Two weekends ago, I sailed through my long workouts thinking I'd conquered the heat. Last weekend, however, we were back at war and taking no prisoners:
Fri - 3500 yd swim (7x500, 1:17, no wall push-offs, 85 deg pool temp), plus a weight workout
Sat - 14 mi run (9:53 pace in 96-99 deg HI). Last mile a major struggle, though.
Sun - 85 mi bike (15.8! mph ave in 79-98 deg HI) + 4 mi run (9:44 pace in 96-98 deg HI)
What was the difference?
Perhaps the even hotter conditions and further distances but, more likely, I just didn't get to the weekend fully rested, replenished and ready to do battle. Besides not drinking enough after my super hot weight workout and also doing a couple hours of yard work, I also noticed that a lot of foods just didn't seem appealing to me. Hot foods made me feel hotter, dry foods made me feel thirstier and just chewing sometimes seemed to require too much effort. Ah, I'll just take a nap instead!
So by the weekend, I'm sure my fluid and glycogen tanks were not full as they should have been. And, of course, I realized this around mile 8 of my 14 mile run on Saturday when there was nothing much I could do about it except try to not make it worse. Yeah, right ... not likely while running in 90 bazillion degs! I felt my heart rate rising, legs starting to feel heavy, a bit of lightheadedness and queasiness -- Not good!
I managed to get the run done but dreaded the long brick (85 mi bike/4 mi run) the next day. I knew it was going to be even uglier (18 hours is not enough time to replenish fluid and glycogen levels) and, to make matters worse, Dave was gone over the weekend so he wasn't around to cheer me up or pick me up if I fell over from heat exhaustion.
But Sunday turned out to be where I've probably made the most gains I have ever in my iron training. I learned how to keep riding for an additional 55 miles when my legs were ready to quit after just 30 and how to summon a 7:36 mile out of myself after a grueling bike ride (Coach said the first mile was supposed to be hard and it was). Also, another remarkable discovery: there is nothing wrong with biking only 13-14 mph and running a 10-11+ min pace -- I'm still still going forward!
So three big lessons learned for me:
- Make sure to hydrate and fuel up well before the long weekend workouts as well as during and after. Heat is unforgiving.
- Bring a variety of foods/drinks. My stomach is very finicky in the heat and gets tired of the same thing after a few hours.
- Even if my body is near empty, I can keep going (albeit slower) if I stick with my nutrition plan (to come).
Oh, and another thing ...
60 degrees is frickin' freezing when you've been used to living and training in 85+ degrees!!
Dave and I (with 2 jackets on) at Johnson's Ridge, an observatory point for Mt. St. Helens (WA), which was hiding from us behind the cover of clouds.
Multnomah Falls (OR) from our tour bus going along the Columbia Gorge.
I'll be catching up with everyone next week when I get back from my family reunion. Hope everyone has a good weekend!