Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heat training

After what has really been an unusually cool and wet summer so far, the heat hammer has fallen in the last few days. The last few days we've flirted with triple digits, but I don't think we've quite reached that magical milestone quite yet. The real issue is the humidity. Although I don't like it, I can handle 90 and dry, but 90 and humid is a whole other animal.....a wet, hazy, sticky, miserable animal.

My training in the week plus since Missoula has been kind of stop and go. While I didn't push it all that hard in Missoula and my legs felt just fine after the race, I've still had some struggles getting back into the groove. My legs aren't sore and I have no pain, but on some days when I run, they are just dead. Of course, when I get up at the buttcrack of dawn to "beat the heat" and it's already 75-80 with matching humidity, it doesn't help matters. But, then again, on some days the legs feel fine.

Case in point, last Friday I got up to run and was planning on maybe 8-10. It was warm and sticky and my legs had no desire to be in motion, so it ended up being a very slow 5 miles. The next day I didn't run at all as I was helping my mom move and then it was freakishly hot in the afternoon (and my legs probably needed the break anyhow). On Sunday, I got up early and drove to Sturgis for a planned long on the Centennial Trail. It was 80 already when I started at 6:00 AM and I was honestly ready to call it a day only a mile into the run. I told myself I could re-evaluate at the Alkali Creek trailhead, about 6 miles out. By the time I got there, my legs had warmed up and I was actually feeling alright, despite the fact that I was sweating at a ridiculous rate. So, I pressed on and on the 4 mile climb up to the top of Bulldog, I felt really good...it didn't hurt being in the shade of the timber for most of the climb. Once I got up there, which is where I was planning on turning around, I realized I was at 9.6 miles, so only needed another 0.4 to get in a 20 miler. So I bombed down the steep descent to the location of the Black Hills 100 Bulldog aid station and then power-hiked back up. The run back to Sturgis went well, other than the last flat mile along the paved city bike path, which was pretty miserable in the 93 degree heat. Legs felt fine afterward and I spent a good 5 hours that afternoon "swimming" (there was no actual swimming involved) at the Spearfish waterpark with the kids. Got up the next morning, hoping to knock out 8 miles or so and, again, the legs were just dead (again, it was crazy warm and sticky). So, again, 5 very slow, wet miles.

With Elkhorn looming, I'm hoping this dead/not dead cycle will eventually cease (on the side of not dead, of coursehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif). One more long run on the Centennial planned for this weekend, and then it's taper time, I guess (really, it feels like it's been taper time pretty much since early May, just before the Collegiate Peaks 50).

I included the link to my Garmin data HERE to show the elevation profile from Sunday's 20 miler only because I think it looks cool...like somebody took a giant axe and chopped a wedge out of the high point. Or maybe that's just the heat getting to me...

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