Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dang it is HOT in Texas!

There has been a huge high pressure system sitting over Texas and Mexico for the last week and a half. What that means is that there has been some record breaking heat in Texas for June. It gets hot here, but we usually will see that heat in August and September. It was hot two weeks ago when I did that fun brick out in Austin with Carrie (Tri to be Funny), her hubby Shawn, and Greyhound. This past weekend it felt like I was standing at the gates of Hades.

Last week on Thursday I had a 2 hour run to put in the books. I got Buddy off to swim team practice and "Camp" and I headed out at 10 a.m. It was hot, and I expected that. I had been hydrating well and filled up all the bottles on my Fuel Belt. As I headed out, I focused on just a nice steady pace and making sure I kept up with my sodium intake. An hour into the run I was almost out of water and far enough away from home that it would be a while for me to make back if I had to bail on the run. I ran up to an office building to grab some shade at the front entrance and thought that I could run in and find a bathroom or a water fountain but looking in the windows it seemed like it was set up more like a bank lobby rather than a professional building that just has the elevator near the front. I scratched the idea of going in and having all the people sitting at desks looking at me like I was a sweaty alien.

I kept rolling with the run and as I was attempting to cross the street and the traffic had a red light, the light turned green and the idiot in the white Mustang revved the engine and started moving and I had to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit by him and the mini-van mom next to him in the left turn lane who I had to end up running behind. Hello!!! Get off your phone A-HOLE!!! My heart rate was high after that and I had to work on getting it down. As I was plodding along the street I saw a faucet spigot on the side of a building. WATER!!! I was saved! I filled up all my Fuel Belt bottles and slurped down one bottle while getting a chance to stand in some shade. At this point it was now after 11 a.m. and it was getting hotter and the shade was disappearing because the sun was almost directly overhead. I was doing good with staying up on the fluids. I was still sweating and I still had saliva. I go to the end of the road about 2 miles later and found some more shade. I was feeling like all of the cars that were passing me were thinking that I had lost my mind to be out running in the heat. I kept going and ran under the highway and past the jr. college. There was no side walk and I felt like I was playing Frogger jumping up on the steep curb and back down on the street to avoid the cars that would not be polite and give me some space on the road.

When I got to the high school I found some more shade and took a heart rate break. It was getting harder and harder to keep my heart rate down even though I was keeping up with my sodium and fluids. I hit the road again and had another 2 to 3 miles to get home. I was starting to get tingling in my cheeks and once I got the chill/goose bump phenomena rush all over my body. I had to end this run! I want to be home! My pace was not much more than a goofy shuffle but my heart rate was up at 160. As soon as I got home I started throwing frozen berries and banana chunks in the blender with a scoop of protein powder and a little can of pineapple juice. It was not blending easily and that had me concerned because I have a new Kitchen Aid blender. I added a little water and it got things moving. I was dripping sweat all over the kitchen. My recovery smoothie drink ended up the consistency of soft serve ice cream! I had two tall cups of strawberry banana soft serve smoothie as I sat out on the back deck under the umbrella so I would make a sweat puddle on the deck rather than the kitchen floor. I checked the temperature and it was 93 degrees out. Wow it felt hotter than that. I then checked on the humidity and it was at 57%. That made the heat index rating 101 degrees. The heat zapped me for the rest of the day.

On Friday I took it easy and got a short swim in and then we went to go see Star Trek that evening. I am not a "Trekie" but I did enjoy the movie. Saturday morning was another swim meet for Buddy. He had stiffer competition this time. He was able to drop some time on some events but only hit second and third pace in his events. I was in the heat all morning and about 4 p.m. I had to take a nap and ended up sleeping until almost 8 p.m. Buddy had come in and crashed with me and was not waking up for anything. I got up to grab a sandwich and some water and got Buddy moved to his bed and I was back asleep by 9:30 p.m.

Sunday was BIG BRICK DAY and it was a test to make sure that I had my hydration and nutrition dialed in on the bike and the run for Buffalo Springs. I got up early and drove out to Chapell Hill to find some hills and lovely chip seal roads. When I pulled up to the parking area there were already a few people there unloading their bikes. After running to the bathroom I had to get my bike out and get going. The people next to me were unloading two beautiful Cervelo bikes and pumping up the tires. I started pulling out my Kuota with the booger green fork. "Wow! What a sweet bike! That is beautiful. It looks fast." Huh? You talking to me??!!?? I said thank you and proceeded to continue to pump up the tires and get the bottles on. Another dude in a Honda Element pulls up between my Element and the Cervelo crew and as he walks around to the back of his car he sees my bike. "Whoa! Look at that! It looks like the cockpit of the Starship Enterprise! I bet you really know how to ride that bike. How far are you going today?" After my thank you and trying to slink back around my car I mentioned that I was headed out for a 3 1/2 hour ride and I had an hour run. These guys looked like good cyclists, not those dudes with the beer guts that ride a bike for a few charity rides and then hang the bike up when it gets too hot. I was not expecting all the love for my red Kuota with the green fork.

