternate realities when I run. Like, what if I was running an ultra marathon in Death Valley like those crazy people who have their toenails removed. They’re without shade as they run 100 freaking miles.
But people in a van full of medical equipment and hydration tools follow those who do ultras. I found out that all humid and 85 plus degrees makes me do is feel like throwing up would be awesome. I sweat until I don’t think I can sweat anymore. I would like to live life like this.
My friend Saracita lives life like this. She had been driving more than two hours a day (sometimes just one way, depending on traffic and weather!) to do a job that she was challenged by and that she loved. While working on Masters coursework. And volunteering with Youth for Understanding. Now she’s going to teach in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship to further enhance and improve her mad skills. And she has a plan to take more classes while in Spain (they give you some free credit hours.) I think she would go insane without being busy all the time.
Like my friend Trevor. He works long, long hours at a corporate advertising agency, yet comes home and uses every other spare minute of his time to create comics, present at conventions, sell his books, promote a non-profit comic he’s marketing for his friends the creators, and give lectures on writing comics.
My friends are amazingly productive, intense people. They fit in as much as they can sweat out, and that makes them feel like worthwhile human beings. I think? Maybe they feel like they’ll cease to exist if they slow down. I wonder if, by not being insanely busy, I’m somehow missing the purpose of life. I’m frightened like I’ll fail in my 8 mile run in the sweltering heat. Every time I hang out with them, I’m preoccupied with niggling doubt. But there is no “fail.” Walk for a few miles. And finish running.