August 4, 2008

It was so humid.......

Haiku Version:
(inspired by MadHaiku)

sultry summer rush
hot wet gasping thick moist air
running in the south

Long Version:

This last Saturday's race was HOT, like last year, but more humid.

I'm so sick of this miserable heat. Please September, come quick.

Dew was still forming on my car as I drove to the race, it wouldn't dry even as I was driving, with wind hitting the windshield. The wipers on my car could not keep the outside of the windows from fogging up. It was 75 (F), which means the dew point was 75 degrees or higher. It was 85 at race time and I was sweating standing still.

SOOOOOOOO, that's my excuse for running a disappointing time, the air was just too thick to breath. My time was off by about a minute, but so was star of the show, the Alabama State 5K champion. His time was off by about a 45 seconds from his great finish last year, even the Kenyans, who usually finish in under 15:00 minutes, didn't finish as well as the past.

Three summers ago I would have been more than satisfied with that time. Then, my 5K average was around 25 minutes, and some slower race times. I thought I was past my peak, and couldn't take the heat here in the south. During a routine physical I complained to my physician of not sleeping well, sore muscles and tendons, and RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome). He noted that my iron levels were a bit low, and referred me to a neurologist to treat the RLS. I knew that my iron was low, because for the first time in my life I had been turned down for blood donation only a week before the physical. The neurologist took more blood to check my ferritin count, a component of blood iron that isn't checked during routine physicals. I received a call the next day from the neurologist's receptionist. She said that I needed to go to the store and get some iron supplements and start taking them right away. The effect was immediate, soreness disappeared, RLS stopped, and my running pace quickened without much effort. It was not just low blood iron, but low ferritin. The low ferritin was causing the low blood iron and not allowing for proper recovery after my runs. Why was the ferritin low? It was a combination of my active lifestyle, excessive sweating (I grew up in much milder climates), and a vegetarian diet. I have since modified my diet, but I still sweat too much in the summer.

Fellow Montgomery Runners
From left to right: Ron, Jim, Diane, and me (# 356)



mad said...

I give you props for running. I'd be a runner too, but, well, you know. It wouldn't be cool showing up at the starting line puffing on a Marlboro.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Mad - You inspired me to rewrite my experience in haiku.

Believe it or not, running is a chemical addiction, much like other habits.

Blueberry said...

Our Septembers are have been as hot as or even hotter than Augusts. I'm trying to hold out for October, and looking forward to it!