Friday, August 10, 2012

Is August over yet?

Seriously, I love dogs, but NOT the dog days of summer.  It's ridiculous.  This is NOT fun running weather.  Yeah, it's not in the 90s or reaching 100 degrees, but check out the low temps - all near 70 so no matter when you run it's hot.  I've been getting up super early to do my long runs, but it doesn't make a difference.  It's already in the mid-70s by the time the sun comes up and the humidity is unbearable.  I heard the weather guy on the radio yesterday saying that the humidity was going to peak tomorrow with a dewpoint of 70 degrees.  Just in time for me to do a nice 18 mile run.  UGH!  I would take 3 feet of snow right now and a serious nor'easter over this disgusting weather.

My trend of resting more than running has continued.  I guess in a way it's good, but it makes me sad when I look at my training log and see such low numbers for weekly mileage and so many "R"s on the chart for rest days.  Last week I ONLY ran on Wednesday and Saturday.  I would feel better about it if I made up for it with miles on my bike, but I'm not even doing that.  I have 30 days until my half ironman and I have barely been on my shiny new bike except in sprint triathlons and a few short rides.  I really need to get some serious miles done, but I'm struggling.  I'm so wiped out after my long runs that even if I don't have a race the next day and I COULD go for a long bike ride I'm completely useless and end up resting instead.

My 16 mile run last weekend was probably one of my worst runs ever.  I felt ok and my legs were fine.  My heart rate was in the right range, but one number was significantly higher than it usually is and it really pissed me off.  My pace per mile was about 2 minutes slower than my marathon pace.  It took me longer to finish 16 miles than it took to do 18 the week before.  The entire time I was looking at my Garmin in disbelief.  I felt FINE, but it was telling me I was basically crawling and barely moving at all.  I described it like running on the surface of the sun UNDERWATER!  The air was so thick and it was near 80 even though I started at 5:00am!  Oh and to make matters worse, I forgot my sodium pills and ran out of water.  I passed a McDonalds and was able to refill my bottles, but at that point I was 12 miles into the torture and I had already stopped sweating.  I finished the run, grabbed some water and coconut waters, then jumped in my car and went to Fire Fighter bootcamp.

I really need to get some photos up because I don't think I do it justice describing it in words.  Last Saturday we continued the "recruit training" and added hose drills to the evolutions we learned the week before with the ladders.  There were 3 and 4 inch fire hoses, 'Lieutenant Dan' the legless dummy that weighs 180lbs, three giant tires, sledgehammers, extention ladders, and SCBA air tanks spread out all over the parking lot.  We warmed up with laps around the building again, of course I already warmed up with 16 miles.  I made sure to tell Brian to encourage hydration breaks because of the excessive heat and humidity.  In the 30 minute drive from my house to the fitness studio I drank 2 coconut waters and 2 bottles of spring water.  I brought 3 additional bottles for during class.

We split up into platoons again.  I was the leader of Platoon B - which I renamed Team Badass.  One of the women on the team had scrapped her knee on an extension ladder and was bleeding so I thought it was appropriate.  I thought up cadence for our warm up laps (this is the random sort of stuff that pops into my brain sometimes).  I wasn't sure if the team would play along, but shared my creativity with them anyway:

I don't know what you've been told,
if you're not working out you're just getting old.
I don't want to see you rest!
Resting won't make you the best!

It was funny, but most of them were too busy running to play along.  Once we finished the warm ups we started right into the hose drills.  SO FUN!!!!  It's true - Firemen DO have big hoses.  Tehehehe  The drills are impossible to describe, but basically we dragged, pulled, carried, rolled, and swung hose lines in every way you can possibly imagine.  We also worked in some of the ladder drills from the previous week, a new dummy drag technique, more tire flips and sledgehammer swinging, and simulated ladder raising with rope and weights on a pulley system.  We took frequent water breaks and I was dripping sweat (good thing because I was a little worried after the long run).  Finished up class and then headed home for a hot shower and some lunch. 

Lucky for me I did not have a race on Sunday.  I woke up super early anyway because I had a splitting headache as if I was out late the night before boozing at the local bars.  All the pains of severe dehydration without the fun (well, not most people's idea of fun, running/shuffling 16 miles and then doing bootcamp IS fun to me).  I spent the entire day sleeping on my couch.  I didn't even go grocery shopping.  I literally got up, got a huge glass of water and then settled on my couch still in my PJs and fell back asleep for pretty much the whole day only waking up occasionally to answer a text message or refill my cup of water.

Monday I rested more.  I felt better, but I didn't have time to do anything because after work I went directly to a meeting with the race director for the American Lung Association Fight for Air Stair Climb.  Oh yeah, it's time to start planning again and time to start harassing Lowell Fire to get their lazy butts involved.  I really hope this year I can not only get a few more fire departments to participate, but I would LOVE to see a few more of my friends get involved too.  If you're reading this, this is your heads up, mark your calendar - February 2, 2013 - I will be talking about it for the next 6 months and the sooner you register and get on board the sooner I will stop bugging you about it.  Registration opens September 1st and if you use the code "STEPUP2" you save $15 and get a free training t-shirt.  Plus, the sooner you sign up the easier it is to get the $100 fundraising minimum met - $10 from 10 friends and you're done!
The rest of the week was typical August - hazy, hot, humid, and HORRIBLE.  I did 7 miles along the Charles Tuesday and felt pretty good.  Then Wednesday I did 6 miles in Ayer with Kim a little warmer and a little slower, but still felt ok.  Thursday I felt good, but decided to rest because my heart rate was high in the morning and I didn't sleep well.  Today I'm resting again - going to the movies with Erin after I get out of work.  Then I need to get home and go to bed early because I plan to do 18 miles tomorrow and then bootcamp.  With the forecast I'm not sure how it's going to go so I'm going to start early again and remember my sodium this time and maybe even somehow carry extra water or leave some water out somewhere or arrange to meet a friend half way (looking for volunteers, wink wink, nudge nudge).  I just hope it goes better than the 16 last weekend.

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