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Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Not The Heat...

It's running in the heat.

Also, it's the humidity. Also, it's 3 a.m. domestic disputes and police visits twelve feet above my head. Also, it's the heat.

Tonight is our show's big opening, so the one thing I absolutely had to do last night was get some sleep. Since I've been trying (though failing this week) to get up earlier and facilitate my training and energy schedule, I have planned to sleep less. This only works, however, if I actually get to sleep for the hours that I have chosen. It's very difficult to do this with drunk neighbors absolutely screaming at one another in the bedroom immediately upstairs from ours.

I actually got out of bed and contemplated what I should do, when the screaming stopped. I listened for a while to make sure that I didn't hear any signs of something that I would need to report, but it mostly consisted of stomping footsteps and slamming doors at that point. I crawled back into bed.

Then the police showed up, choosing to talk to these folks outside, right above our bedroom window. The wife was up, too, so we talked a bit, but I did not end up getting back to sleep for another hour. Needless to say, when the alarm went off, my body was not prepared to be cooperative. I curled up and slept a while longer, choosing to do my five mile at-pace run a little later in the day. This was the biggest mistake I could have made.

For some reason, 83 degrees doesn't sound that warm to me anymore. I mean, we were in the 90s back in March, so clearly 83 should be a manageable temperature. As I headed down the hill, though, I knew I was going to be fighting today. The air was thick with water. In fact, they'd predicted thunderstorms for this afternoon, I'm sure based on the extreme level of humidity. It felt like I was running through sand into a heat lamp. Even as I crossed the first mile in a rather exceptional time, I knew this was going to be harder than it seemed.

By the time I hit my turnaround, I was sapped for energy. I'm sure a good portion of this came from not enough sleep or calories in my day, but the vast majority of what remained had clearly been sweat out in the first two miles. I shifted myself down a gear, dodged one Lexus, and let myself cruise for the rest of the time. I even allowed myself to walk a bit, something I don't like doing, and in the end, I did something I almost never do. I took my shirt off.

In recent years, I'd developed a thing about running without a shirt, as though anyone who did so was just trying to show off, but I proved myself ten kinds of wrong today. You see, I've discovered the flaw in my running shirts from Champion (who I actually did not know still existed as a company). They're great shirts for getting the sweat away from the body, but they don't dry it out. They just suck it up, adding weight to the run, so much so that I had to switch which hand held it on the rest of the run so that my arms didn't get tired. I'll keep running in them, because they're comfortable, but I'm beginning to understand why some people pay ungodly amounts of money for tech t-shirts.

As a hauled myself up the last hill, I had a stroke of brilliance that I could have used about 13 hours earlier. If I had been thinking, when I woke up and had an unreasonable amount of adrenaline flowing through me at 3 a.m., I would have just gotten out of bed, suited up, and done my 20-mile run right then. Get it out of the way when there's not traffic, and the air is as nice and cool as Texas gets. Then, I wouldn't have anything to dread tomorrow morning. As it stands, I'm a little concerned.

It's only getting down the mid-70s tonight, and there are thunderstorms on the forecast, though I've pretty much given up on believing anything about rain more than two hours in the future. I really need to get as much of this run completed before the sun hits the sky as I can. Otherwise, I'm looking at 4 times the distance I ran today in the abject misery that I felt for my last two miles. Which is fine, I guess. I mean, that's what I tell myself. What if, I say, race day is really hot and humid? Then I'll be ready. Right?

Well, the high in Seattle tomorrow is 62, so I don't think I've got anything to worry about there.

Friday's Run:
83 Degrees / Cloudy, Humid
5.05 Miles
35 Minutes, 48 Seconds

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