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August 1, 2009

If you can't stand the heat, don't even think about the humidity

As a large person, humidity is the bane of my existence. Skinny folks think that humidity is bad for everyone, which it is, to a degree. However, when you're big like me, it's just that much worse. Skinny people will debate this with me, but I win that argument quickly. Why? Because when it's humid, skinny people will complain about how muggy it is, but STILL go outside and sit by a pool on a humid day, get sun, jump in, get more sun, jump back in, and they're fine. Me, I do my best to avoid going outside at all costs, even into my pool on humid days. By the way, don't get me going on the fallacy of "dry heat." To make a short story long, this week, with it's awful humidity (and clearly no rain, unlike wonderful last week), made for a tough work week.

To be honest, it was the worst week of training this summer. Everything seemed out of whack. Not to complain, but not only was it humid, but for some reason, my feet and left leg killed when I ran. It was pretty inexplicable, but I wasn't comfortable on any of my weekday runs. IT WAS INEXPLICABLE...until I went to the chiro for the first time in 2 weeks (she was on her honeymoon), and BAM! I felt better instantly, as the pain in my feet subsided, and my left leg was fine (she snapped by fibula back into place).

This morning, I did my 2nd longest run ever, 12.24 miles. It's been exactly 2 months since the half marathon, so it was a good indicator of my training. Again, I did the 2.04 mile loop near home and ran it 6 times. For the Gatorade tastes so much sweeter when you're tired, and you only allow yourself two sips (one Dixie cup full, like races). The running felt great, and I actually did the whole thing running sub-10 minute miles! That may not seem like the greatest to real runners, but when my goal is to run 9 minute miles for the marathon, that's a tremendous training pace. For the record, I ran 9:52/mile for the entire thing. What I'm more proud of is that the first ten mile, the same as last Saturday's run, was done at a pace of 9:32/mile for 10.20 miles (a total of 1 h 37 m 14 s). Last week, it took me an hour and 45 minutes for that same distance, and I ran 10:16/mile.

The weirdest thing of the entire run was feeling my fibula slip in and out a few times. In the past few weeks, I've realized I've become one of those people consumed by running. I won't say I'm a psycho runner, because 1) I don't enter every race I can, and always try for a PR and 2) I know I could just not run for like...ever if I truly felt like being a fat P.O.S. But, as a runner, I am obsessive. Feeling my leg do twitchy things is one of those examples of my obsession. They say, listen to what your body tells you in Runner's World. Well, even though I'm not hurt, since going to the new chiropractor, I'm much more aware of what my body is doing. Another example of my obsession is that this week I noticed I've been putting my shoes on the same way I did when I played football (right, then left). When I do put my shoes on the wrong foot first, I take them off and start over. I also love my watch, and like to beat the clock.

But the best example of my being consumed by running came when I was doing my 3rd lap today. I was about 1/2 mile into it (so around 4.5 miles in), when this lady comes up behind me. She's running a great pace, but based on her complete lack of sweat, I know she's just starting. Then, she passed me. I got pissed. I lengthened my stride, and really went at it, and kept on her shoulder for the next mile or so. She turned one way at a corner, I went the other, and it was over. But I was so pissed at her. Even now, writing this, I'm getting my blood pressure up.

Something else, completely unrelated, that I've been realizing over the past two weeks is pretty weird. I love running hills. Not great big ones, but slowly inclining, gradual hills are fun for me. My dad used to say he did, too, because when he ran XC, he could catch all the taller runners on the hills, due to his shorter stride. He always lost it on the flats. Maybe I'm nuts, but the hill is the only place I can open my stride (which is much larger than Dad's). I feel as though I eat up those gradual sloping hills...especially when the sun is at my back, and I can chase my shadow. Perhaps it's childish, but it works.

Finally, the music from today... One of the songs that came on while I ran always makes me feel better as I run. I'm sure many recreational runners have this experience. There are several songs that I can name that do this. However, this song is probably unique to me. That's because it's 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton. I'm not kidding. When I run, I love that song. The intro reminds me of feet on the pavement, and the brass is a nice change from the driving guitars of the alt/rock I'm usually running to. So thank you, Dolly...

Side note: this Tuesday, after I ran, I went to NYC to watch the taping of Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon. Great time! Free tickets. I recommend it to any and everyone to go get into a television studio audience of one of their favorite shows. Even if you don't think you'll enjoy the guests (I saw P. Diddy, and it turned out to be great), you'll most likely enjoy the experience. Here's Jimmy, Diddy, and the legendary Roots crew, slow jammin' the news on the President's approval ratings...


marmie August 4, 2009 at 9:27 PM  

Yep, you're absolutely a full-fledged runner...and it sounds like you're going to have ME in your rear view mirror for the Brew Run. (I promise not to be upset). I'm liking hills better now, too. Which is not to say that I don't love my FLAT runs, but I look at hills completely differently now.
last....Viva la vida (sp) is MY Dolly song. I have a couple of others too, but that will always be my NUMBER ONE. CONGRATS on your GREAT PACE in the HUMIDITY!!!!!

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