Florida in the summer is not the most ideal time to run: as my good friend, Becky, says, “If you’re smart, you don’t run outside May through September. You stay inside and get fat. It’s the opposite of everyone else.” Yes, Florida’s summer is like every other state’s winter, but instead you hunker down under mounds of fleece blankets, sipping your cold brew while watching a movie because the air conditioning is blasting away at 76 degrees.
Becky knows I’m crazy, and she is as well because I know she runs outside in the Florida heat. The humidity and high temperatures in Florida on a daily basis are enough to spark excessive heat warnings in any other state, but not Florida! It’s the crazy state. A 101 or more heat index is nothing. So, what’s a runner to do? Run at first light.
That’s what a smart runner would do, but I’m lazy most of the time and love to sleep in. I woke up at 6am with every intention of running by 6:30 except for the fact that I kept hitting snooze until it was actually 6:30. I got a bowl of cereal, some banana bread (you can’t have too many carbs before a run, right?), and a cup of coffee. I chatted with Becky in an attempt to procrastinate until she said, “Aren’t you going to run?” Ughh. Becky always sees through my plans. I sipped my coffee with the forbidden Coffeemate creamer. She knows I’ll feel guilty all day if I don’t run.
“Yeah, I’m going for a run when I’m finished drinking my coffee,” I eyed her over the mug. There. I said it. Now I have to go. I got dressed and laced up my brand new Mizunos before heading out.
A few other crazies were hitting the pavement too even though they were walking: it’s hot at 8am in Florida. In fact, I only saw one other runner. At least I’m not the only nutcase. The lizards parted for me on the sidewalk to take cover in the long grass, and the stray squirrel climbed the tree. A lone fireant ambled on the sidewalk’s edge. I’m too fast for that ant to get into my socks and bite me (as long as I don’t step on an ant hill). There was a slight breeze moving the Spanish moss on the live oaks that provided shade from the relentless sun on the horizon. A few drivers waved me on as I ran in front of their cars. The plan was to run around 4 miles, so that’s what I did. I felt fast, although my pace was so slow. Thanks, humidity.
By the time I finished, I looked like I already jumped in the pool. And that’s just what I did after my run. Perfect.