Ahhh...the country; fresh air, rolling hills, fields of green, and blistering heat. That pretty much describes my run this weekend in my hometown of Milan, Illinois. Not to be confused with the fashion mecca of Milan, Italy. Although I did see some great fashions, like shirtless men in overalls. I was back visiting my parents and headed out early Sunday morning to try (unsuccessfully) to beat the heat. At least I had some nice scenery as I was boiling, well, what I could see of it. I had a contact lens malfunction that morning and was running with only one lens in. It's a miracle that I didn't roll down a gravel hillside since my depth perception was way off.
I often forget how quiet things are in the morning once you get out of the city. I could almost hear my sweat hitting the pavement. (By the way, I think there is a certain point when you are just so sweaty, that even slathering yourself with Body Glide won't prevent chafing. Curse you sports bra!) And the people you pass along the way are so friendly, always ready with a wave and basically veer off into the oncoming lane of "traffic" (I use that word loosely) to give you running space.
Another thing that I miss out on living in a city apartment is the ability to hose yourself off after a sweltering run. There are no garden hoses at my apartment, but at my parent's house on the farm, there is always a hose hooked up and I was grateful for that as I doused myself with it after my run. Well, after that first shot of hot water from the part of the hose that had been sitting in the sun ran off.
Of course, there are perks to running in the city, like plentiful water fountains, public restrooms in case of emergencies, and shady tree lined sidewalks. There are pros and cons to both city and country running, but a change of scenery is always a pro in my opinion. Especially when it looks like this.