If you're a runner you've got to love the fall! It's no surprise the word "summer" begins with an "S" . . . it's so it can rhyme with the word "sucks".
Okay, summer isn't all bad. As a matter of fact it's one of my top four seasons. The lake becomes a fun place to live again! Lot's of swimming, kayaking, fishing, etc. But as a runner, summer is just a season to suffer through.
Our "Nooner" group at the Y keeps going, but no one EVER has a really good run. And my weekend long runs are just demoralizing! The heat and humidity just suck the energy right out of you.
Doug Dawkins has a race at the start of the summer called the "Boogie" . . . you choose either the marathon ("a little Boogie") or the full 50-miler. Race starts at 6 pm in mid June! And as the temperature drops with nightfall, correspondingly the humidity climbs! Doug is just sick! And so are all the crazy folks that line up to run it. Twice I run the little Boogie and twice I've come away mentally beat (as well as physically!). Great way to start the summer off with a big "SUCKS!"
I usually back off in July, just after Mike Day's brutal "Sweaty Butt 50k" on 4th of July. This one is even worse then "Boogie". Single track through the hills of Umstead Park. July 4th GUARANTEES the temperature will be in the 90s . . . and in eastern North Carolina the humidity is always high! My first year I drank a whopping 352 ounces of gatoraide (11 32 oz bottles!) and still was somewhat dehydrated at the end! Every year I just struggle through this one, walking a ton of it.
By the time mid August comes, it's time to start gearing up for the fall marathons. August and early September is usually still brutally hot and humid . . . but we caught a break this year . . . fall came early!
Yesterday was my last long build up run for the Marine Corp Marathon and running is coming back to being enjoyable again! For 15 miles I totally enjoyed myself! Unfortunately I needed to run 21 miles, so the last six weren't quite so much fun, but still I had a great time.
My speed is slowing up even more and my recovery seems to be taking longer . . . but the enjoyment is still there. While I've never been fast, in my mid years I was a "middle of the packer", but now I'm starting to have to worry about cutoff time! At the Umstead Marathon this spring, I JUST made the cut-off and ended up being the last official finisher.
I guess I could start to work on my speed, but for me that is WORK . . . and I'm I'm not running to add more work. I'm running so I can enjoy myself. So cut-off time are just something I'm going to have to live with. But with cooler and less humid fall weather, I'm pretty sure I can beat these pesky cut-off times another year and still run a few more marathons!
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