83 days: Heat wave!

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Only 83 days away! Raised so far: $6,357! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of our causes here, or participate in one of our upcoming fundraising events.

In honor of recently reaching the 100 days to go milestone, I kicked off a new fundraising challenge! Every day for the last 100 days before Ironman Lake Tahoe, I’ll be picking out a motivational winner that earns $5 to the TFAC cause of their choice. Lots of winners so far – the first series of deposits have been made! How do you win? Go find out the details here.

Our first really big event is coming up in less than three weeks! Sunday July 21 in Vancouver, WA – a wine & beer tasting event with food, fun, and a silent auction. 100% of the proceeds will go toward the TFAC charities. We’d love it if y’all could attend! If you are unable to be there, we will be offering up the silent auction items online. The first announcement of this event can be found here. More details will be available very soon!

Heat Wave!

If you’re in the Western United States, you are already well aware of the oppressive heat wave we’ve been under. Temperatures nearing 130F have been recorded in the desert regions, with many areas of Los Angeles reaching up over 100F!

Fortunately for us, our community of Redondo Beach is usually spared from the worst of these heat spells. It is usually 20 degrees cooler at our house than in Pasadena, inland, or in the valley. This is one reason, of many, that I endure my oppressive, nasty commute to Pasadena (2 hour commute driving each day, or 4+ hours by public transit). Unfortunately, we were unable to fully escape the heat this time – we had a few days reaching up into the 90’s, quite rare for our neighborhood. In fact, very few homes in our area have air conditioning – you don’t really ever need it! Not such bad news for the human members of our family on those rare days where an a/c unit would be welcome, but it is quite unpleasant for the furred members of our clan.

Theo has severe issues dealing with the heat – his belly is shaved, at night he sleeps in front of his own personal fan sitting on the tile floor of our bathroom, and during the rare heat spells like these he even gets his own personal a/c unit!

Fans and portable air conditioning units are vital in keeping Theo cool and comfortable!

Fans and portable air conditioning units are vital in keeping Theo cool and comfortable!

Even the cats have issues! Frankie and Count Blacula, normally found cuddled up together during the day, have been known to change their behavior on the hottest of days.

When it gets this hot, even they won't cuddle the day away.

When it gets this hot, even they won’t cuddle the day away.

As the critters were doing their best to beat the heat, I wasn’t afforded that luxury. I still needed to get in my training sessions. Because of circumstances and other plans, I needed to get in my running and cycling sessions in the middle of the day. Fortunately, this was a “recovery” week, which means my training volume on my long weekend sessions was about 75% of the previous week maximum.

The 8-mile run on Saturday, though hot and a bit slower than normal, went well. I was about 30 seconds per mile off the pace I would have normally expected to run, but I could live with that.

The bike ride on Sunday, though, would be something else. I needed to get in 40 miles… on the hottest day of this heat wave… and I was hitting the road at 11:30am. This wasn’t setting up well for success! So, I did what any sane person would do: forge ahead. I loaded the bike up with hydration – two bottles filled with  my favorite flavors of Skratch hydration mix (pineapple in one, raspberry in the other), mixed a little more concentrated than normal as there would be a lot of sweating this day, and one bottle of water for dousing purposes. Sunscreen, arm cooling sun sleeves, and one of my favorite summer kits finished the preparation.

The racing bike is fully loaded with hydration. 30oz of Skratch pineapple in front, 20oz of Skratch raspberry in the downtube aero bottle, and 24oz of water for dousing in the seat bottle... plus backup mix in the jersey pocket.

The racing bike is fully loaded with hydration. 30oz of Skratch pineapple in front, 20oz of Skratch raspberry in the downtube aero bottle, and 24oz of water for dousing in the seat bottle… plus backup mix in the jersey pocket.

