TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heat

After recently reading Lisa Tamati’s Running Hot I have been inspired to return to the Bulldog 50k this August.  When the heat took me out last August, I thought I’d NEVER attempt the Bulldog 50k again.  Then I got to thinking a couple months ago, perhaps I’d run the 25k.  I’d have all the time in the world to finish

Then I went and won Running Hot on Quadrathron.  (Thanks Stuart! Smile)  Lisa Tamati has done amazing runs, including Badwater twice.  I have to say after reading about her “hot” adventures,  I’m “hooked.”  Hooked that is, into trying Bulldog 50k again.  I haven’t told the family yet; not sure what they’ll say.  And to be honest, I haven’t made my final decision. 

Until then, I’ve been researching heat training.  The way I figure this is that I need to get acclimated to running in that kind of heat.  AND, I need to learn how to cool myself down.

Coincidentally, I’ve had a bit of heat training lately, especially today.  I began my run in long sleeves.  And though June Gloom was in the air, humidity was HIGH. 

Aliso Creek TrailCIMG9940

I ran off Wood Canyon onto Dripping Cave Trail (one of my favorites) for a detour to Mathis.  I felt sluggish.  The humidity was really getting to me.  Though I didn’t feel anxious over the run up Mathis, I was beginning to get a little anxious over the heat climbing it.  By mile 2.38, I reached the cave, and the humidity was UNBEARABLE.  I was sure to drink up, and I took those long sleeves off and got the hair also off my neck. 

Knowing that Mathis was going to be a bitch, I took my time playing around on Dripping Cave Trail.  I did not want to panic.  Though during Bulldog’s 50k, heat was my worst enemy, panicking was enemy number 2.

Cooled Off, I traipsed through dry creek bed to pose for the camera, cave is to your right (careful, don’t touch the poison oak!).CIMG9941

One of the lovely summer plants around here, growing on outer cave wall.CIMG9948

What you see when you come out far end of cave.CIMG9960

Getting closer to Mathis, one of my favorite trees, and . . . CIMG9972

I realized that I’ve never climbed it.  So I set my camera to timer and try to make it to branch in time.CIMG9975

Unsteadily on branch, the camera timer clicks again, and then . . . CIMG9977

My Camera plummets off the ledge, across the trail and down the slope.  This is the picture the timer snapped along the way (LOL).CIMG9980

Enough of Dripping Cave Trail, I could no longer deny Mathis.  One foot in front of the other I said to myself while passing the first biker up that mile climb.  She was pretty easy to conquer.  Sweating, she smiled when she finally got off her bike and began walking Mathis.  It took me quite some time to pass the next biker.  I’d say it took me about a third of a mile to finally pass him.  He didn’t smile, but he acknowledged my “hello” with a friendly grunt. 

When I reached Top of the World, I believe that it was a little before noon.  The breeze was cooler up there.  But as soon as I took off down West Ridge toward Cholla, the sun came out.  And it came out in ABUNDANCE.  I was sure getting a dose of what I wanted (well, kinda wanted).

I fought against a bad habit that I have, that is conserving water.  Forcing myself to drink up, because I had plenty of water, I took in a couple gels.  The heat was extreme on Wood Canyon once I ran out of the shade for good.  That’s when I remembered that I had a handkerchief in my pack.  Our friend the O.C. Rock n’ Roll Chef a while ago suggested that I do what chefs do in the kitchen to cool down.  They take that famous handkerchief off their neck, wet it and put it on their head.  That’s just what I did.  At stream crossings I drenched it and draped it over my head.  That did wonders cooling me down, especially when a slight breeze hit.  The only problem was, the handkerchief dried out quicker than I wanted.

CIMG9983

When I finally ran to the ranger station, I was pretty dang hot.  I saw at least 3 runners running into the canyon and a biker or 2 all WITHOUT water.  (How do they do it???)  I thought about walking into the ranger station and requesting some cold water.  But I was beat and really had to keep moving to cool down a bit.  I walked around the lot before stretching.  And there parked along the road, were a woman and a man who had just come out of the canyon.  They were drinking ice cold waters and said to me, “You look hot.  Do you want a water?”  I started to say that I didn’t, because that’s what I do.  But when I saw the ice chest in the back of their truck I said, “Why yes, thank you so much, I do!”

That cold water was delightful!

12 miles (19.31 km) run today:

+1,582/-1,5806-22-2011, Elevation - Distance

12 comments:

  1. The heat and humidity are killer... I don't know how to acclimate to that. It sounds terrible. :D. I carry my handheld religiously on all runs over three miles.

    I love your pictures - I've been neglecting hiking in favor of running, and I miss it!

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  2. Thanks for the shout.

    Unless things heat up soon we'll all be suffering with no acclimatization!

    Other than Sauna training you can go without AC in your car, windows up of course!

    Pix look awesome as usual!

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  3. You see the most amazing things on your runs, girl.

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  4. Lovely run and post! Great photos...falling camera and all! I used to be terrible with the heat but I'm better now. One thing that is a must is that you have to be in proper shape. If you didn't do the training, don't do the race in the heat. I think you'll do great in that 50k this year. You've been training really hard. Go for it!

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  5. Glad you survived the heat! The humidity always seems to make it worse. Good luck if you choose to run the 50k!

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  6. Ice in a hankerchief around the neck and tons of ice loaded into the camelback are the only things I use for heat. I hope you run Bulldog as you have been having such strong runs! Hope to join you on one this summer as I'll be off during the week so let me know if you want a running partner one day!

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  7. Giraffy, thanks for reading. I've been reading up on acclimating on the heat and humidity, and some people do exercises in the sauna and steam room. Yikes! I will have to start off slowly.

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  8. Thanks Stuart! Car with no air conditioner??? Yikes. I am going to Texas though, so I should get some good heat there. Plus I think I should give up the early morning runs for some afternoon ones. (another yikes!)

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  9. Thanks Green Girl! I'm easily amused. : )

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  10. Thanks Johann! I am definitely leaning toward going for it!

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  11. Thanks Jessie! I appreciate the encouragement.

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  12. Thanks Rachel! I will definitely let you know when I get out during the week. How many miles are you looking for? I have some other girlfriends who are teachers also who can now run during the week (I will be out of state for a few weeks though). That ice in the handkerchief is a great idea. I'm just not sure how to pull that one off on a 50k. But my brain is buzzing on the subject constantly.

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