Week 29: Have you never been miserable before?

We keep moving on and weeks pass. You can read all my weekly recaps here.

San Francisco hit a record high temperature on Friday. Not, like, for Sept. 1. For ever. It has never been that hot in the city. Then it was hotter on Saturday.

It was bad, and part of the problem was a bunch of smoke had blown in from the massive fires up north and then the weird pressure system that was making it so hot also trapped the smoke. It was really not good, particularly since the weather was super weird and it didn’t cool down overnight or on the coast or in any of the ways and places it’s supposed to. And the smoke is actually really unhealthy and dangerous; you had to just wait for it to clear some, no point in trying to train through. It was all bad, but, still, it wasn’t that bad.

I get that heat is the #1 weather-related killer. And plenty of people have illnesses or are elderly or physically have problems with that kind of heat.

But, if you don’t, then seriously, go outside sometimes, train not just when the weather is perfect, stop telling me there are no seasons in the Bay Area — when I spent half the winter getting flooded out on my bike and hypothermic. It might have never been this hot in the city before, but it gets this hot at my house almost every year. I’ve already gotten stuck melting on the side of the road at least once this summer. So, yes, riding and running this weekend sucked. Of course it sucked, no kidding. Have you never been miserable before?

This weekend I’m racing Santa Cruz. Not really sure how that’s going to go. Recovery’s been coming along, up and down. Some days I’m nailing it, some days I’m not. Either way, Sunday is going to be miserable. Like it has been before. Of course.

Not a Sprint, Not Yet a Half

This is totally going to be me. Obvi. SOURCE
This is totally going to be me. Obvi. SOURCE


I signed up for the Olympic distance race at Wildflower this weekend — not the half. This should not be particularly shocking. Pretty much everyone agreed that since I haven’t run 13 miles since the beginning of March and the whole four weeks off running I probably shouldn’t do it for the first time in the middle of a race. The new swim-run-bike-run format should help me too. Maybe. Hopefully. And, the Olympic race is hard enough and competitive enough that it should be more than enough of a first race back.

Of course, I also sort of have a terrible relationship with the Wildflower Olympic race and did not enjoy the two times I’ve done it — one of which ended up in a DNF and the other with an IV in my arm and me swearing off the event. The whole starting at 10:15 a.m. and having to be stuck at a campground with limited food and water did not work well for me. I’m still not excited about the fact that the 29&Under and 30-39 year-old women have to start after all the men, all the older women’s age groups, the Team-in-Training group, and over an hour after the collegiate women’s wave at 9:05 a.m. And, then they throw everyone back together for the overall results, as if some people didn’t have to deal with more heat and crowds than others. That’s some bullshit.

Ideally, I’ll do well enough to be in a position to actually care about the overall. But, that may not end up being a problem. We’ll see.

Yesterday, I went for my hard(ish) run around 5 p.m. when it was about 90 degrees. HEAT WAVE. I figured it’d be good practice for stupid Wildflower. I tried to do a series of 4′ efforts at tempo/half-marathon pace mixed with some shorter, faster things. It did not go well. I didn’t necessarily feel that hot, but I did feel that heavy and drained and awful. I had to bail halfway through the third round. Then, after a brief walk/rest, I jogged the three miles home. That was when I realized I was messed up. But, I told myself ‘I’m going to feel terrible at the end of Ironman. If I can’t run IM race pace now, I won’t be able to then.’ So, I did. It hurt and the whole thing was ugly. Usually, I probably would have shuffled and maybe walked given how I felt, but I didn’t. And, then, my heartrate didn’t go below 100 for about 30′ after I stopped running.

Even jumping in the pool for a few minutes didn’t help much. And, then, today, I tried to go for my bike ride with some short 1′ and 2′ race efforts. My heartrate and power numbers said I was still physically messed up, though. I cut the ride short and thought I’d feel better to go for a swim later. I never felt better. In fact, I felt worse all day. I couldn’t do anything. I, evidently, went through some minor heatstroke yesterday and still have a very mild cold, which is turning into a cough and making it hard to sleep at night. I don’t think I’ve been eating well either. I also, evidently, picked up the ability to really fuck myself up in training at some point, which was not a skill I can say I had before.

At this point, right this second, I don’t think I could even finish an Olympic distance triathlon, much less worry about finishing it quickly. Usually, I don’t feel that way until after a race, not four days before. Guess it’s good I decided not to do the half.

Things I Do After a Hot Run

Courtenay’s been in town, so this morning (which starts at 9 a.m., not 6:30, Courtenay!) we did my favorite trail run loop. She kept saying that if we were going so late, it was going to be hot. I said, “It’s Marin,” ie. it doesn’t get that hot here. Then, she said the same thing to Steve later and he said, “It’s Marin.”

But, it was hot.

I haven’t run that far in over two months. It was fun, since we gossiped and took staged “running” photos. By the end, though, my legs were dead and I was making us stop at every water fountain because I couldn’t swallow — which was still not enough water fountains. Then, we went to Swirl and got frozen yogurt.

These are the things I usually do after a super hot/long run:

  • Stop at the Quick N’ Easy and get an ice cream sandwich
  • Stop at the Quick N’ Easy and just stand in the air conditioning
  • Guzzle a water bottle and then feel slightly sick
  • Lay on the road in the shade
  • Lay on the floor of our condo
  • Eat frozen fruit
  • Stand in the water play structure at the playground and scare all the small children
  • Become incomprehensible for the rest of the day and incapable of work, because my brain has become fried in the sun

The last one is the only guarantee.

What do you do after a hot run?