Monday, 16 July 2012

LSD Blues (no, not THAT LSD!)

Long, Slow Distance: you know I don't like 'em - I'm too competitive (even against myself) and out to prove I can still move fast at my advanced age...but I truly do understand the value of these workouts and I'm getting used to them. Today's was to be 10 miles. We would start at the Riverfront trail again, and I would take off while Mike did his 4 miles. I would then walk up to the Starbuck's and meet him there...at least that was the plan. The weather had other ideas. We got up really early, ate the right stuff, hydrated adequately and then headed out, but it was already 80F and very humid. At least there was a bit of a breeze on the river, but the sun was ruthless in spite of sunglasses, hat, wicking clothes and sunblock. Nevertheless, off we went....and thus starts the epic voyage, with that evil fiend, humidity, dogging my tracks.

At first, I'm rarin' to go. I'm thinking that the weather ain't really so bad, and the breeze is kind of refreshing. I pass a lot of other fools out there, walking, running, rollerblading, biking, dogwalking, wheeling. Everyone seems pretty chipper, including me. I notice things; I imagine things; I work through the problems of the world in my head; I focus on technique.
There are a lot of Canada Geese that make the riverfront their home, so you have to watch where you step on some parts of the trail. Lately, there has been a pair of white geese with grayish wingtips hanging out with them. I'd like to think they're snow geese, but are probably renegade domestics. As I toddle along, I pass one goose standing on the path just kind of looking around. I say, "Hey, man - 'sup?" He honks quietly under his breath and I swear it sounds like "Nothing much." I almost do a double-take. Chuckling, on I go.
Further on, they're taking down the festival tents from the weekend and blasting "Every Step You Take"...seems appropriate! I settle into my easy pace of between 13:00 and 14:00 min/mile. Everything seems to be going according to plan. My heartrate is good.....then at 4 miles I have to turn around and retrace my steps. No more breeze, just sun baking my tender Northern European flesh into the asphalt (dang those malfunctioning MC1R genes! I can almost feel the freckles erupting despite SPF 45.).
I bravely continue on my merry way, starting to feel different sensations: I innately feel the difference between asphalt and concrete; the sun feels like it's drilling a trepanation hole in my skull and my feet feel like I've been fire-walking. I suck back more water and start to question my sanity - mad dogs and Englishmen, you know. It is now 88F and still very humid...quite a quick rise in temp. I am no longer chipper.
At 6 miles I decide to take a quick rest in the breezy shade of a hill. It doesn't take long for me to recover, and also to realize that this is an exercise in futility. I am not used to exercising in this heat/humidity. I do not like exercising this heat/humidity. I do not ever WANT to be used to exercising this kind of heat/humidity. The hamster-wheel-to-nowhere in my nice, cool basement gym is starting to sing its siren song. I should do another 2 miles or so on the river and then head up to Starbuck's (about another 2 miles). Instead, I abort mission and head up the tree-lined streets towards air conditioning and chilled coconut water. 2.27 miles later, I'm ensconced in a chilly chair at SB's looking out the window at the now 92F/60% humidity world, happy to be trembling with the cold. Hiking in New Mexico isn't like this...it's a dry heat.




PS - I would end up doing the rest of the distance on my treddie.....

PPS - there was a heat alert warning today, duh. Tomorrow, a heat alert level 1 (humidex higher than 104F). No outdoor stuff for me tomorrow!

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