Monday, January 28, 2013

From Man to Manatee in One Run

Jan. 28, 2013

Today I am 192.2 pounds of rolling thunder.

So today was one of those rare mid-winter days when a warm breeze blows into town, and all over the city windows are flying open and curtains are being pulled wide apart to let the sunshine in.

The humid air felt more like a pre-storm day in April than a typical dry cold day in late January.

If you heard those emergency sirens today, perhaps you thought they were coming for me. We've all heard about the whales that beach themselves for no known reason, and then the entire population of some resort town on the coast spends days and dollars trying to get the beast safely back out to sea.

It was so warm today I decided to launch my run today wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Gone were the double layers of tights and sweat pants. Gone were the days of donning a T-shirt, turtleneck, pullover and a jacket just to stay warm. Gone were the headband and hat combining to keep my ears warm.

Today was back to the freedom of summer. And back, too, were those pearly white legs that hadn't seen sunlight since late autumn. I'm sure the glare blinded many a driver as I rolled slowly past them on my 6-mile run/walk.

It's a real feeling of freedom when you can give up the trappings of winter, lose the heavy clothes and run unencumbered, even if it's just for a day.

Somewhere around mile No. 4 I went from man to manatee. It was so warm that I shed my shirt and became something resembling the giant marine mammal.

Surely there were villagers who were going to rush up and try to put me back in the ocean (it's OK, I live thousands of miles from the ocean). Surely if I slowed to a stop they'd be sure I had beached myself in the hope of being saved.

No, it was just the world's slowest human running sans shirt for the first time in months and not a manatee. Call off the sirens. Townspeople go back to work. Nothing to see here. Just a guy, his radio and a pair of running shoes.

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