Humidity makes running in the warm weather about a hundred times more difficult, even if you run in the relative coolness of the morning (though when July comes, a “cool’ morning is 75 degrees at 9 a.m.). Michigan is the third wettest state, in the nation, so we are rife with thick air and tougher conditions for just breathing than people in many other places.

Thinking about that made me realize how much I love my runs in the summer, however, and that is because it is an immense physical challenge for me to even tread a few feet without feeling worn. I stood there today as I finished my run, contemplating the unseasonably warm weather and the high humidity, and I knew what was to come.

The nice thing about being an intrepid runner is that you are rarely surprised by inclement weather or unfavorable conditions. Indeed, you almost welcome such things.

I am going to make an admission; I really did enjoy the unusually hazardous running conditions posed by this particular winter. It was an enormous challenge to my motivation and my physical strength and endurance, and I think that my being here now to report on this is proof that I passed that seasonal test of mettle.

It is my constant war with the forces of nature. Now, for another six months or so, I must put up with a different sort of challenge, which would be surviving the hot and damp summer days without collapsing from heat exhaustion. I’ve never done that, even when I raced in 95-degree conditions.

I know my body, and I know what to do to prepare it for even the worst running conditions. I think I am set then. So, anyone for a race in the blazing sun?

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