Tuesday, July 3, 2012


July has most certainly announced its arrival here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  It has been predictably hot and predictably humid, a pattern of weather that is likely to remain encamped here through at least the end....of September.  Human beings are certainly predictable.  In the winter we bitch about how unbelievably cold it is.  In the summer we gripe about how hot it is.  There is a lot of silly stuff floating around out there on FB.  This photo is NOT an example of such stuff:

Sunday morning - with the Missus at the beach and the temporary Texans likewise situated - I slept in a bit before heading out on a run designed to replicate as much as possible the conditions that shall likely confront those of us competing in the Belmar 5 one week from Saturday. 

I have a love/hate relationship with this race.  While I am running it, I hate it.  The conditions in which it is contested are tough.  In early to mid-July, even when gun time is 8:30 a.m. you tend to run in very uncomfortable conditions.  Although the race is run through the streets of Belmar you spend hardly any time near the ocean.  Most of the race is run inland, where the air is thick and hot.  Once I cross the finish line, I love it.  While it is not anywhere close to the longest distance race in which I compete in a given year, the combination of distance (it is a 5 mile race standing proudly like an island in an ever-increasing sea of 5K contests) and conditions is such to make it one of the most challenging ones.  It is certainly the most challenging race I run in during the summer. 

While there is no ocean visible from any corner of any street 'NTSG, it felt to me on Sunday morning as if my little lab experiment worked quite wonderfully thank you very much.  The air was thick and hot.  The sun was showing off the full range of its power and but for the occasional respite provided by the shade of a tree or two, it permeated the entirety of my route. 

And it was fantastic. 

In the now close to two months since the New Jersey Marathon I have struggled with a pronounced lack of explosiveness in my legs and what has felt like - for lack of a better way to describe it - tightness in my left leg that has not loosened itself until I am at least one to one and one half miles into my run, which causes me to almost jab step until it does.  Perhaps it was a sign that I am starting to get my legs back a bit.  Perhaps it was a gift from Mother Nature - a day so hot and so humid that tightness simply could not be maintained.  I know not.  I do know that by the time I had passed by B-O-B's front door, which is less than 4/10 of a mile from mine, the knot was gone. 

Ours is not a temperate climate - here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  If you are a runner in these parts, then you know that.  You either accept it or you battle against it.  This time of year, the energy you expend battling against it and griping about it is energy that you shall not have available for when you really need it.  Your choice.  I have made mine already. 


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