Here Comes The Heat

If you're into endurance sports you MUST see the film Running on the Sun. It documents the running of the most bad-ass ultramarathon on the planet. OK, so running in Death Valley should be enough. No, they did more. They ran in Death Valley in July, for 135 miles in 120° heat, and over three mountain ranges. Damn!

I was totally blown away by the movie and its participants. I guess I've been looking for someone who participates in one of the endurance events to share an epiphany or two why they do it. I've heard plenty of reasons that were macho, testosterone-based reasons or reasons that were purely emotional. There are many reasons why people do it and the reasons vary for each individual. I'm looking for the reason I'd lock onto. I've come to the conclusion that words won't do it justice or describe it in any way. In fact, it'll only detract from its purity. I'm almost locked in on it and think it related to a frequency/vibration phenomenon. No words but actions.

If you're sqeemish about blistered feet, you may want to have your finger on the fast-forward button of the remote when watching the movie. there are several times when it gets sort of disgusting. Speaking of which, ever since the Kahuna fell off the cliff in the pre-race of Xterra, he's been blogging about athlete's feet. Not athlete's foot, the nasty stuff, but photos of athlete's feet. He just finished conducting the firt Feet Olympics from which people sent photos of their feet to him for judging. Anyway, the whole thing's chronicled on his site. To get the whole story you'll have to listen to back issues of the Kahuna and Iron Wil's podcasts.

I think I've seen the last of the really cool days for awhile. The temperature is starting to creep back up in time for July 4th. I traded a morning run for the evening yesterday, as I had to take the car in for repairs. It wasn't so bad with the breeze and low humidity. The six miles felt very comfortable on the track. Inserted the core, yoga and resistance back into the program for this week, as well as my supplements. I've also added more calories to the diet.

tags: , , , , , ,

Not So Normal Weather

Wow!, a cool front moved through and what a morning. Fifty-seven degrees and by the time I got out the door, it was 63°. Incredible!!! There's nothing like a few degrees coolness to bring down the times for the five miles. Five minutes less. I hope it holds for a few more days. Swim at lunch and abs tonight.

Normal Weather Pattern

The weather was much more condusive for a run this morning. Seventy degrees, an eight mile-per-hour breeze, and humidity down to 68% made for more favorable conditions than last week. The forecast calls for a few mornings in the sixties, so I plan to keep running in the mornings this week and add back in the strength training, as well as the swimming and a little cycling.

I ran my first long run of the season on Sunday at the Town Lake Trail. Eight miles on a very crowded trail. Musicians, strollers, dogs and an incredible number of cyclists were along the route. It happened that the Subaru Urban Assault Race, the Mother of All Adventure Races was taking place.

Humid But Good Run

This morning the humidity was still high at 94% with a temperature at 7:00 a.m. at 79°. However, the five-mile run was good. I settled into a pace that felt like it could continue forever, which was 13 minutes per mile, with an average heart rate of 127. In fact, the heart rate never pushed over 130 and it only reached that high when the sun appeared behind the clouds for a minute or two.

125 Formula Needs Some Tweaking

Yesterday, when I mentioned the "125 formula," the formula that states when the numbers for temperature and humidity combine for over 125, then certain runners don't run as the conditions aren't too favorable. Yesterday, I would have agreed with the formula. Today, I'm not too sure. I think the formula needs some tweaking to take into account additional variables.

Temperature and humidity values this morning should have caused me not to run. Temperature 78°. Humidity 90%. So 78 + 90 = 168, which was greater than the 165 value yesterday. I should have felt worse today, compared to yesterday. That was not the case. A cool breeze of say five miles an hour and no sun contributed to keeping my heart rate at 136. A light rain started to fall at the start of the third mile so a true comparison was not possible. The light rain also lowered the heart rate by about six points. So heat and humidity are not the only variables that play into the equation.

I did get up early this morning, only to park my gluteus maximus in front of the TV to watch the morning programs after looking online for the temp. and humidity and deciding it was too high to run. But after T and Travis came back from a long walk and weren't drenched in sweat, saying it was cool outside, I decided to venture out.

Dis the Alarm, Pay the Price

My first real day of vacation in a long time, I decided to sleep in and disregard the alarm, as well as the second and third. Ahhhh, sleeping in felt so good. By the time I ate breakfast, got dressed and left for the track, it was 87°. Not too bad. I would run with a little elevated heart rate and sweat a little more, no big deal. What I didn't know at the time was that the humidity had doubled in recent days, due to the rains on Saturday and Sunday.

I ran five miles at the track, while the Bowie High School footabll team went through summer drills. By the fifth mile I was spent and sweating like a pig.

I checked the humidity when I got home and it was at 78%. Someone on one of the running forums recently stated they don't run when the temperature and the humidity combined adds up to over 125. Well, let's see. 87 + 78 = 165. Wow, forty points over. Realistically, the temperature wasn't going to be forty degrees less today, but I guess I could have run at 67° if I had not disregarded the alarms and pushed my gluteus maximus out of bed.

Five Alarms Work Well

I set five alarms on the bed stand and felt that should do the trick. It did. The temperature had already climbed to 80 degrees by 6:00 a.m., but wasn't too bad as the humidity was low.


