Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Hot Hill Run

Yesterday was hot 32C/90F! After sitting in my non-air conditioned office the whole day I was pretty worn out by the time I got home. I downed an energy bar and a glass of water, suited up and drove to our garden in the neighboring town of Weingarten with my wife. Leaving my wife to enjoy the shady terrace I stretched and set out to conquer the hills looming in the distance. The first 15 minutes of running were primarily through the forest so it was still fairly tolerable. But as soon as I popped out of the tree line and started across the fields I really felt the heat. In the 5 short minutes it took me to reach the bottom of the first hill I was already drenched in sweat. Whew! But determined to complete my run I shifted into low gear and started the 12 minute climb up the first “hill”. This part of the trail is a winding asphalt road that leads to the top of the mountain where there used to be a landfill. By the time I reached the top I was sweating like Niagara Falls and was REALLY glad that the trail leveled out. Despite the road being in the shade, it was still brain-numbing hot!

The rest of the run went a little better, the secondary hills were child’s play compared to the first one. I had really wanted to circle around and run the big hill twice, it would have been good practice for my HM on Saturday, but it was just too hot.

I tried a new trail off the hill, thinking it would bring me back to the original trail that I took upwards, but it ended up twisting off in another direction. I think it was actually a shorter trail than I usually take because I arrived back at the garden about 6 minutes earlier than normal. I can’t believe that I ran FASTER in that heat. I thought about taking another loop around the fields, but the sun was beating my brain into a pulp, and I recalled that I wanted to mow the lawn in the garden, e.g. a little cross-training :-)

Summary of Last Night’s Training:

1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
About 14K/8.7M hilly run; total time 1:20:39
1 set 15 push-ups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
Cool down.
Conditions: 16:00; 32C/90F, sunny!
Feeling after training: Muscles sore.

Wake-up weight this morning: 74 kg/163 lbs
Weight lost since 01/01/2005: 6 kg/13 lbs
Goal weight by the end of July: 73 kg/161 lbs
Goal weight by Christmas: 70 kg/154 lbs

Other Ramblings:

Saturday is my third half-marathon for this year. I ran the Buehlertal Half-Marathon last year (it was my first HM), it is located in the foothills of the Black Forest on highway 500, which is one of the main roads connecting the various towns. Buehlertal (pictured below) is located in a lower valley below the actual HM route. The Start is in Buehlertal-Hundseck, a village in the Buehlertal township. In the picture Hundseck is in the mountains in the background.

As I mentioned I ran the HM last year (2:06:24), it is not an easy course. If you refer to the profile of the race that I posted a few days ago, you will notice a long hill climb. This is one of those hills that (to use a popular commercial slogan) “Separates the men from the boys!” Last year I was totally wasted after the run, I almost passed out while waiting in line for some food. Okay it was 28C/83F that day and they only had one water point set up, I was a bit dehydrated.

This year it is supposed to be up to 33C/92F, so I need to concentrate more on survival then setting any speed records. I know this is a trail that one shouldn’t fool around too much with.

That said...

When I woke up this morning I had an incredible urge to skip the HM on Saturday and run the full marathon on Sunday! Maybe the sun did fry my brain yesterday, I don’t know, but I woke up this morning with this thought in my head and was actually going over this possibility as I rode to work on the train. But after the first cup of coffee at work sanity returned and I remembered that my wife wants to head home early on Sunday before it’s too hot. My tired legs also reminded me that I have trained really hard this week and have not tapered for a marathon. And finally I decided that 3 marathons in one year is just a little bit too ambitious. I probably could add that my wife would probably kill me too, if the marathon didn't ;)

In any case I have added this marathon to my list of possibilities for next year!

I have noticed that I always seem to get these terrrfic, totally motivating thoughts right before a longer race. I think it has something to do with trying to hype myself up for race day. Strange...

Glad you hada good run. I don't know how you run in the heat! I am running at 5:30 just so I don't die. :-)
I learned from the military that it is better to get used to the heat as early as possible in the Spring. I run at least my two shorter runs each week at around 4:30 p.m., about the hottest part of the day in our area. I do get up early on Saturday's to do my long runs, but that has more to do with scheduling. As my HM on Saturday is at 5 p.m. I am glad that I train in the heat!
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