Sweat that dries almost as soon as it leaves your pores forms crystalline castles on your skin, miniature worlds that are turned to dust and dispersed into the winds just as quickly as they arise. While you don’t see any eggs frying on the asphalt, the soles of your shoes certainly feel like they are melting, as do your limbs and appendages for that matter. It hardly matters though because such thoughts are quickly subdued by the steady beat of your pulse as it washes behind your eyes like waves crashing repeatedly upon the sand. In an effort to regain composure, you draw in air that is miraculously hotter than the breath you exhale. The dried parchment of your throat begins to split, and you taste blood at the back of your tongue. Tangy and oxidized, it is the flavor of mortality. Your vision begins to blur, and you wonder if even falling into a glacial crevasse could alleviate the heat that threatens to overwhelm you. This feeling, this beautiful agony, reminds you that you are alive.
However, before you can succumb to the sweet abyss, a breeze happens across your path. Cool and clearing, the air draws away the layer of heat that surrounds your body. Your meandering strides straighten, and you remind yourself that today is not the day on which you fall victim to heat stroke. Looking around with rejuvenated purpose, the pastoral contrast of the verdant trees and the golden grasses strikes you with its beauty. Opening up your stride, the muscles and tendons in your legs that would generally scream in protest instead feel flexible and fluid. As your run continues, the setting sun stretches into a fiery eternity, giving lit surfaces an orange glow and the shadows a pleasant purple hue. A deep breath that is still flavored with iron reminds you that while it may be a challenge, your time spent running is always rewarding.
Summer has it all: enough heat for a healthy sweat, the intermingled scents of dried grasses on the wind, access to both trails and roads, and extended mornings and evenings for the extra miles. Summer is here*, and summer running is the BEST!
*Providing that you reside in the Northern Hemisphere.
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Will has been running competitively since high school and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.