Rambling Roads: On An August Day

By George A. Hancock

Sunday begins our August run. 31 days devoted to sweaty hot and humid fun. Summer’s last hurrah generally never leaves on a gentle note. Our August “dog days” bake our macadam roadways. Some days, runners and walkers literally see the heat bake the local byways. That hot haze earns an Oh My!

This runner always runs early. I’m up and on the road before 6 a.m. despite the retirement status. So, most of my morning runs are never scorchers. Last year, my warmest run was 73 degrees. The morning run is still sweaty but seldom “life threatening.”

Remaining well hydrated year-round is very important. Runners sweat well on any given August day. It doesn’t take long before a hydration-poor athlete experiences issues. I’ve always considered July and August the two most dangerous weather running months. The reason is simple. Heat and humidity can cripple well-trained road athletes.

So, on any August day, drinking copious amounts of fluid is wise. Fresh fruit and vegetables also help one stay hydrated. Seasonal fruits are packed with delicious vitamins and fluids. Slurping on watermelon or cantaloupe after an August road workout is a great treat.

A wise August runner schedules that workout either early or during the later evening hours. The temperatures and humidity levels are generally lower. Of course, I previously pointed out my early August morning run is excellent.  Outside conditions are perfect for the road workout.

Now, the new generation of tech-savvy runners move their run indoors to those well-designed treadmills during questionable weather. These climate controlled runs produce great results. These runs provide another August option for runners.

The midday runner that must run outside also has options. Sometimes life conditions dictate an action course that others never face. An August outside run at noon is doable providing that runner follows sensible guidelines.

These are some time honored hot afternoon running tips. Run in light colored clothing with a hat. Stay hydrated perhaps, carrying water bottles on your run. Run in a shady park or on a tree-covered trail. And reduce your pace and your run mileage.

Day by day, run after run, we move forward. August is just 31 days. Our seasons last just so long. Veteran runners learned miles ago that making adjustments is OK. Reducing the mileage, reducing the run pace is wise during questionable weather patterns. And, of course, the August hot and humid weather qualifies as run-adjustment worthy.

September 1 looms on the horizon. A new season approaches. Sure, we’ll face more hot and humid runs. But, these tropic-like days will ease. We simply endure the current August weather.

Now, on any mid-August day we find activity around the school grounds. Our local colleges and schools are opening. The traffic flow increases. Yellow school buses and vans appear everywhere on my running routes. Students in their vehicles also drive to school.

This traffic flow creates tricky running situations. Pedestrians and bicyclists are frequently nudged, even hit, by vehicles. The distracted motorists fail to see those individuals. Running alert in bright reflective gear aids the daily run.

Running in the morning and evening means darkness steadily grows. Using a light source alerts motorists to our presence. Running in reflective clothing a must. Runner visibility insures years of running adventures.

We have 123 days left in 2021 after August 31. Time steadily flow along. Squandering these delightful August days is a mistake. This heat and humidity shall ease in time. Hmm, just like our summer vacations. Blink and they’re over.

We’re moving on. Run well, run smart! 

Categories: Features

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