August 18, 2018
I’m still running.
Rather, I should say I’m still jogging; “running” is too fleet a word for what I’m doing. BUT I note with pride that I no longer thud quite so heavily; I don’t THINK impact tremors are alerting seismologists around the world to a possible tectonic shift, so that’s good.
I run on Tuesdays with Barbara, as the opening to our hour-long fitness training. We jog around a mile-long loop; I walk in three carefully-chosen areas (up the stairs in the park and to the next corner; across the footbridge before the other park; and around the elbow of road before The Hill and subsequent hairball-like feeling of I Hope I Drop Dead Before I Have To Make It To The Top). As previously reported, I’m not much of a fan of the running, but I LOVE being FINISHED with running.
And I’m supposed to run on my own on Fridays. If the weather is too swampy, I can run stairs instead, but on days when the air actually includes oxygen, I jog around a small lake (or is it a big pond?) at a housing development near my home. They’ve marked off the 1.5 mile path in tenth-of-a-mile increments, so you can watch for the next line across the path with a hollow-eyed desperation. Makes it fun!
I told Barbara I was going to try something new – switch my gait with every line on the path. Thus, jog a tenth of a mile, walk a tenth of a mile – repeat until end. Now that Barbara has me recording my runs on an app, I can see how long it takes me to run a mile (use a calendar, not a watch, children), and I was wondering if short intervals would increase my overall time.
Barbara instinctively said “a tenth of a mile isn’t long enough,” but then remembered to whom she was speaking. “Yes – that’s a good idea. Try that.”
For two weeks, she’s been asking me if I’ve tried it; for two weeks I’ve been defeated by Virginia in August and ran stairs instead. And yesterday (Friday) I simply ground to a halt and did NO exercises…
…but this morning, I happened to wake up at about 3:45 in the morning. This is becoming standard for me; I think by that time I’m sleeping so lightly that when the cable box recycles, it wakes me up. I stay up for a few hours, killing time with my iPad until I’m drowsy, and then I go back to sleep.
But this morning… ah, this morning. At about 6:15, I thought – I can either try rolling over again and spin my brain uselessly in the mental mud about all the things I need to do today (which will just result in me sitting up again and playing yet another game of solitaire)… or I could haul it out of bed, put on the cute Black Watch plaid running skirt and my sneaks, and make it out to the jogging path by just a little after sunrise.
This was a valuable idea because I’d be running when it was only 71 degrees, instead of waiting until later, when it went up to 88 or 90.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
The humidity of the pearly part of the morning is FAR more relevant to running comfort than the actual temperature… and when I jog/walked my 1.6 miles? (Added the walk to and from the car to the 1.5 mile loop)
IT WAS NINTY-EIGHT PERCENT HUMID.
Seriously: How can the air have a 98% humidity rating and it not be actually raining??!
That nice “soft” air I was breathing when I started out turned out to have the consistency of oatmeal. I was a-tremble by halfway through my run. AND YET SHE PERSISTED. I made it back to the car, where I collapsed in a spineless puddle. And STILL my run was about thirty seconds faster per mile than it was when I ran 1.1 miles and walked .4 miles. So – victory. Sweaty, gasping victory!
This is a photo of me after I drove home and toweled off; I was SO SWEATY and overheated that all this “dew” appeared after the initial scrub. In fact, although I stood in the shower with cold water pouring over my face for a long time, I discovered my face was still sweating half an hour later. This may be the only protest available to sweat glands. I hear you, guys. I’ll watch the humidity next time. Live and learn!