18 July 2014

Drowning yourself

Smoky Mountains
In September, I'm planning to run a half marathon at Smoky Mountains National Park. I've previously trained to run a half. The race was at the end of March, where most of my runs were on a 0.2 mile indoor track or through muddy/icy trails in Illinois. The race was also last March, and in the time since, I've evaluated my desire to ever run again and spent some time fiddling around in physical therapy.

So now, I'm training in the Texas heat. Not as humid as Illinois, but undeniably hotter. It is the first time in my life I have actually dripped sweat. Dripped from every possible edge of my body. Who drips sweat off their elbows? I had no idea that was possible. It reminds me very much of the Hyperbole and a Half tale of trying to run a race in Texas.

It's a situation in which I've found very rapid learning. After all, I get to iterate three to five times a week. Keeping water cool? Goes in a bottle with a cover so that the combined contribution of heat from my hands and the sweltering ambient are the slightest bit reduced. I've borrowed from the ladies of my high school soccer team, using vet wrap to make a head band. I'm just now adding a hat to my running attire, as well. 

More than anything else, I've learned to be appreciative of my eyebrows. I often wondered about the evolutionary function that has kept eyebrows around. Eyelashes clearly protect the eyeball, but eyebrows...? We're not cats, the eyebrows aren't whiskers helping me find my prey or alerting me to the impending annoyance of things touching my face. But running, dripping sweat, and sunscreen melting off...they are suddenly damns protecting my eyes from a blinding salt infused torment. I have undervalued them for far too long.

[1] Image from Aviator31

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