18 September 2011

The Hotter, The Better

I’m a summer girl, a beach girl. When it’s 98 and humid and everyone’s melting, I’m complaining a little but mostly loving it, loving my tequila lemonades, my skimpy dresses, the teeny bikinis, the long hours under the tree shelter on the trails, the walks around Brooklyn at night, the sitting on the waterfront with my best friends sneaking drinks out of Sigg water bottles…I love the heat.

But this summer, I knew that two of my races would demand expertise with heat – the  Burning Man 50k, an absolutely fun race that I direct, and the Rio del Lago 100 Miler. Both were hot – Rio del Lago was 97 with lots of miserably exposed sections and lots of dust.

I knew I needed heat training. My weekend runs were great, but I needed more training. Luckily, my boss is understanding (though she doesn’t comprehend why I do such things) and my job immensely flexible. So I’d work at home from 8am-noon, and then head out for a run for 90-120 minutes in the hot hot hot heat of the day. I’d wear sunblock, carry water, put on a visor, and go. The heat would drain me. Post run, I’d shower, eat something, and often just sit zombie-like on my futon, finishing the workday, glad my work only required me to sit and not move. The heat and humidity would drain me.

But it prepared me. As much as those runs sucked, as slow as I went in 95 degree temps, it prepared me. Rio del Lago felt ridiculously hot, yes, but I felt mostly okay. I attribute it to the heat training.

And now it’s getting cold. Autumn demands more snuggle time, long-sleeved tea shirts, and tea with pumpkin cookies post run. I’ll miss my sports bra-and-shorts-only runs…oh, yes, I will.

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