Monday, August 17, 2009

Southern Heat

I finally made my way back to Charlottesville on Friday and was excited to ride the C'Ville hills again and get some runs in on the lightly traveled roads. C'Ville is a triathletes paradise, the UVA pool is top notch, the riding is tough and the running terrain is so varied that on any given day you can run next to a beautiful river, torture yourself on hills or get away from it all on the Rivana trail. Trail running may be something I get into later this year, as there are a ton of trail races in the fall and winter around here and after finishing "Born To Run," I can't help but be excited to try my hand at it.

I had hoped to hop on my bike by 8:30 on Sunday; but after having a few beers catching up with my friend Matt on Saturday night, I didn't get out of bed until 9:15 am! An hour and 1/2 later I was on my bike and ready to ride. However, someone forget to remind me that the South is WAY FREAKING HOTTER, than NY or Boston. By 11am it was about 90 degrees with high humidity and like an idiot I had only brought 1 bottle of nutrition and 1 bottle of water for my 2 hour ride.

Prior to getting to the bad news, here's the good news. I am in much, much better shape than I was when I left Darden in the spring. I did the same ride on Sunday that I had done the day I left Charlottesville in May feeling strong, faster and fitter on it. Compared to my May 10th ride, my August 16th ride was 3 mph faster, at a slightly higher average heart rate which included attacking the hills harder. Best of all, although my back got pretty sore around the 30 mile mark, I was able to supress the pain; on May 10th the pain in my back got so bad I had to stop and stretch for 5 or 10 minutes, this ride I stayed on my bike and was able to pedal home.

Now the bad news; 1 bottle of water for a 190 lbs guy in 90 degree heat and high humidity is about as dumb as heading to the Artic in a speedo! By the time I got back to my apartment I was dizzy, disoriented and my arms felt tingly; I had also stopped sweating. I downed 3 glasses of water and got ready for my transition run. By the time I left my apartment sweat was pouring down my face after just 30 seconds of jogging. At that point I decided to return home and wait for the heat to die down. At that point I realized that the muscles in my legs were twitching like crazy, obviously searching for water.

Finally I got a bit smarter and started downing water bottle after water bottle. About 80 oz of water later I was finally able to pee again, but I continued to drink water to try and rehydrate. I'm not sure I ever properly rehydrated after my killer run last Tuesday so Sunday just exacerbated the problem. I think what frustrates me most is hydration is totally under my control and I screwed it up - lesson learned, I won't make that mistake again.

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