Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Respite

Summer here in the State of Concrete Gardens is usually two things: hot and humid. This summer, however has been off the charts. It has been (even by our standards) unseasonably hot and humid. Most days - since at least the early part of June and probably even earlier than that - have been uncomfortable in which to do anything: biking, running, sleeping and sitting still are among the lists of things that one has had real difficulty doing this summer.

Of the things that have been adversely impacted by the oppressive weather this season, the two that affect me the most (and therefore are the most important for all of us; right?) are sleeping (because while I do not do a lot of it I do enjoy it) and running (because while I do not do it well I enjoy it also). Friday night the Missus and I went down to Lynne's to take advantage of her gracious hospitality in advance of a 5k race that Gidg and I signed up to run in yesterday morning in Long Branch.

The cause for the race was righteous - as I have learned in my year's experience as a participant they often are. The name of the face was cute (perhaps too cute by half I suppose) and the "thing" given to all participants was unique. Those of us who ran in the first ever Jersey Shore Undy 5000 received not race shirts but race boxer shorts instead. I have accumulated a fairly diverse array of race shirts in the past year, most of which I wear regularly. I am having difficulty envisioning when I will ever wear my commemorative Undy 5000 boxers. I suspect that when Mom always told me to make sure I wore clean underwear whenever I left the house that left unstated in that advice was to make sure that they were not Undy 5000 boxers. I could be wrong but it is not a chance I intend to take.

After a summer's worth of races in which not dying while attempting to inhale has been a primary concern, yesterday's conditions were nothing short of spectacular. We ran along the boardwalk in Long Branch in a wonderful loop that had the Atlantic Ocean off of our left shoulder on the outward leg and off of our right shoulder as we headed for home. The start time was early - 7:00 a.m. and the temperature could not have been any higher than the mid 60's. Gidg and I were beside ourselves with joy. How did we respond? By each posting the best 5K time we have run this summer - and by a considerable margin. Me? I ran the second fastest 5K of my life yesterday morning on the boards in Long Branch, which would almost be impressive if I was not such a mediocre runner in every sense of the word.

Yesterday was a respite in what has been a summer of unrelentingly trying weather conditions. It was the kind of day that teases you a bit - reminding you that autumn is not impossibly far away - but also the kind of day that traditionally we get here in the latter half of August as opposed to the final day of July.

This morning, Gidg and I are off to Sea Girt to complete the second half of our back-to-back and belly-to-belly 5K doubleheader. I mean not to sound greedy but if Mother Nature could find it in her heart to order up a hearty helping of deja vu all over again for today's forecast, Yogi Berra will not be the only one smiling.

-AK

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