Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rain in June: what is going on?

You remember my post on Miwok which I titled "Is it May yet?" And our start in the fog at Ohlone least week? Well, it rained again this week in the Bay Area. Something I had not seen for the ten years I have been living here, and which came to the surprise of many other long-time Californians! Just a few drops but enough clouds to keep the temperatures really nice for running. That is, nice if you are not trying to get some heat training before Western States... By the way, thunderstorms and snow on the Sierras were expected for this weekend, so I do not know what this means for us in 3 weeks. At least the canyons will not have stored and accumulated as much heat as in previous years. With this unpredictable weather, no wonder it is so hard to make people act on the global warming issue... which global warming anyway...?

After Ohlone, my goal this week was primarily heat training, more than miles or speed. I ended up putting in 65 miles, for a weekly total of 96 including last Sunday's race, with a mix of experiences, see for yourself:
  1. Monday - 6.5-mile recovery jog on road just below 7 min/mile.
  2. Tuesday - 6-mile jog at the track at 6 am, so definitely no heat training.
  3. