I am giving myself a gold star. A hearty pat on the back. An E for effort. Why? You can probably guess. It's just plain rough to run outside right now...and yet, I'm still doing it. There's nothing fun about running in 80 degree temps with 95% humidity - and that's at 6:00 in the morning! The only decent factor is that the sun wasn't out before we finished our run on Saturday, thanks to the early start plus cloud cover.
Now, I'm not saying that I expect to feel SO SO GREAT and sweat rainbow sparkles every time I exercise, but my chosen form of exercise is generally something that I like doing. However, running outdoors, in summer (and let's face it, most of spring and fall) in Texas does not lend itself to optimal weather situations. And instead of focusing on how utterly cloddish I feel when I run through air so thick I could karate chop it with my hands, I'm going to work really hard on the mental aspect, and give myself kudos for still getting out there and completing the run when I would actually prefer to quit.
Yes, quit. I would like to quit running in the heat. I have wished on more than one occasion that I was a walker - only a walker. Because while I'd still get hot and sweaty while walking in this weather, I wouldn't feel so awful, both physically and mentally, even if I covered the same distance. However, I'm not there yet...I feel like if I switched to only walking, I'd never go back to running. And I don't want to do that. My history is not great when it comes to stopping something - I usually never restart.
I've gone from running and feeling exhilarated when I finish, to running and feeling so beat during the run that negative thoughts like "you're so out of shape" go through my mind. And that's not true - I've been running consistently for years and I'm in the same shape I was back in March, when I ran three miles without stopping. It IS the weather, plain and simple. It's just hard to remember that when I'm struggling through what, in other circumstances, would be a simple run. I know it will get better (in about four months), but in the meantime, I need to remind myself that I AM doing a good job, the best that I can be doing, even when it doesn't feel like it.
What about those of you who exercise outdoors during the hot summer (spring, fall) months - are you as hard on yourself as I am, or have you figured out how to be more forgiving?