Winter in Summer

June is almost over, Matt pointed out this morning.  He’s thinking of all the things he wanted to get done this month, as July looms and he is supposed to take his three *required* weeks of summer vacation (out of something like six weeks total — ah, Sweden!).  I’m looking forward to July and a bit more warmth.

It’s still June, and it’s still COLD.  One of my colleagues complained yesterday that it’s not warm enough to sit out in the summer evenings in Stockholm until the sun is already going away at the end of the summer — this Midsommar, 20-21 June, may have had the longest daylight hours, with sun from something like 3 am until 10:30 pm, but it was so cold! The high was around 50°F (or 10°C). Another colleague says of Sweden, “You can have winter weather in summer, but never summer in winter.”

Really, talking about the weather is all we do here.

But it’s all we do anywhere, I suppose.  Earlier this month, I had gone to visit family in California and Minnesota, perfect places for seeking summer heat.

California’s drought means its air is super dry, and the hot summer weather had settled in at the beginning of my week in Folsom. I woke up early to run, partly because I was jetlagged, but mostly to avoid the 90° to 105°F (32° to 40°C) temperatures that blanketed the area as the sun rose.  I came home parched and sweaty, only to feel blow-dried in the heat; the weather report said it felt cooler than 105°F one afternoon because the air held so little moisture.

Minnesota was the opposite:  Humid, horribly humid, and so it felt hotter than California, even if the highs were only 85°F (29°C).  I ran several mornings while I was there, during a week of high humidity and thunderstorms that made my aunt and uncle’s house shake. After my last morning run, I came home bathed in sweat; it felt like my whole body had been enveloped in a fine layer of water. Somehow, the moisture fritzed my phone in my pocket, turning off my running app (I use Endomondo) in the middle of my route and turning on about a dozen others — the water must have acted like a conductor on the phone’s touchscreen, allowing the fabric to act like a finger.

Coming home to Sweden was a shock. I’d been living in shorts and tank-tops for nearly two weeks, sitting outside in the evenings until the mosquitoes attacked, absorbing as much heat as I could in California and Minnesota.  Here in Sweden it was back to fall weather: wool sweaters and heavy jeans, wool socks, rain gear.  Ugh.

But Sweden’s summer is perfect weather for running. I’m training for a quarter marathon, for which Matt signed me up while I was traveling earlier this month in the US.  I’m hoping for a high of 18°C (65°F) today and tomorrow.  It might rain, but it will be perfect for a long run.

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