Friday, June 17, 2011

My Runs

Despite the title, this post will have almost nothing to do with diarrhea.

When people ask what my favorite type of weather is, I always respond the same way: So blazing Iowa hot with extra muggy! To those readers who don't know what Midwest summers are like, these days are around 98 degrees, where the heat seems to pound on your skin, and the air is so thick and hard to breathe that you're out of breath within the first minute and drenched in sweat within the first 30 seconds.

So one might ask, "Why the hell is that your favorite??" and I'll admit, it does seem pretty crazy. It's not like I go swim on these days (though when I do, it is AMAZING). In fact, the next statements are going to sound even crazier. I like this weather because this is my favorite type to go for runs in. I can barely make it 2 miles, and when I finish, I'm drenched, wheezing, and passersby stare and occasionally ask if they should call an ambulance. Usually, there will be drool hanging out the side of my mouth. I also can't exercise if I hear myself breathing, so I crank my ipod up to "This will make you deaf" levels which can be heard within a 10 foot radius around my person.

So why do I like that? It sounds crazy, hot, and uncomfortable. It's because I know what running will be like when the weather cools down. Usually, when fall comes around, I can run 6-10 miles after training in such terrible conditions. So why isn't fall my favorite? I have no idea. I guess I just like the process. Maybe there's something to be said for hard work and good ethic. I think the more likely reason is that I'm not, nor will I ever be normal.

On a more important note, I'm going to discuss my favorite running attire-- trust me, this part is funnier. I love my one pair of black running shorts, but my best running shirt of all time is my Dad's old gray Army shirt. It keeps me cool, and matches my shorts with its big black 'Army' letters.

The only part I don't like about this shirt are the looks that I get for it. I constantly feel like I'm a mascot for the United States Army, and so whenever I pass anyone, in my head I'm thinking "Do they think this is how they run in the Army? Am I giving the Army a bad name? What would a real Army person do to me right now if they saw me running with Katy Perry blasting my eardrums apart?"

But this one time, I was passing by a bus stop. There were the usual coke addicts waiting for their public transportation, but this time, there was obviously a reunion for the first World War going on because there was this humpbacked 132 year old man dressed in full veteran garb standing with them. He glanced my way with his 2 inch thick glasses and I saw distinct pride in his eyes. I immediately felt ridden with guilt. His gaze held as he shakily let go of his walker (what looked like a feat in itself) and lifted his hand in an unmistakeable salute.

Needless to say, I was mortified. I had no idea what to do, so instead of slowing to salute, or doing anything sane, I turned left, jumped over a 3 foot high fence (I've never understood the point of those) and ran through someone's yard. This poor old man just got stiffed by what he thought was this generations army. I think the United States can indict me for treason for this.