Posted by: thehungryrunner | July 8, 2010

Running in heat = running like Velma on Scooby Doo

I realize that much of the country is suffering even greater heat at the moment than we are here in the Midwest.  Neverthless, with temps hitting a humid 92 yesterday with a heat index of 99, I found myself debating whether to The Scooby Doo Gang Runningretreat to the air-conditioned gym or brave the heat and enjoy another excuse to be outdoors.  The latter won out, and I set off, initially thinking I might have to mix in some walking, but happy that I ended up cranking out a 5-miler before calling it a (very sweaty) day.  Mission accomplished.

Except…I must admit, I’m a bit demoralized about the quizzical form my running took in order to stay on a pace that kept me somewhere above “not a walk” but below “any faster and my brain will boil.”  At first I had a hard time pinpointing it:  what’s with my arms making these short little choppy swings?  What’s with doing just the tiniest of rotations with my upper body?  What’s with taking my normally long stride and reducing it to something that looked more befitting for a game of hopscotch?

Then it hit me:  Good heavens (or should I say “Jinkies”?), I’m running like Velma!  Yes, as in, the cartoon Scooby Doo (Where Are You) Velma.  As in, that moment when the gang is evading the ghost du jour via this mad dash, arms and legs flaying across the screen.  Velma’s run always had that slightly nerdy, almost prim-and-proper posture to it.  Not exactly the model of “cool running gait,” yet here I was, doing my best Velma impersonation and sadly looking quite convincing!  And worse, hard as I tried to “hard core” it up, my body seemed to stubbornly defend a rhythm whose sound effect caption would likely read, “Dee dee dee dee.”  The horror!  The horror!  Definitely no Chariots of Fire or Rocky music happening here.

I’m just crossing my fingers this was just a fluke setback caused by the elements.  Maybe I can cite heat exhaustion as the culprit?

Or maybe this is simply the evidence to the fact that I’ve clearly seen WAY too many reruns of Scooby Doo in my adult life.

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