Without any pomp or circumstance I headed out on one of my normal routes: along the beach, a loop around a golf course on Palos Verdes, and then, since I needed a challenge, a climb straight up the hill. The climb started off fine… until the air stagnated… with the temperature climbing faster than I was climbing the hill. Road surface temperatures quickly escalated from 90F… to 95F… reaching 100F as the summit neared… and right on past to peak at 107.8F on the road. Sweat wasn’t dripping off of my face, it was literally streaming off my chin in a continuous flow.

The display on my Garmin device as I was nearing the summit of my climb. Yep, that reads 106F, on its way to a max of 107.8F. Ouch!

The display on my Garmin device as I was nearing the summit of my climb. Yep, that reads 106F, on its way to a max of 107.8F. Ouch!

Fortunately, the hill wasn’t too long – about 1100 feet of elevation over a 3 mile stretch – and I was soon able to rocket down the other side of the hill – the beach side – toward the ocean. The beach side of Palos Verdes is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the land side, and this day was no exception. The beach side is also usually much windier. This served as a blessing, keeping the road surface temperatures in the 90F range. But it also meant I was stuck battling strong winds for the rest of the ride. It is a tradeoff I am rarely glad to make, but did so happily on this ride.

Map of the ride. The inland stretch was uphill and HOT. The beach was cool and WINDY. Rare day that the wind was the lesser evil...

Map of the ride. The inland stretch was uphill and HOT. The beach was cool and WINDY. Rare day that the wind was the lesser evil…

The rest of the ride amounted to battling the strong winds and simply making sure I was staying hydrated. I pulled into the driveway as I was finishing off the last couple of gulps of drink mix and only recently exhausted the bottle of cooling water.

This ride was important to me for several reasons. I usually don’t perform at my optimum in the heat; I proved I could still get in a tough ride in extreme conditions and not collapse in a heap along the side of the road. More important, however, is that I am usually not at all proficient at eating & drinking enough on long rides; by paying attention to fluid and fuel I am a much stronger rider.

Good thing I was diligent about hydration on this ride! Pre- and post-ride weigh ins showed a 5lb weight loss during this workout. Poor hydration on this ride would have been tragic. Fatally tragic.

Training Check-In

Remember, I’m doing weekly updates of my training progress to stay honest with the “Commit” part of my TFAC process. So, how did this past week go?

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run @ 6:17/mile
The legs are coming back around! The calf muscles were a bit tight, but sometimes tight is fast, right?

Wednesday: Unplanned rest day – an important series of meetings kept me in Pasadena much later than normal.

Thursday: Swim 1500m with 16 x 50m intervals; Bike 15.9 miles with 6 x 90 second intervals; Run 7 mile tempo @ 6:26/mile.
Added the missed swim & bike from Wednesday to the run planned for Thursday. The speed is certainly back, as I took the Strava run course record on The Strand (beach trail) in Hermosa Beach from Herondo to the Pier! 0.8 miles in 3:40 – average pace of 4:48/mile. I’ve been coveting this segment, and finally made it mine!

Friday: Swim 1500m with 8 x 100m intervals; Bike 45 min easy
Took the ride easy, until some 20-something kid saw me biking on the Esplanade along the beach and decided to keep up. He regretted that decision when I slammed on the accelerator on the climb up from Torrance Beach – I crested, came back down, and was the recipient of his defeated, pained expression as he was still cranking away halfway up the climb.

Saturday: Endurance (slower) 8 mile run @ 6:57/mile
It was hot. I kept the pace moderate. No injuries were the goal. Mission accomplished.

Sunday: Endurance 39 mile bike.
1900+ feet of  climbs. Brutal heat. Heavy winds. Yep, pretty stinking awesome! Skipped the planned swim (1800m), but got that in this morning on my rest day.

Totals: 89.7 miles for the week, 7300 calories
Swim: 1.9 miles at 24:54/mile. Fastest swim week to date… but it was low volume.
Bike: 66.8 miles at 18.06mph. Fast week, particularly considering the hills/wind on Sunday.
Run: 21.0 miles at 6:35/mile. Fastest run week this training cycle… healthy again!

Temperatures are supposed to drop this week. Phew!

Stay safe out there!

This entry was posted in Training Check-In. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s