Summer running in Minnesota can be quite the adventure. Usually, my runs are pretty status-quo. I get up at 4:45 before the sun. I head out for my 5-6 mile run. I come home. I jump in the shower and I'm off for the day. And, basically... that's all she wrote.
But like I said, summer can bring adventure. Let's talk about bats for example. You know... the tiny, cute-faced, rabies-carrying blood suckers??? Awe, aren't they cute looking?
WRONG! Summer brings humidity and summer brings bugs! Thankfully, I believe these bats really could care less about me, but I've been dive-bombed too many times this summer! The first 1/4 mile of my route is swarming with bats! We live near a wetland so they have a great feeding ground with the pond.
I focus on the end of the block, keep my head down and try not to think about the little beast flying so low over my head I can feel their breeze. I'll have to admit, the first time I encountered these guys this summer - I may have screamed and flailed my arms a bit. Much like what a ninja would look like walking into a spider web.
Let's also talk about WHO I see while I'm out running at zero-dark-thirty. A few days ago, I wanted to get 10 miles in before my husband went to work. That meant a 4:30 am alarm and a solo 4 miles before I picked up a girlfriend who was running with me. I texted my girlfriends joking about getting abducted so early in the morning all by myself. "We haven't seen anything suspicious in a while" was one response. "Criminals don't get up that early!" was another. Supportive friends. Just kidding, of course they were supportive, but maybe I was just overreacting. Nonetheless, it doesn't hurt to be cautious.
However, for those 4 very dark and lonely miles, all I could think about was someone lurking in the bushes or jumping out at me; much like Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining.' That movie gave me nightmares for weeks!
But seriously, all joking aside. We do, in my small, pretty darn safe town, have some shady activity going down at wee hours in the morning. I know for a fact that the small park I run through almost daily has some drug activity. I've seen it happen. It must be a meeting point for exchanges, or drops. I don't know. I'm not a drug-dealer. BUT, what I do know is that a teenager doesn't drive to the park at 5 am, sit in his/her car for 10 minutes and then drive out and NOT be doing something wrong. This happens on the regular. I know that the same person that I see often HAS to see me too?!!?
Anywhoo - on to sights #3 and #4. Let's talk about clothing as being optional in this next segment. Minnesota is HOT. Smoking hot and humid in the summer. So hot and humid that sometimes I feel like I'm trying to run with a wet wash cloth on my face. My legs fatigue easier, I sweat in ALL.THE.PLACES and all I want to do is run in as little clothes as possible. Yesterday, I commented "I wish I could run naked!" Which, got a lot of laughs and sparked some pretty hilarious running convo.
BUT, then I realize ain't nobody wants to see me running naked! Can you imagine? I picture all of me just hanging out, much like that dog! Ha! I am also extremely envious of the hot-body, sports-bra wearing runner with the tight abs I see some mornings running. And, then quickly my thoughts change to, 'I bet she doesn't eat pizza on the daily.' I wonder what she thinks as she runs by me? Maybe I should ask her someday!
Sight #4 ties in nicely with the no clothes talk. I promised myself last winter when my nose hairs were freezing and I had icicles on my face I wouldn't ever complain about summer running. EVER. I broke that promise. I want the humidity to end. It's miserable. In a tank and shorts, I have TOO many clothes on. I sweat everywhere and my terms of SWOOB, SWASS and well.......SWUSSY are just used too much. Sorry for the crass words, but you can pretty much figure out that's all the places we sweat. It's horrible. Makes for some funny talk, but make.it.stop.
|I'm dead. Stick a fork in me.|
A take-your-breath-away moment that only summer skies bring. The sky was a fiery-red that early morning last week. The horses along the white picket fences were still. No traffic. Just beauty. It's these moments that drag me out of bed. It's these moments that make all the other crazy, weird and creepy moments worth it.
Go out. Get yourself out of bed. Embrace the beauty around you! But first, make sure to visit my friend Wendy over at www.takinglongwayhome.com.
Hope you enjoyed the post! What do you see on your runs? I'd love to hear from you!