I headed out before they were ready to go and I made it a point to get moving down the road so that I would not see them for my 3 1/2 hour ride. My other goal was to keep my heart rate at or very close to 140 bpm on the bike to not poop myself out for the run. I had the wind at my bike and I thought about how it was going to feel coming back at the end when I was tired. I did not see anyone on the roads after passing two people who had headed out before I left my car. The chip seal was sucking power out of my wheels when I hit Wiedville Church Rd. I also was receiving a soaking from the fluids that were jumping out of my aero bottle. I got to some smoother roads, but they were still chip seal. Once in Independence, TX , I pulled over momentarily to go pick up something I had dropped off the bike. I was going to be heading back into the wind soon. There were some spots on the road that had been repaved and it was like rolling over smooth glass compared to the chip seal. I really enjoyed those little spots.

Once back into the wind I just kept thinking about a few people I know who always complain about the chip seal and I told myself that I was stronger because I was willing to do the things that other people were not willing to do. It was not until about mile 42 or 45 of my ride that I saw someone on a bike ahead of me. She was pedaling with a high cadence and I soon found out that she was not moving really fast down the road. We were also headed into the wind at that point. I knew from her pink and flowery bike shimmel that she was not out there by herself. I knew that there was someone to hunt down! I started the push. I kept my heart rate in check and over the next hill I saw the second rider about 1200 meters down the road. I kept up the pace and after a while I was able to move on past him and keep going. When I hit the corner to head back to the car to take a quick look over my shoulder and he was just coming over the top of a hill, two hills back.

I knew that the last 7 miles were going to be tough. I was back on that rough chip seal, there were three challenging climbs, and I would be going into the wind the entire time. I had taken three bottles plus the fluids in my aero bottle and I was down to the last few swigs of Gatorade in one bottle. I rolled up to the car a little short of three and a half hours, but I was close enough. I ran loaded up the bike and ran to the bathrooms. I love the fact that Chapell Hill has come to expect that a lot of cyclists like to leave as a starting point from town and they have built public restrooms on the "town square". I headed back to my car to get my Fuel Belt and take off when the Cervelo riders and the other Honda Element driver rolled up on their bikes. "Look, there she is with her Newtons on and she is off on the run!" I waved as I ran off. I should have asked them why they were not going to come run with me. As I ran out of town and headed down hill I passed a man who was tending his day lilly garden who saw me on the bike when I headed into town. He commented that it was kinda hot to be running. NO DOUBT! It was 11:30 a.m. and there was no shade and only hills in front of me.

I focused on 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back in. On another down hill I came around a slight bend and before I saw the house, I saw it's swimming pool. Was it a mirage??? Would the owners mind if I went and jumped in it??? Was there an attack dog that would get me first??? I had never seen this pool before but then again on a wicked fast down hill you tend to look at the road and not at the scenery. I had to slow things to a walk on one up hill so that I could keep my heart rate in check. I was trying to keep things at or around 160 bpm. I am sure that every crew cab doolie pick-up truck that passed me probably thought that I was suffering from sun stroke to be running in the heat. I found an area where there were two big oak trees that had grown a shade canopy over the road and I decided that the shade would be my turn around spot. I did not care that I was only at 24 minutes. I downed more S-Caps and water and I was off like a herd of turtles. I enjoyed the downhills but the uphills were tough. I made it back to the car mixed up a bottle of Endurox with cold water I had in an Igloo jug and drank it down fast. Why does Endurox taste better than Accelerade? Is it due to the fact that I usually have cold water with my Endurox? It reminds me of a bunch of Sweet Tarts crushed up in my bottle. Accelerade on the other had does not taste anything remotely like that.

I headed on home to eat and get a shower. After cleaning up I put on my 2XU compression socks that I won at the last Houston Racing Tri Club meeting and put my feet up to rest. I think that I have the hydration and nutrition down for Buffalo Springs. I am not going full guns on this race only because it will be hot and I don't want to experience a melt down. I will be racing smart and watching my heart rate. I do not want to see the inside of the Medical Tent on this race. It is all about pacing.
I feel like a nerd in these socks. We will see if they really work.
Watching WIPEOUT! and seeing contestants eat it on "the Big Balls".
Enjoying recovery time!

Well, there is other interesting stuff going on but I will save that for another post.

Good Luck to Carrie (Tri to be Funny) and her hubby Shawn, Formulaic, Kathleen W., and Rick who attends my spin class as they take on Ironman CdA this Sunday. I will be keeping track of their progress after my long run.

Later Gators!



Christi said...

I got some black 2XU compression socks and I do look like a nerd when I wear them. Good think I am married because you can't find a man in them!!! :)

Rainmaker said...

Very nicely done on the long ride. I enjoy running into other cyclists/tri folks in the parking lot - always interseting to compare notes on where you/they are going.

Speed Racer said...

"I knew from her pink and flowery bike shimmel that she was not out there by herself. I knew that there was someone to hunt down!"


Sounds like you're all set in the heat training department. I don't know what's worse, 95 and humid, or 65 and raining EVERY DAY for a month like it has been here. Either way, I'm glad you were able to stave off heatstroke for some pretty intense workouts!