Boy am I glad that in my world this year, HTC stands for Hotter Than Crapola instead of Hood to Coast. Although I only ran one leg of it, I had a blast ghosting my assigned HTC runner last year. This year, I'd planned to ghost all three legs of it. And then I wimped out. I had a million excuses, some of them good, most of them pathetically bad. I hung my head in shame and sent in my notice that I wouldn't be participating this year.
And then July hit. Good grief! July has been one hot, horrible month. Not only has it been above 95 just about every single day, we've gone over 100 at least twice a week and even hit 113 degrees, twice. Maybe more, but twice that I know of. And while it's been that hot, it has also been unbelievably humid. As in 70 & 80% humidity every day. I don't have asthma or any other breathing issues, but there have been more days than not, when I stepped outside and instantly felt like I couldn't breathe. It felt like there was a weight on my chest preventing my lungs from expanding and when they did expand, they burned. It has Not been a comfortable July.
That uncomfortableness became my excuse to stop running. I tried to run in the heat. I even got up early & hit the pavement at the un-Godly hour of 7 a.m. a few times. I ended up walking more than running, and there were several runs where I felt ill, nauseous & faintish for the last half mile or so. And once I was so hot & miserable I faked an injury and pleaded with a sympathetic automobile to give me a ride home.
I decided that my illustrious running career was over until September. On the first of September, I'd start running again. But today, it was cooler. I never checked the thermometer or the humidity gauge so I don't know what it actually was, but Mr. Weatherman had said it was only going to be in the 80's today. So this afternoon, when I got home from taking Zack bowling, I decided to dust off the old Asics and hit the road. It felt so good and so awful all at the same time. I guess now is the time to admit that I have spent the month of July sitting. Sitting and knitting or sitting and reading. And apparently eating since I seem to have gained 15 pounds. Okay, 22 pounds but who's counting?
So there I was this afternoon, lugging my extra-large butt and stiffened from lack of use thighs down the road. It felt great for about 20 yards. That's about the time I noticed my thighs were rubbing. And of course, it had been so long since I ran I'd completely forgotten the concept of Body Glide. Another 20 or 30 yards down the road and my thighs, the parts that weren't rubbing together, started turning bright red and doing that itchy, stinging thing that unused muscles tend to do when you use them for the first time in a long, long time. Another ten or 20 yards up the road (up a hill by now) and my hips and waist were doing the itchy, burning thing too. Gee! This is so much fun. But damn! I'm running! Boy, this feels great! By the end of the first mile, I thought I might be in need of 9-11 and walked a hill. After all, I didn't want to over do it on my first day back. (Good excuse, huh!?!) By the end of the second mile, I decided my breathing wasn't any worse than it used to be, but my legs were pretty dang tired. Good grief! Two miles and my legs feel like I've been running for about 8 days straight. It was at that point that I decided I was really, really glad that HTC had a new meaning for me this year. By the time I finished 3 miles, I was thanking God for helping me survive the run and praying he'd see me up that final hill where my driveway starts. By the time I got into the house, I was almost too tired to stretch. Luckily, I remembered previous runs where I was "too tired" and I recalled with not-so-fond memories how not stretching made me feel. So I stretched. Then I drank my chocolate milk (the best thing about running!) and took a shower. While I showered, Hubby cooked hamburgers & hotdogs on the grill.
And now, I sit here with a full belly, jello legs and that blissful sense of calm that leaves me almost too brain dead to function. Damn, I love running! And boy, am I glad I'm not a HTC Ghost this year! But next year....