It was hot out when this picture was taken. Too hot.
According to Mark Remy’s take on our run outside of Emmaus, Pennsylvania on day six of the running roadtrip, it was 112°, accounting for humidity.
That kind of heat was like some sort of joke.
Have you heard the one about a man lighting a fire to cool down? Or the one where two fire hydrants are fighting over the same dog?
Everybody Talks About The Weather…
I had spoken with Mark the day before, following a run in Akron, Ohio. It was uncomfortably warm, and predicted to get hotter. Though we had a standing running date, I didn’t want to be the person who dragged the Runner’s World crew out into the blistering Pennsylvania sun.
Luckily, most runners are at least a little bit nuts, so they hardly needed convincing.
In the end, only Mark, Bart “The Mayor” Yasso, and David Graf were brave (or foolhardy) enough to pace me over a beautiful two-and-change.
Of course, I can hardly blame the other staffers for not coming out with us. In truth, I didn’t really want to put in the miles in that heat either.
At the same time, I’d have died to have passed on the opportunity to visit the hallowed halls and offices of Runner’s World.
And if I was going to die anyway, it was going to be on the road, surrounded by other amazing runners.
Good Motivation Is Hard To Find
But not every run comes with such compelling motivation.
Having bid farewell to my running idols, I was faced with the fact that I still had to complete my self-imposed minimum one-mile runs in five more states.
New Jersey went easily enough, but by the time I hit the thin sliver of New York, all that had been left of my motivation vanished.
I pulled off in Rye, New York, determined to finish what I had started.
I was tired. The heat had me drenched in sweat. Even my tech socks were saturated. And with saturated socks came blisters – small at first, but larger and more painful with each step.
I was sure that was the premature end to the roadtrip.
I told myself that I could always drive back to run in Connecticut and Rhode Island. It didn’t matter if I finished.
But somewhere between Rye, New York and Mystic, Connecticut, I realized that I couldn’t just quit.
Although I really, really didn’t want to run anymore, I knew I had to finish.
For one thing, I had committed to my readers – to you all – that I would be running in every state as I crossed the country. As I crossed. Not after I crossed. And I refuse to lie to you, which meant either sucking it up, or backing out on my commitment.
Neither one was an option.
For another thing, I tried to remind myself of all the interesting things I’d seen that I would’ve missed if it weren’t for stopping to run. Was I really willing to risk missing out on something potentially amazing because I was a little sore and tired?
Of course not. And, just like that, I was off and running. Sixteen states later, I don’t regret a moment of it.
And so we’ve reached the end of the running roadtrip. Now you know what got me through those last, long miles in the blazing heat. What tricks do you use to get yourself out the door on those difficult days? Have you skipped runs that you later regret? Leave me a comment!