Friday, July 22, 2011

Wading through the soup

Image: Suat Eman /

Day 18.

I was less than a mile into my run this morning when I stopped to check my watch; the pace was so slow that surely the settings must have been wrong. They weren't.

Wading through the soup (and I say wading, not running, as to call what I was doing "running" would be misleading), I struggled to keep my pace in the single digits. There were a few thin, hazy, wisps of clouds that offered brief moments of respite from the sun's merciless rays. An occasional light headwind from the northwest helped me to push through, and my iPod shuffled through tracks by Jane's Addiction, Beastie Boys, Metallica and Godsmack to distract me from the wading. And the melting.

Within minutes of heading out, I was drenched; my hands so slippery I thought my rings would slide right off. By the time I got home, my fingers were so swollen I couldn't have gotten those rings off with a crowbar.

At that moment I decided I'd take take winter running any day over this extreme heat. At least in the winter you can add layers, and your body warms as you exercise. In this weather, there is nothing to be done to relieve the discomfort. The first seeds of doubt set in as I wondered, if conditions are this hot & humid in Cozumel, will I be able to finish the race? Could I have done this morning's run six more times? I think not.

While running, I saw a neighbor headed to the pool with her kids and fantasized about waving to catch her attention or hopping onto the back of her van's bumper so I could be transported along with them to the cool oasis of the swim club.

Instead, I arrived home at 10 AM to a "real feel" temperature of 105 degrees and an excessive heat warning from Dangerous heat index. Outdoor exposure should be limited.

Thirty-five minutes of running and I'm not at all sure how I accomplished it. I will credit my body's "running chi" as the driving force since my overheated brain couldn't begin to say how I got from point A to B today. I'm just glad it's over. And I'm enormously grateful for air conditioning.


"Chi Running combines the inner focus and flow of T'ai Chi with running to create a ground-breaking technique that removes the pain and potential injury from the sport of running."

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