For some reason, I've taken up baking the last three weeks. Don't ask me why, I just have. Cinnamon rolls, brioche, sopapillas, apricot kolaches and now loafed bread. It's got my night and morning schedule all wound up in a knot. By the time I feel like turning the dough, it sets a process in motion where I usually pull the bread out of the oven about 11:00 p.m., two hours after I'm supposed to be in bed to wake up early the next morning and run. Needless to say, I haven't been up lately at 4:30 a.m.

The baking hasn't contributed gobs of weight...knock on wood... However, if I don't start running in the mornings again, it won't happen, as we're in the second of three consecutive Ozone Action Days and the air is unbearable in the afternoons and evenings. It's been 95° at five o'clock the last couple of days and unless I jump into the pool right after a run, I tend to overheat for the rest of the night.

I have a couple of loaves to appease my new found addiction until the weekend. Tonight it's to bed early for an early morning run.

CapTexTri Photos

The CaptexTri photos have been published by Kreutz Photography.

OK, Enough Already...Kaizen

Back and forth on whether to do the Distance Challenge (DC) and include the marathon or not. Done. I'm not doing the DC and not doing the marathons. Here's the lineup for next season.

  • June - nothing planned
  • July - nothing planned
  • August - nothing planned
  • September 10 - Dilloman (sprint triathlon)
  • October 22 - Girl Scout River City 10-Miler
  • November 12 - Motive Bison Half Marathon
  • December 3 - Decker 20K
  • January 28 - 3M Half Marathon
  • February - Austin Half Marathon
  • March - nothing planned
  • April 2 - Capital 10,000
  • May 29 - CapTex Tri (sprint triathlon)

With the schedule above I can stay within a certain length of running events that will benefit my triathlons, without weeks of recovery, and then persue a more rigorous triathlon schedule for next spring and summer. The word that describes next season is "Kaizen" change for the better or improvement. I will continue to strive for improvement and then move on...Olympic Triathlon, Xterra, Half-Ironman, Ironman, marathon, whatever may come.

Like New Italian Cycling Jersey Arrived

The new cycling jersey arrived from Italy yesterday. Perfect fit and like new. Not bad for $9.50, plus shipping. I had almost forgotten that it was coming as the EBay auction on this item closed on April 27. Ah, good things do come to those who wait.

tags: ,

The new jersey arrived from Italy yesterday.

Minnow Status

I'm no longer an eel. I've graduated to minnow status. The last couple of swim sessions I worked on strokes per length (SPL) of the pool. For the 25-meter pool, I kept arriving at the edge with 21 strokes or 1.19 meters per stroke. Sad, very sad I know. However, with a few drills and the help of Da Fish, I got it down to 15 SPL (1.66 meters per stroke) today. Not one length at 15, but 15 strokes over and over again. It felt more efficient, less labor intensive. Even the flip turns came a little easier today. I've moved from using the swim session for laps only to build the swimming endurance, to a more logical session of drills to improve efficiency.

The heat outside is too much to train in without substantial recovery time. Ozone Action days and triple-digit heat has confined me to early morning runs, the gym and to the pool. No outdoor long bike runs or long runs will be scheduled until the heat waves passes. That should come about the end of September. Ugh!

tags: , ,

What Was I Thinking?

Just a few days after posting the "It's Been a Year" commentary I have done a reversal of thought. Runtex published an article describing this fall's Distance Challenge proposed lineup. I had planned to scrap the marathon in February to run the River City 10-Miler in March. However, with the new lineup, the River City 10-Miler has been included as one of the Distance Challenge events, and scheduled for the fall. In addition, it looks like there will be new routes and sponsors which may improve the experience. So now I'm torn whether to do the Distance Challenge or not. To do a marathon or not. Except for the IBM 10K and the marathon, I wanted to run most of the events.

Dilloman is going to happen in September. The Austin TriAthletes posted the registration information the other day and it's scheduled for September 10. I signed up so Dilloman is the only one scheduled at this point until I figure out what to do in the fall and spring.

New Measurements

It was time to take some new measurements. Here they are.

6/15/05 8/19/05 11/5/05 2/17/06 5/31/06
weight 178 168 166 154 158
chest 41.25 40.25 38.5 39 40
gut inhale 35 35 33 32 32
gut exhale 38 36.5 36 35 35
waist 35 35 34 33.5 33
hips 38 36 35.75 36 35.25
thigh L 21 21.5 21 20.5 22
thigh R 21 21.5 21 20.5 21.5
calf 15 15 15 14.5 14.75
bicep L 13 13 12.75 12.5 13
bicep R 13.25 13 13 13 13.25
neck 15 15 14.5 14.5 14.75

Northwest Pool

I checked out the Northwest pool today during lunch for a 40-minute swim. Not too chlorinated and best of all there was hardly anybody there. Da Fish and I each had our separate lanes for the first time this season. This was my first time back in the water since the triathlon and I was a little stiff. My breathing was off so today I decided to relax, concentrate on the bilateral breathing, stroke length, and flipturns. Stroke length averaged about 1.2 yards and my breathing finally relaxed to eight strokes per breath. It was a perfect workout for such a hot day.

tags: , ,