I’ve been running outdoors a lot more since moving down here–no basement, thus no good place for the treadmill. So we sold it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I’ve been enjoying getting re-acclimated to outdoor running. Though it does present its fair share of issues.
1. Heat/humidity – I lump these two together because they are one in the same in my mind. Yes, I understand at the 90 degrees in Florida feels different than 90 degrees in Arizona, but when I say “it’s hot outside”, I’m taking all of that into account. People that correct you, saying “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, are like the people that insist on announcing that “it is tomorrow” when you’re up past midnight or tell you “see you next year” when leaving work on December 31, that is they’re annoying. Regardless, the summer weather here in Florida relegates my outdoor running activity to the rule of 9s, before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
2. Sprinklers – Because of #1 above, it means that I am running when people’s sprinklers are going. And sure, at the very end of a run, the idea of cooling off by running through a sprinkler doesn’t sound terrible. But not the first mile. Running in water-logged sneakers is no fun. And by the way, we’ve lived in this house since the end of April, and we haven’t turned on our sprinklers once. Because it rains everyday. I realize that this may stop at some point in the fall, but for now I assume the rain should be sufficient.
3. Leaf blowers – If by the grace of God it’s only 84 degrees at 4 p.m. on a Saturday and I decide to sneak my run in before dinner, I avoid the sprinklers, but suffer a much worse fate. I’m not sure how leaf blowers are even legal. They produce so much noise pollution and actual pollution for such minimal benefit. We have these things called brooms and rakes, and yes, your gardener will have to work an extra 15 minutes causing you bill to be $2 higher, but isn’t that worth it for a little peace and quiet and the ability to breath on an afternoon stroll through the neighborhood?
4. Cars parked over the sidewalk -I chalk this up to our small yards. At least here in the Orlando suburbs, lot sizes seem to be smaller than they were back in Cincinnati. And the pool takes up pretty much the whole backyard, so the house is closer to the street, thus the driveway is shorter. And no one parks their cars in garages down here because there are no basements. So everyone pretty much has two cars parked in their driveway at all times. A third car means street parking or on the driveway but blocking the sidewalk. And in my development, the parking option of choice seems to be the latter. So your choices as runner is the street at all times or weaving around parked cars. Neither option is ideal.
Yeah, but still – This is Florida, so I’m fairly positive that running outdoors throughout December, January and February will be pretty great.