Well, summer is finally upon us here in Southeastern Wisconsin. It took until mid-June, but the temperature is above 70, the sun is shining, the humidity creeping up.
Which is great. Long evenings for cooking out and enjoying sunsets, getting together at parks or zoos or lake houses, summer camp; these are all things that just aren’t as much fun when the weather’s cool and the sky overcast.
However, for the Fat Triathlete, the long-delayed arrival of true summer weather is a mixed blessing.
I actually like the cool weather of late spring, and even the downright cold weather of early spring. Forty-five degrees is warm enough to bike, and definitely plenty warm to run, so I’m out on the road as early as late March. (I know some folks run all winter; I’m not sure I’m there yet.) Late spring is the best, though. Mid-60’s, gray skies, muted sun: that’s the ideal environment for the hefty athlete.
But in the heat, I tend to fade. I sweat plenty when it’s cool, so when it’s in the mid to upper 70’s, I’m pouring sweat like Ted Stryker in the cockpit. I also am not a highly efficient VO2 max machine (yet), so humidity over 60% means I’m sucking wind.
The solution, of course, is to work out early in the morning or in the cool of the evening, which I do as often as possible. But even then, there’s no guarantees.
Tonight, I went for a run (after taking yesterday off to recover from my run on Thursday after recovery from the triathlon) at about 7:45 on the Plank Road Trail. It was, all-in-all, a good run; just over a half-hour, just under three miles, just over 11 minute miles.
However, my T-shirt wasn’t “just” anything. It was plain SOAKED. Dripping. I took it off and wrung it out, which made a puddle at my feet, and then I shook it out, sending mists of sweat into the air. And it still wasn’t dry.
In previous years, this is when I would start to give up working out. The heat, the humidity, the UV rays on my pasty German-Irish skin – it would all just be too much. But not this year. This year, I have triathlons to run and PR’s to set. I have goals to meet and a couple dozen of you people watching. The stakes are too high.
So I’ll be out there. Sweating, panting, pushing through.
Send me luck.