This is my long way of saying that I wasn't thrilled that the heat wave coincided with my planned "peak training week." It's not like I need heat training for UTMB — that race seems to be perpetually plagued with cold, wet weather. No, the only thing the heat meant for me was more suffering. By Friday, I was well cooked. Beat and I went for a 6.5-mile run at Rancho San Antonio on nearly empty trails, a rarity in that popular preserve. It was 88 degrees and I commented about how "cool" it felt, because I'd been out for long hours in the 90s all week. But that misguided relief lasted about a mile, and then I was dizzy and grumpy again. I resolved to schedule no big goals in the summer ever again, so should I encounter another 90-degree week, I could just spend it sitting on the couch eating shaved ice.
I caught up to Beat in Wunderlich Park, near mile eighteen. His big pack was bringing him down and he was drenched in sweat. I suggested dropping it at the next aid station, but he reminded me that he "can't do that in PTL." We ran together for ten or so minutes, but then he gave me the rest of his gummy bears, which added an extra snap to my step. Even though the heat was oppressive and twelve gummy bears don't have all that many calories, I realized I was only feeling better as the miles went by. Eventually I pulled ahead and once we were at the top of the long climb, I picked up my pace.
|Photo by Coastal Trail Runs|
On Sunday for "recovery," Beat and I met up with friends for an afternoon of bikram mountain biking. The heat was still brutal, and because we rode to the trailhead to meet them, we ended up with a loop encompassing thirty miles and 3,700 feet of climbing. I was truly cooked by the end; I couldn't even pedal it up small hills before a deluge of lactic acid flooded my legs. But it's good to feel this way, sometimes. It means I really did work hard this week. It wasn't all just a heat-induced hallucination.