Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall...? Where are you??

Autumn is my favorite time of the year--when the weather starts cooling down, Halloween candy is stocked on the shelves in the stores for me to salivate over and the mornings are perfect for running.

But, alas, the weather Gods seem to be punishing Arizona for some reason. It has been 109 on Saturday and 102 on Sunday with record-breaking temperatures...three words that are on the news almost everyday.

This weekend was a big training weekend and unfortunately, was so long I had no choice but to deal with the weather.

My 17 mile run on Saturday ended up with me running to the Circle K to buy Gatorade. I grabbed a bottle and yelled, "Gatorade, where have you been all my life?" And I was only at mile 14. It was a long, long 17 miles with salt forming on my head and face and the salty taste of the fruit punch Gatorade was so delicious down my throat.

I love to run at Kiwanis Park, this lovely park by my house where the kids feed the ducks in the pond and boys go fishing with their dads. Some kids like to count the amount of times I run around the lake because I tend to run it at least 17 or 18 times around. I love this park. Well, I got there on Saturday and the whole thing was torn up with metal fencing around it. Say what? My beautiful run and crowd watching were not going to come to fruition. I also love to run at this park because they have water fountains and bathrooms, which are especially helpful in the heat of the desert. Well, the city turned off all the water fountains and locked all the bathrooms. I ran there anyway and by the end after downing all my Gatorade and 1 gallon of water, I was holding onto the fence just to stay up. My electrolyte level was just too low from the heat and my stomach was cramping and legs felt icky.

Then afterward, I headed to the gym to swim.

On Sunday, I had my longest bike ride in 102 degrees. A group was riding the 87 highway and I had 100 miles to bike. 100! No exaggeration. 100 miles after my really difficult run on Saturday in my fabulously icky park. I started off well, taking in 300 calories per hour and following my nutrition plan. I cruised down the hill at 25 miles per hour and averaged around 20 mph for the first half of the course. Then....the heat came! Salty bikers in colorful shirts headed up the hill cursing the desert Gods for giving us this Indian summer. I had something happen to me that has never happened. Sometimes during biking I wear a headset, which a fellow biker did not appreciate. He biked near me to let me know how he felt about this and to tell me how bad a biker I was...hmm? What did I ever do to you? He then found me again several times along the highway and even came back around biking the opposite direction of traffic to bike next to me to yell very mean words to me. I told him I couldn't hear him because I was wearing my! That made him more upset, but I loved it.

I came back to a much needed shower, as I had grease and gel packets stuck to my skin. I am a beautiful biking sight! Ahhh, now to eat all the calories I can.