Monday, June 14, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Last week was a mixed bag, what with my travels through the hot and humid south and suffering a more general fatigue from too much time spent on airplanes and hotel treadmills. Southern comfort food will also put the brakes on the best intentions. Nevertheless, what can one do but, as the Brits might say, “muddle through and do one’s bit”.

I dredged up some new-found energy at the gym today, increasing the incline on the treadmill and ripping off 60 pushups with little effort. I’ve been feeling like going back to the weights, but I’m leery about stressing the shoulder and finding myself out of action just as scuba season gets underway. The arms are useful when lifting tanks, weights and gear and not being able to reach behind one’s head when underwater has safety implications. I’ll try to take it slow. The Shelter Island 10k is coming up on Saturday.

M-5 TM
Tue-4(outside) 1 TM
Wed: 5 TM
Thu: 5 TM
Fri: 5 TM
Sat: 6 outside
Sun: 5 outside
Total: 36

Friday, June 11, 2010

Walking (or rather, Running), In Memphis

Here’s some advice. If you are going to go running in 100 degree heat for the first time of the season, it’s best not to do it in a city in a different time zone ,after five hours of sleep and while digesting a lunch of barbeque pork ribs consumed around an hour before. Oh, and going for that run at 3:00 in the afternoon when the humidity is about 97% is also a bad idea. Other than that episode of narrowly averted heatstroke, I found Memphis to be a charming southern city full of friendly people and decent food. The place was lived-in, no doubt, but there was plenty to look at while running through the streets and along the Mississippi River. Once I discovered that running before the sun comes up is the preferred time of day to exercise in the sweet sunny South, I actually enjoyed stomping around the streets and alleys.

Back to that initial run…..I was steaming along for about a mile before I realized I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew. I planned my post-landing jaunt as a five mile out-and-back along the river promenade, which would bring me though a battery of sprinklers which, I hoped, would cool me down on the way back just as they had on the way out. I had a bottle of water with me whose temperature changed from that of iced tea to that of steamed espresso over the next two miles. Rather than drinking it, I ended up pouring most of it over my head in a futile attempt to cool down. Along the run I observed old fashioned riverboats plying the Mississippi, two other runners lurching by in the opposite direction who looked like escapees from a mental asylum, and an amorous couple having sweaty sex along the “multi-use” path behind the retaining wall of a large apartment building.

As I hit the turn-around point I stopped to gather some energy for the way back. Big mistake. What little breeze I was generating by moving forward died away and I was left standing in a pool of my own (diminishing) sweat, roasting under the hot Tennessee sun. I started to feel dizzy, then nauseous, which I recognized as the classic symptoms of heat exhaustion. My choices at that moment were fairly limited. I was in a field, with no shade about three miles from my hotel. I had no money and had no idea how to get back other than by the way I came. I decided that I would take off my shirt, dump the rest of my water over my head and make a bee-line for the sprinklers about 1.5 miles back. With the shirt off and a bit of a headwind, I made it without dropping dead, but when I got there, the sprinklers had been turned off. I tossed in the towel and walked the rest of the way. It took about 15 minutes for my heart rate to come down to normal, despite the frigid AC and cold towels I scarfed from the hotel gym. Lesson learned.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Week in Review

A pretty good week of running came to an end with a brisk 6 mile jaunt yesterday. The weather was hot, hot, hot this past week, so my outside runs were nice and sweaty. I was dragging a little this week; don’t know if it was the heat or the fact I’ve been sleeping poorly. The last two days I’ve noticed a marked increase in energy levels-this may be due to the abundance of beer I drank on Friday night. I made it to the beach twice this week-end and got in a fair amount of swimming yesterday as I scoured the bottom for sea creatures to bring back to my kids waiting on the beach. I think I'll go diving next Sunday and see if I can find some real treasure.

Tomorrow morning I head out to Memphis to mediate a case. I passed through there way back in 1989 and recall stopping briefly at Graceland to visit the Elvis shrine. Hopefully I’ll have some time to wander around Beal Street and eat some barbeque, and get in a good run or two. I imagine it’s already fairly hot in Tennessee this time of year.

Last Week:
Monday: 7 in the woods
Tuesday: 5 TM
Wed: 5 TM
Thursday: 5TM
Friday: 5 Road
Saturday: 5 Road
Sunday: 6 Road
Total: 38

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Muddy and Covered in Weeds

A lazy Memorial Day week-end capped off a week of good running. Last week I got in 37 miles, mixed between trails and road running. I was dragging by the end of the week, so I took Sunday off and joined the throngs at Jones Beach for the air show. We spent a pleasant Sunday watching the planes do loops and other acrobatics while periodically jumping into the 50 degree surf to cool down. My favorite part of the show was the WWII era planes. There were some P-52 Mustangs, dive bombers, and my favorite, a B-17 that hovered right over the water while dropping simulated bombs (actually watermelons) into the ocean about 200 feet off the beach. Watching the huge bomber making its slow, wide turns gave me a newfound respect for the men who flew it in combat. They must have had balls of steel flying such a massive target in the face of German anti-aircraft guns and the nimble ME-109s. The kids preferred the parachutists, who made perfect pinpoint landings on the beach, one after another.

The mosquitoes are starting to get bothersome in the Preserve-yesterday I stopped for a few seconds to adjust my Garmin and was immediately attacked by what seemed like twenty of the aggressive little bastards. Also, many of the trails there are lightly used, which means that they become covered with heavy vegetation that conceals jutting tree roots. I took a few near stumbles that almost ended badly. Thankfully I was paying attention and was able to recover before doing a face-plant in a poison ivy patch. I try to stick to the better groomed trails, but I like to explore and prefer to come home muddy and covered in weeds.