Even in the worst part of the sweltering summer, I still get outside for exercise. A few people think I’ve taken leave of my senses. Heaven knows I’ve fried a few brain cells at this point.
I ran nine miles last Saturday, with the air temperature over eighty degrees at the start. Ninety minutes and thirty-six ounces of fluid later, I staggered home. I proceeded to consume twelve ounces of fluids an hour every hour, for the remainder of the day and night. To say it was a hot one out there is like calling the Devil’s house a tad stuffy.
Why do we push ourselves? I know we were not exactly meant to live in air conditioning, but now that we have it, it’s kind of nice to stay there with a frosty beverage and comfy chair.
A very few do it for money; they’re the fortunate pro or semi-pro competitors, so good at it that they can pick up prizes or prize money on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes running, swimming and/or cycling become a good enough living, when combined with some sponsorship deals.
Others train because they are excellent amateur athletes; the best among their peers. They have jobs in the sports or sports-related industries and their time is flexible enough to allow them sufficient training time, even for Ironman triathlons, along with a good salary that buys the best equipment, or perks that include such equipment.
Then there’s the rest of us. We grunt our way out of bed every morning, cussing about those forgotten NSAIDs on the kitchen counter and that ice pack we wish we’d used, and get on the bike, or lace up the running shoes or pull on the swimsuit and haul that tired carcass out the door again. We do it for the occasional age group place medal, the once-in-awhile good goody bag, the tech T-shirts, the fun of competition, the almost-better-than-sex feeling of beating that last PR. We do it to chase the week’s mental demons, to take a hammer to the age clock and to be healthier than our parents and our generational compatriots.
Whatever the reason, it’s been a short off-season for me. Corrective surgery is nine days away, and the first 5K of the season is six weeks away. Oh, and there’s a 35-mile bike run happening three days after my surgery. Think I won’t make it? You don’t know me and my demons very well.
- Demon Corralling and Killing (pamboyd.wordpress.com)
- Mad About Running (saracolelee.wordpress.com)
- Jerry Armstrong Interview (Coach and Writer for Trailandultra.com, Ultrarunner, Triathlete) (bryanochoaultra.com)