Yesterday, I saw a "Caution: Wet Floor" sign had been placed on a carpeted area and thought, "that's certainly not neccessary."
What has been neccessary this week is getting up before the sun to get in a run that is somewhat bearable. In fact, for the first time since I can remember, I did both my tough workouts in the morning instead of the afternoon. I call it the lesser of two evils. Rising early seems to run on the paternal side of my family. But like stints in the armed services and mustaches, it ended with me. When my father wakes up at 5am, he's up and on. When I wake up at 5am, I'm cursing, confused and tripping over small items on the floor. More on that in a moment. On the other hand, it's been a whole new kind of hot and humid in Charlotte for the past fortnight (been dying to use that word in a sentence). Running after the sun has had a chance to bake the earth and trap in all that moisture will almost certainly result in vomitting, and could easily end in death.
This morning, for the fifth straight day, I was up at 5:30, giving my body a chance to limber up before a 6am workout. I ate a handful of peanut butter puffins, drank some water and emptied the tank. The plan was to do a 26 minute tempo at half-marathon pace. As I started the warm up with Aaron and Steve I began to worry. I was having trouble forming complete thoughts and sentences and slurring my speech. I felt like I had suffered a stroke. While I knew that wasn't the case, it was obvious and frustrating that my brain was taking an extraordinarily long time to start fully functioning. With the workout looming, excuses for failure or sub-par performance began to form. I've had a really hard work week. I didn't sleep well last night. I'm drunk?
Then, it began. Out of the gate in 5:46 pace with Aaron and Steve flanking me. It was like the beep of the watch set off a signal to the brain. "Wake the hell up! We're going!" And from there, it was running as usual. All three of us fought through pea soup humidity to follow the 5:46 with a 5:44, 5:39, 5:44 again and then a final .63 at a brisk 5:30 pace.
A successful workout was the promising result of a little schedule tinkering I am doing right now. Aaron and I have decided to try moving the second stress workout from Thursday to Friday to allow a little more recovery time from the Tuesday workout. While my mental soundness at the beginning of this run can certainly be questioned, I can say with conviction that my legs felt considerably better than if I had tried to pull of this tempo yesterday.