As you know I am a runner. I have been a runner for less than two years but have accomplished a lot in that time. I have participated in about a dozen organized races averaging about one per month since my first Operation Melt 5k. I have completed two half marathons cutting a full twenty minutes off my time. I really enjoy running!
After taking it a little easy for the past week, to get through some pain, I went for a long run on Saturday morning. My #Sweaturday long run if you follow me on social. I did about five total lakeside miles in 80-degree heat and sun.
While I was running, and sweating, I started reflecting on my running experience a bit. I have now run through all four seasons and there are things I love about each one. But running in the summer is my favorite. Summer runs are a treat for all five senses.
In the summer there are lots of fun sights to see on a run. All of the plants are full, the sun is shining and all of the wildlife is out playing and doing the things that animals do. There are also are more people out and doing yard work, house work and their own exercise and I love people-watching.
While most runs are primarily accompanied by the sound of my music or podcasts the summer adds additional players to the symphony. First and foremost are the birds, hundreds of birds, and they are all signing. This definitely adds delightful background music on top of my normal running playlist.
Unfortunately the other common sound is that of machinery. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, motorcycles and many other power tools cut through the pleasant sounds but do add to the soundscape.
One of my favorite parts of summer runs are feelings. Two feeling in particular make summer running more fun: the sun and the sweat.
Running during the summer usually means that your body is bathed in sunlight. The warm energy of the sun feels good on your skin – properly protected of course. Of course the hot sunlight and its magical vitamin D is there in all four seasons but it is particularly potent in the summer when the earth is closest to the sun.
The warm sunlight produces the other feel: sweat. I love the feel of sweat coating me during any exercise including a run. The more sweat I produce the more I feel like I was productive and that I worked hard. There is no shortage of sweat during a summer run.
Separate from the sweat there are lots of smells during a summer run, some good and some not so good. As I was running along the lake I did encounter the smell of dead fish and roadkill occasionally but those smells are the exception. I also had smells of flowers and trees in bloom, the lily pads on the water, the smell of boat motors and many others.
Yes there are smells year-round during runs but, again, summer seems to amplify them.
The final sense that is treated during summer runs is taste. This one is a little tougher but it is still absolutely engaged and not just when you accidentally eat a bug.
As you are running on summer afternoons it is very likely that people have their grills or smokers going. When that aroma gets going you can absolutely taste it as you run. Similarly, during early morning runs, you get the aroma of bacon cooking and that aroma sets up shop on your taste buds. I think it should almost be a crime to cook bacon while people are running.
At risk of being gross the other taste during a summer run is sweat because it is going to get into your mouth.
Are you a runner? If so please make sure not to miss out on the summer running season. When you are out for a run try to keep in touch with your senses.
Thanks for reading!