Sunday, June 08, 2008

Perfect Day For A Run

With the heat index hovering around 99, and with me recovering from a successful college reunion DJ/Dancing/Drinking extravaganza (more on that in a later post), it seemed like a great time to go for a run.

After all, I DID get about 3 hours of sleep last night - and maybe a little less the night before.

Did I fail to mention that I haven't exercised for several weeks, and as of Friday I was convalescing from a 2 week-old nasty cold? My hacking cough could still make public health officials instinctively reach for a tuberculosis test and a quarantine tent.

So all in all, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for a vigorous jog.

A while back, I wrote about how fast I think I am (see here) - but this time, it wasn't going to be about pure speed. This wasn't a race.

If anything, it was a competition between my willpower/firmness of character, and my cardiovascular system to see who would quit first. Judging from the fact that I'm here at the computer and not in the hospital, it looks like my willpower lost. Congratulations heart and lungs. You won. This time.

There's something about exercising in extreme heat and humidity that makes me feel tough. While I'm out there in the intense jungle heat of New York, I begin to believe that I could survive without air conditioning, just like they did in the olden days.

I'd still need my car to be air conditioned. And mass transit. And movie theaters. But for some of the time, at least, I'd be able to survive in the ambient, non-refrigerated air of the atmosphere.

But a very important part of feeling tough out in the heat is not collapsing from heat stroke. You really look like an asshole if that happens.

So, whenever a heat wave rolls through town - which naturally means I'll be going for a run - a major concern of mine is dehydration. And I don't mean the elderly or babies. They should have people taking care of them. I'm talking about myself.

If I don't hydrate, no one else is gonna do it for me.

So along with some quick stretches, a glass of water, and a careful selection of the perfect jogging outfit, I also downed a shot of pickle juice.

I've read that actual athletes on actual teams during periods of actual training drink pickle juice to keep themselves hydrated. If it's good enough for them, it's gotta be good enough for me.

And the verdict?


The pickle juice may or may not have helped at all. My guess is that I would have been fine without it.

I only ran for about 30 minutes, but during that time I got a real good sweat on. Also, I didn't pass out, and I feel better about myself for burning off 4 of the 50 or so beers I drank this weekend.

All in all, a successful high-temperature run.

It looks like it's going to be even hotter tomorrow - a high of 96 or 97 by midday, with a heat index over 100.

And therein lies the problem. How do I take advantage of that ultra-hot part of the day when I'm supposed to be at work, in my climate-controlled office? Maybe I'll just bring my running shoes with me, and streak out of my cubicle as soon as the mercury hits 95.

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