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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hot Like Wasabi

Well.. Summer is here!

Kinda snuck up on us…


Leaving for Saturday’s ride I remarked to my training partner “Ya know… the warm weather is here… I think that this is the first Saturday ride I’ve started for a long time without arm warmers”

That was a harbinger of things to come.

This was the second Saturday I’d done this ride/route. I like to ride with the St John’s county Hammerheads but… I’ve been trying to up my mileage, and they are all training for ½ Ironman events this year… so I figured a way to ride from my house, met up with them for 80% or so of their ride, then ride home.

Along the way we picked up Jeremy, a friend of mine from work. The Hammerhead boys were a bit late so we me them further along than usual… which in essence added 5 miles to our ride. The ride was smooth and uneventful, which is the norm with these guys, until one of the guys stopped with a mechanical… we all stopped with him and the conversation immediately turned to the heat and specifically where/when could we get some ice…

We stopped and loaded up… and finished up the ride 80 miles in all… drenched and with empty water bottles.
I had dinner pans Saturday night but I did manage to squeeze in a quick 5 miles in the afternoon… the warm moist air felt so god in my lungs… I ran pretty hard… composing summertime sonnets in my head… but I think I was still sweating an hour after my shower.

Rode 40 Sunday morning with my friend Mark… nice steady ride but once again easily went thru 80oz of fluid in 2 hours.

My main workout of the weekend was supposed to be 4 hours on the Ft Caroline trails… That was not to be.

The kids wanted to go to the beach… so… I mapped out a plan.
I decided to ride to the beach with them then run home. I mapped a course that would be close to 20 miles. The idea being that a few hours out in the hot Florida Sun might begin to simulate my future in the desert.

We got to the beach… the kids headed for the surf… I headed home.

What a fine idea I’d had I thought… beach cruisers, babes, bikinis, folks having a good time… everything that is 1st Street in North Jax Beach on a summer afternoon… that ended all too quickly, however as I soon turned to the west. I still felt good…

I’d knocked out a couple of sub 10s.. So far which considering the heat and my 11# pack was fabulous… we can discuss fabulous a little bit more later.

Here’s a quick shot looking back towards the beach.

Soon I got to the Beach Blvd Bridge over the Intracostal… my only real hill of the day… I felt so good that I had thoughts of running it a few more times… good sense intervened and I decided to just keep running and I’d get fancy later if I felt good.

Leaving Jax Beach…

The next section was along Beach Blvd… Busy road on a summer day but… they are putting in extra lanes which meant that I had a nice graded dirt road all to myself… I felt good… ran steady.. Having quite a good time. I even tried to eat a little… managed to choke down 2 cookies… as it turned out the only solid food I attempted all day. I was enjoying the sunshine and sweat.

I left Beach for Hodges… and a few miles of sidewalk and sunshine… this was about an hour in and I started to slow my pace a bit… I saw shade on the other side of the street and abandoned the “desert acclimation” plan for a smidge more comfort…. I was trying to hydrate as much as possible… I knew it was still a long way to go.

The next section was through a golf course community that I’d never before visited. I’d pictured trees and a nice path… not to be… lots of sunshine… some sidewalk. Another thing I noticed was the lack of any players out on the course… I got a glimpse of more than half of the 18 holes and saw nary a golfer.

By the time I got to the UNF campus I was… decidedly not… fabulous… low on water… my 1st bottle of Gatorade long since gone… and my thirst seemed unquenchable. I got in the shade of one of the bus stops on campus and pulled out a polar bottle full of Gatorade from my pack… Gatorade never tasted so good… I had to stop myself from drinking it all at once.

I did dink it all in the next mile and finished my water in the mile after that…. I’d started taking walk breaks… at first because of the heat… running to a shady spot, then walk… I kept drinking because I was thirsty… and soon I was taking walk breaks because I had stomach cramps. Needless to say I was happy to see the Publix sign.

I grabbed some G2 Gatorade from the cooler… all they had… I just don’t get G2… I mean it’s Gatorade… why not get some glucose for my muscles along with fluids and electrolytes? But I digress… Bought a bag of ice too. Got some strange looks outside Publix… haggard middle aged dude stuffing ice in a backpack.

When I got it all together… I felt better… ran for a mile straight… but I was thirsty and soon was waterlogged again… back to walking until I burped or my cramps settled down.

I was within 2.5 miles from home running, once again, on a freshly graded roadbed and came upon a huge lake of a puddle… no good way around so I hopped up onto the unattached curb… ran down it for 100 meters or so until I spied what I took for dry land…. Jumped off the curb and sank mid-calf into the mud… luckily my shoe came out with my foot… and after I snapped a couple of pix I was back on my way. Shoes full of grit, stomach full of G2 I trudged home walking some… running some… caring very little which.

Despite the fact that I had ingested close to 250oz of fluids I was down about 11# of bodyweight…

In the end it was only 18 miles… and only just about as much as I could do…


Big Daddy Diesel said...

WHats your future in the desert?

it's all about pace said...

Hey Big Daddy - the race is called RATS