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 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.