Even before I started running, I did not care for summer. I loathed it as a high schooler, mostly because I didn’t want the weather to interfere with my wearing of black jeans and flannel shirts; I was a theatre geek, not a cool-arse Goth. I hated summer more when I graduated from college and moved to Texas and then on to Tennessee, both places where summer is about endurance. Now that I live in the northeast, I still dislike it. I do my best to be an adult about the whole season — I don’t throw a tantrum anymore when the air is so thick you can chew it — but June, July, and August are a test of my coping skills.
Fortunately, I’m not planning to run a marathon in the fall, like I was last year. I don’t have to run 15+ miles through octogenarian temps and 90 percent humidity. The next race I have on my schedule is the half marathon at Wineglass in Corning, N.Y., in October (where I’m be woman-ing the AMR booth). Training for 13.1 is about as much as have the enthusiasm to do — and even that has been tricky. It’s not the weather that’s getting in the way, it’s my children.
Not terribly long ago, I realized that my oldest child will be a high school sophomore in September, which means that the window for family bonding trips will be open for only a few more years. She’ll be off to college before we know it — heck, she turned 15 faster than I thought possible — and the time to do some traveling is nigh.
Also: getting out of town during the summer months is a good way to keep the kids occupied when they are driving me nuts by lounging around the house flaunting their idleness. I have issues with idleness, which I know comes as a shock.
Long story short, I haven’t been running nearly as much this summer because we’ve been taking small family trips. The first was to New York City, where we took in art, culture, the Pride parade, and some Chihuly. I didn’t even try to get a run in, because I knew how much walking we’d be doing.
Last weekend, we went to a family gathering in Baltimore, where it was easily a billion degrees at 5 a.m. I had two runs on the schedule and did neither of them, despite having packed plenty of gear. While the Inner Harbor beckoned, the air conditioning beckoned harder.
This weekend, we’re off to Montreal, which is a 5-ish hour drive from my house. I intend to eat my weight in crepes and hang out with my kids and hubby. At some point, I should get a six mile run in* and will pack the shoes, etc., to do so. We shall see if I choose to make it happen.
Apart from our annual trip to visit friends in New Jersey (where everything is legal and where I have run many times before), this will be the last family jaunt where I don’t push myself to stick to the plan. I’m embracing the languidness of summer and using it as a cushion against how quickly time passes the rest of the year. Or, at least, I’m doing my best to do this.
Which isn’t to say I’m not running at all.
* If you know of a great route/running group in Montreal, holler!
Where are you all vacationing this summer, BAMRs? And are you getting your runs in?