Monday, July 21, 2014

Friends don't let friends run where it's humid




I just had a vacation that was so awesome I need a vacation to recover from it. 

Three weeks ago, full of vim, vigor and confidence in my constant state of half-marathon preparedness, I signed up for a half marathon. Three weeks isn't really enough time to train your body to run 13 miles, but I routinely hit double digits on my long run, so I was sure I could hack the race without the formal training.

I was right; there was hacking.

The race was in New Braunfels, a cute little town in East Texas that home to a delightful German bakery and the most amazing water park in the world. At least that's how I remember it. In reality, it is a good-sized suburb of San Antonio that has a cute little downtown sandwiched in between train tracks and freeway.

It is also, as a suburb of San Antonio, hot and really, really humid -- at least it's really X 2 humid when you grew up in the desert, went to school in the drought-stricken plains, moved back to the desert and then moved back to the even more drought-stricken plains. When the atmosphere around me gets to 5 percent humidity, my body goes into sweat lodge mode and, well, it ain't good.

However, I anticipated the humidity to make the run a little hard.

It was a little hard -- for the first five miles. It then got really hard. I kept waiting for my body to reach the point in which I remember I love running. 

I haven't reached that point yet.

It was a nice run that, once I got away from the very typical American shopping mall, did feel somewhat like running through the German countryside. My time was not as good as I hoped but better than I expected halfway through when I checked my time. 

The biggest surprise, however, was not my time or the humidity or that I won third place in my age group and got a medal! No, the biggest surprise is I injured my shoulder running. Yes, my shoulder. Running. On my two feet, not my shoulder. The best I can figure out is a kind of shoulder crick thing from sleeping on it wrong, which I then aggravated running like I was in pain. 

Of course, after hurting it running, I aggravated it kayaking. Turns out putting a large amount of your body weight on one shoulder while climbing back into a kayak after hauling it through a river that doesn't have enough water is a bad idea. 

After getting up at 4:30 a.m., running a half marathon, kayaking for miles, eating barbecue and applying fake tattoos, Sam and I went to a 5k. And walked. This, incidentally, is the cure for insomnia. I highly recommend it.

The temple in San Antonio


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