Horrible Runs, Awesome Run

No, I'm not referring to the Honey Bucket visits from the last post. Horrible runs meaning extremely difficult jogs.

My last few runs (a six and a couple eights with shorter distances thrown in there) have been quite challenging. I blame the heat (seriously, it is KILLER here), but I also blame my lack of talent as a runner. And my inability to get up early. I don't have "it" like some people do. But that's okay. It's not a complaint. I do have perseverance, so that's in my favor. But getting back up to higher mileage is such an ordeal for me. As a 10-12-minute miler, it takes a long time for me to get some of these runs done. I guess this is one of the reasons why I'm the Anti-Running Runner.

While in Georgia meeting my new niece (!!!) I got a chance to run in my sister's neighborhood two weekends in a row. I've mentioned before how much I love running there.

Here I am doing one loop around her neighborhood (about 4 miles). It was hot, but not as humid as St. Pete. Plus there are lots of trees, so lots of shade. That helps. The hills are a challenge, but great for training. I'm pretty sure I'm listening to a Dunesteef episode here. Rish and Big are keeping me entertained.

The following weekend, I did two laps around the neighborhood (about 8 miles). Oi! It was tough. I stopped after one lap to come in and get a big glass of water. And a bathroom break. Much more hot/humid this day than the last Georgia run. My dad, who had come to meet the baby, was concerned when he saw me beet red and soaked in sweat. My mom reminded him that I do train regularly in Florida. She's right, and I knew I could make it, but it was the first 8 I had done since May. Ironically, the very next day, the temp dropped 20 degrees! If I had known, I would have waited and enjoyed a nice, cool run. Oh well. I got through it with minimal walking.

My sister doesn't want her baby's pics all over the Internet, but I don't think she'd mind this one. My mom, dad, sis and I went on baby's first walk along the canal. Very pretty. I got to push the BOB Stroller. She seemed to enjoy herself. She is sooo precious. I'm not normally a baby person, but I fell in love the moment I first saw her.

Another 8 (no pics for that one) was truly horrendous. I came back home and ran when I got off work on Friday. 2pm is not the best time to run where there is no shade. It's probably the worst time to run. I got about halfway done with a bathroom break thrown in there, and my body felt like it was shutting down. I drank water multiple times along the route, but I felt zapped of all energy. My legs turned to lead. I thought...do I have to give up? This is awful. I walked a little and prayed. I wanted to do the distance, even if I couldn't run the whole time. I realized I could do it if I walked some, I just had to accept the pain. That's actually a normal occurrence for me during the majority of my runs. Pain appears in so many ways. Luckily, not in my feet (no blisters) while I've done longer distances with my Saucony's. But the body cries, and sometimes I want to cry right along with it.

And then there was a silver lining. Praise God for the good runs. For me, they are few and far between, but I savor them whenever they happen. Today, I planned to do a 10-miler. I mentally prepared for the worst. Heat, desires for death, the need to walk even if I wanted to run the whole time, etc. I changed and left work noticing the cooler air. Then I realized...it rained ALL DAY yesterday. And it felt sooooooooooo great out now. I went out slowly, but maintained something close to 11-min miles, I think. I walked only briefly. I saw at least 100 other people running. I rarely see other people running at that time of day. They all noticed the cool air, too. I love running the waterfront route because it's so pretty, and today I got to enjoy the scenery. Normally, I wave to acknowledge other people, but today I could give them a smile, too. I did have a side ache most of the run, but it wasn't too horrible, and it eventually went away. And the gnats were out. You can see one in the middle of my chest below the earbud wires. I'm surprised they aren't lodged in my teeth, they were so thick in some sections, but they were not going to dampen my good mood!

I've mentioned the Dunesteef podcast before. It's my favorite because they have great stories and entertaining banter. I've posted on their forum and talked about how I run and listen. Great distraction. Well, I'm on my way and feeling good. And then I hear my name on the podcast! It's an episode called "Remember Mars." Big is about to introduce a guest on the show, and Rish decides to guess who it might be. He says, "Is it Bria Burton?" Or something along those lines. I was so thrilled. They made my day. The real guest was the Incredible Hulk. Much more entertaining than I would be, but it was fun to get a shout out.

When I got home, I had a text from hubby. Smoothie in the fridge for you. So he made my day as well, and I chugged that thing. So yummy.

The lesson I think I'm learning: For every horrible run, you may have a good one coming. You just have to get through the bad ones first. Persistence is key.


  1. Heat and humidity are killers for runners. In my Utopia the weather would be perfect for running any time of the day and night and a toilet would materialise whenever you needed one.


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