Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

Tuesday temp - 94 degrees with a heat index around 102

Yesterday, I decided to join a RABA bike group for a nice, hard, tempo ride. Most of these folks are strictly cyclists. The initial group was riding 40+ miles at 23MPH, not me. I rode with the second group, of which I was told would average 20MPH. Talk about humbling. It was a tough ride, but I managed to hang with the main pack, about 8-12 riders, for about 27 of the 33 miles.

At the very beginning of the ride, I decided to be nice and help someone from the first group who had a flat. 4 of us stopped to lend a hand, but 2 didn't want to be too far behind and took off to catch up with the group. I was left with the ride leader. Not wanting to leave her behind to catch up by herself, I waited until we were both ready. I ended up pulling her about 5 miles back to group averaging 23MPH.

Once we were all back together we quickly found a grove and began riding at a quick pace. There were many times I glanced down at my CPU and was shocked to see 26MPH, on a flat, not a downhill. These guys and gals were rollin'. I didn't know if I could hang but kept pushing myself, staying in the line as close to the wheel in front of me as possible. I stayed on top of my nutrition and fluids and felt pretty good until we hit a couple steep hills. I was pulling the group at around 24MPH just before the first hill, when I peeled off. That's when the trouble for me began. I don't ride that often in a pace line, so I'm not good at how to correctly re-enter the back. Before I could think about it, they just slung-shot around me and I was left climbing the steepest hill by myself. When they hit the other side, they were gone. They did pull up at the final turn to regroup, but three of us got dropped on the next hill. Knowing my way back to the parking lot from there, I just let them go and rode within myself the last 6, or so, miles.

All in all, it was a really good ride. Since I spend most of my time riding alone, it forced me to really push myself and see what I had in me. I ended up finishing the ride with an average of 20MPH. Great mental and physical boost. I did get a lot of pointers after the ride from the race leader. I'm positive that I'll be out there on another Tuesday before the Lake Anna Half Iron.

Wednesday temp - 102 with a heat index of 108

Got my tempo run in, but boy was it hot. Those temps are not the highs for the day, rather the current temps when I went out at 12:30pm. It got up to 104 for the day! For some crazy reason, I'm one of the few people that actually enjoy the heat. Yeah, crazy, I know.

I had a really good run. Got 4.5 miles in at 7:45 pace. Usually faster, in the 7 minute pace range for my tempo runs, but played it safe, backing it down so as not to induce a heat stroke. I don't take water with me, so it made sense to be safe.

Did get a side stitch, an early indication of dehydration, with less than half a mile to go. Got inside my building, stopped by the water cooler for a few cups of cold water, got a nice and cold shower, and got upstairs to grab my Endurox.

The miles are in the bank! Two hard workouts in the heat. Builds character!

Hot weather tip - If you find yourself still sweating and hot after a warm weather workout, especially a run, and you've already showered to cool off, take a piece of ice and run it over the inside of both wrists for a minute or so. The blood in your wrists goes directly back to your heart, so when cooled in this manner, drops your core temp fast. No need to spend the remainder of the afternoon sweating because it's taking hours to cool your core temp.