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…