Forced Death March – Or Resuming Training in 101 Degrees

by Carilyn on September 15, 2012

Don’t let the view fool you – you could cook french fries on one of those boulders.

So, since I didn’t get to run a bazillion miles (that was my goal – realistic, huh?) last weekend in Poland, I figured it was time to get back on the figurative horse and resume my training. I opted for a trail run because I wasn’t completely sure if my knee really was okay, or just faking being okay. Dirt seemed like a much better idea than pavement. Plus, since I’m slightly scarred by looped courses at the moment, I figured a trail run was the way to go for my psyche, as well.

I slept until 6:00 and made it to the trail head by 7:00. This seemed like a perfectly reasonable time – fully light out (I was running alone), but still early enough to get in an easy 20 miler. Or so I thought. Somehow I missed the forecast that said it was going to be 101 degrees by noon in the San Gabriel Valley. Hellooooo? Didn’t anyone tell the weatherman that it is September? Clearly this heat wave is his fault.

At the last minute, I ditched my bottles and decided to fill my hydration vest with ice water. Maybe I’m psychic (or more likely still remembering the many times I’ve been stuck on a trail with no water – planning ahead isn’t one of my strengths). This vest ended up saving my disorganized keister about 4 hours into my run when I found myself on the top of a mountain and realized that it was hot. Really, really, really hot. Why had I decided that a long trail run was a good idea? Clearly I’m still delusional from fainting last weekend.

Anyway, I was bound and determined to run 20 miles, so I swigged from my vest (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?), and cursed the sun, while simultaneously wondering what the symptoms are for heat stroke. At one point, I thought I heard something growling and started wondering if it would be worse to die by mountain lion mauling or heat stroke. Yes, it was that kind of run.

On the positive side, I finished the 20 miles and my knee seems fine. On the negative side, the rest of me feels like crap. But I got a good tan.

Happy Running!




Scott Koepp September 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Texas trail sounds more awesomer than loops, however I’m just starting to loop dee loop myself so I can be headstrong for ultracentric. I hope.

Kate September 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Go you! Yea for enough water! Boo for 101 degrees! We had sooo many 100+ degree days thus summer, and now 70 feels chilly. Sigh. This weather is making me wimpy.

Carilyn September 16, 2012 at 6:49 am

So exciting that you are doing Ultracentric, Scott! I really loved that race! Good luck!

Carilyn September 16, 2012 at 6:50 am

I’m with you, Kate! I hate being hot and then I complain about being cold! Maybe it’s our age 😉

Char September 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

How do you do it?! 20 miles in those temperatures is seriously impressive and really hard core. Your temperatures are insane for this time of the year but I’m actually enjoying a spring that’s lasted more than one or two days – usually we go straight from winter to summer. So if you have to have a longer summer so I can get a spring, I hope you have a few more warmish days (but not over 100 please).

Kent September 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hurray for you for putting the past behind and forging on into the future. That run sounded pretty miserable. As you may already know, back east here the culprit is the relentless humidity. I did a 20 mile trail run over labor day weekend as a training run for my first marathon next month. The humidity was 85% at the start of the race! Thankfully the sun wasn’t out; you only had to cut your way through the air. Sadly to say that though I finished and felt reasonably well (all things considered) at the end, I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg when I got home. Long story short: I have hip bursitis and haven’t run a step since. I guess the 20 miler was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Because I’m not 28 – I apparently think I can train like one – but am 58 and the body just doesn’t bounce back the way it used to (Duh!!), I am looking at most likely having to drop out of the marathon in Oct. First pretty significant injury for me in the 2 years I’ve been running, but I’m always encouraged by folks like yourself who show me how to move on (no pressure).

Carilyn September 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Trust me, Char, it was miserable and I was a big baby the last 5 miles.

Carilyn September 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Oh no, Kent! I’m so sorry! Sometimes the training gets the best of us. Don’t give up! Cross train and pick a new race. You’ve worked so hard!

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