Monday, August 1, 2011

The Dog Days Are Not Over

The Peachtree 10K on July 4th was, in a word, HOT. But in more words, it was a fun and exhilarating experience, running with so many people. To practically follow in the footsteps of champion runs (OK... maybe 15-20 minutes behind them) was inspiring. I finished in 48:43 or something like that, which I had no choice but to be satisfied with because once the mercury started to rise and the humidity started to get a hold on my lungs, I knew I wasn't going to kill myself for my sub-48 goal.

Now as we bask in the inferno glow of mid-summer, I'm struggling to develop the ambition or drive to focus on my next race. Sadly, I had to give up the idea of doing a triathlon this season when my dogs - whose combined weight exceeds my own - practically yanked my right arm off in an attempt to capture a couple of bickering squirrels as they raced out of a tree and across the lawn. That incident left me face-down in the grass with my arm in a world of hurt I don't think I've ever experienced in a joint before. I gave it a couple weeks before attempting a few strokes in the water but a few meters into a lap and the shoulder was on fire again.

For the next couple of weeks, I think I'll just enjoy these dog days of summer and allow myself the time to kick back and relax. A run here, a spin class there, sprinkle in some yoga, and I'm a happy camper. Summer here is like winter in NY: In the midst of the season, I struggle to get outdoors for anything, the weather is just too damn intense and miserable. While many still argue and debate whether one can consider himself a "real" runner if he retreats indoors on crappy days, I have no problem admitting the treadmill and I are perfect friends. Some may call it woosing out, but you know what? I'm still busting out 7:30- to 8-minute miles on an incline. So while the purists are slogging it out in 90% humidity (without an ipod, mind you, because music is a performance aid and they don't like that, either), I'm happily blowing out my eardrums and sprinting out my last mile to "Lancaster Gate." (Go, listen, enjoy.)