Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Sad, Sad Tale of a Sweltering Twelve Mile Adventure Run

Today our training plan said to run 12 miles, which would be just fine on any other day. Unfortunately the training plan doesn't take into account unbearable weather or pirates. That's right, there were pirates.
The plan was to start at about seven this morning to try and get done before the worst of the heat and humidity. It was very hot and humid from the start, and when we finished the thermometer said 88 degrees. I've always been sensitive to the heat, and my asthma tends to get worse the hotter it gets, so it was not a pleasant run for me.
We started out with me limping and moaning from my left hip pain. There was some discussion about feeling as though we were trying to breathe under water, with the high humidity. A bit of complaining of too little sleep added in for flavor, and a pinch of 'how far are we running?' for pizazz.
All was well once my hip eased up a bit and we started to wake up and stretch out. Ran out into the country outside of Jo's town, then along the lake for a bit. I was starting to get really hot and my seizures got pretty active. When we hit mile 6 I had to stop and lay down in the grass. I felt really sick from the heat and wasn't doing so well. Threw some water on my face (and tried to throw Jo's water on her but she blocked it with her ninja-like reflexes) and started back out. I went back and forth between feeling okay and feeling dizzy, too hot, and seeing dots and stars. Jo was hot (but as my husband would say, she always is hot...she's become my 'hot friend Jo' and I never stop hearing about it) but looking strong and doing well.
After last week's long run my husband (I believe in an attempt to sound like a hard-core runner and impress 'Hot Jo') asked us if we are going to add Fartleks to our training program this time around. Now, if you are not familiar, they are a type of speedwork. This came up about a mile into our run, and a serious conversation ensued. "What a terrible name for a training element"...."Fart-Lick"...... "What good can come of fart-licking while running?"..... and this evolved into a rather nasty discussion of "Shart-licks", which would at least add some electrolytes or minerals, or something that could help one's performance.
At about mile 7.5 we encountered our second major problem. A pirate ship. It was docked along the running trail in the marina. The skull and crossbones flag flew high on the mast. We looked around nervously for the pirates, as they tend to be dangerous scoundrels, savvy? A dark and ominous cloud hung low over the ship and and a strange odor wafted toward us. It consumed me. I coughed. And suddenly there was the source...the female pirate and her Chanel no5 were getting out of their Lexus, gathering mimosas for their morning sail. It was a tad disappointing. Pirates have changed since I last saw one. Granted, that was in a movie theater and his name was Johnny Depp. But he makes one sexy pirate with the hair and the makeup and the hat and the boots and the gold tooth and the puffy shirt....savvy?
We altered our route at mile 9 and decided not to run the tressle bridge over the lake, as it would be terribly hot out there with no shade to protect us. Again I was feeling quite ill, as though I was overheating, and had to sit down on a curb in the shade. Took a drink and stood up and Jo threatened to throw her water on me. I spread out my arms, closed my eyes and braced for the cold impact. And it didn't come. I opened my eyes and she was just looking at me with this expression that said, "are you seriously that strange?". I encouraged her and she said that as much as she would LOVE to, she just couldn't do it...she just "wasn't that type of person". Hmm, well la-di-da, Jo, I'm surprised that you've chosen to associate with someone of my type for all of these years. But then she did it. And the luke-warm splash that hit me was like heaven. As we decided, it was like the Nes-tea Plunge, except it was water (not tea) and I was standing up, not doing a back-flop.
We headed back towards her house and I did better again for a while. Then I started getting REALLY cold. I had goosebumps everywhere and was shivering. I thought this was a tad odd, since it was 88 degrees and I'd been running in the sun for about two hours...but we perservered. At mile 11.6 we decided that enough was enough and walked the last mile back to her house, where I layed spread-eagle in the cool grass of her front lawn and eventually entertained her neighbors with various toe-touching, hip-swiveling stretches, and Jo took of her running shirt to show me her 'hot' shoulders. Then we engaged in a rousing muscle-flexing competition and I headed home to an ice bath (to which I added a substantial amount of ice cubes this week, due to my very painful hip).

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