Friday, September 09, 2011

Cold Lung Disease

I hate this time of year. Overnight, the weather has shifted. Last Friday was the final “hot” summer day of the year. When Labor Day weekend comes, it’s like someone flips a giant “screw Michigan” switch and it gets chilly, cloudy, and the leaves start dropping. My normally robust balls start cowering close to my abdomen for protection. I haven’t seen the sun in four days. And that was on the heels of a string of 90 degree plus days where the only thing not sweating was your eyeballs but that’s only because they come with their own windshield wipers.You never hear me complain about the summer heat. Sure, I might point out how the warm air affects my running or question how people from the south run in the extreme heat, like in my last post, but never, NEVER do I wish away the summer heat. It’s too precious of a commodity around these parts. To those Midwesterners that complain about running when it’s hot out? I don’t want to hear you complain over the next 8 months about how it is too cold. You wished away the heat so now enjoy the next three seasons and your YakTrax. We’ll see a full day’s worth of sunshine maybe a dozen times now until May and that’s no exaggeration. If you live in a warm climate, remind me what the sun looks like every now and then m’kay? My sunglasses will be as useless as my Members Only jacket.

This state is almost uninhabitable. But at least we are not Ohio.

I am, however, not above complaining about the cold. In fact, I’m a champion Cold Weather Bitcher like most Midwesterners. You’ll hear a ton of that over the next 8 months. And that’s really the point of this post. It’s not exactly “cold” per se either. It’s in the mid 60’s and constantly drizzly. It’s really near perfect running weather. But when you’ve been sucking in hot summer air for the last four months and suddenly your morning long run is 52 degrees with a nippy breeze, your lungs eject the air back out like a cheap Hollywood spit take. Ever spray a passing runner with Gatorade spittle? It’s not as comical as Laurel and Hardy would have you believe.

I attempted another 8 mile “race pace” time trial last night and, per Michigan standards, it was around 60 with a chilly breeze. My lungs were tight, my colon was clogged (don’t eat Frosted Mini-Wheats if you will be running later), and my breathing was labored. The two little shriveled balloons inside my chest cavity simply would not take in enough air to keep the heart rate down and the engine running. My lungs ejected the chilled air. They were as useless as a dog groomer in Korea.

With a few well-timed intersection traffic light breaks, I was able to complete my 8 miles at a 6:35/mile pace per plan. But I double checked the race website and, again this year, they will not feature periodic rest stops with no time penalty. I’m on my own. Again. Their stubborn insistence on 13+ miles – run consecutively – is growing as tiresome as my lame “useless” joke comparisons in this post. But there’s only one more of those to go.

I guess I’ll just need some more time to suck it up - to suck it in. As the temperature drops, it takes a few weeks for my innards to adjust. It’s like when I go on vacation and don’t poop for 5 days. Everything holds on for dear life inside until it has no place to go and falls out like a Titanic victim frantically grasping for a railing. Eventually my colon settles into routine; eventually my lungs will as well. They have 9 more days to adjust until the half marathon. Better get adjustin’. Quickly.

Until then, they are as useless as a Futon store in the Upper West Side of New York.

Yep, good work on those jokes, Nitmos. /wipinghandstogetherpattingselfonback

Happy trails.
Happy 16 years to Mrs. Nitmos! How she did it, I don’t know. She’s a true endurance wife. I have a few more “useless” jokes that didn’t make the cut to share with you…and consider the ones that did make it, you could be in for a long evening. Here we are in recent warmer times. Can you name this exact location? It's from my recent Florida trip. Not much to go on but a beautiful evening, sunset, some background architecture and our rum flushed faces.

And, yes, that is a Boston shirt. I wear it everywhere. Want to fight about it?


Xenia said...

Don't talk to me about not seeing the sun. I live on the island condemned to perpetual rain and its residents to permanent lack of skin pigmentation. There is no summer here. Top that off with no decent mexican food and horrific dentistry and it's pretty much the third circle of hell here.

Ehlers said...

disney boardwalk.

Elizabeth said...


Happy anniversary!!

You will never hear me complain about running during the winter.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Happy Anniversary!

Since I complain about anything and everything, you'll never hear me not complain.

Jill said...

When we used to frequent Northern Michigan every summer, I dreamed about moving there...until reality whopped me on the side of the head and reminded me I can't handle the few freezing days Colorado gets, I'm sure I'd be whining big in Northern Michigan by November. By March, I'd probably be buying a shotgun. Denver has 349 sunny days/year, even in winter. It's ok to hate me. I still whine though, I don't do cold well (and I'm from Iowa originally).

Happy the picture (and I've been to Florida twice in my life...have no idea where you are).

BrianFlash said...

I love to bitch about the weather in St. Louis but it is San Diego when compared to Michigan.

All a measure of relativity - just consider those poor bastards in Yellow Knife...

Drea said...

Seems to me like you are running well- I don't envy your, what do you call it..winter? Once I left Snow Globe land for Sand- well, there is NO going back!

Rachel said...

Congrats on landing such a hot wife, and congrats on keeping her with you.

Also, this weather is what you get for living in Michigan. I live in California and it's still 80 degrees. So there.

Anne said...

Haha...once again, made me smile :) Happy Anniversary!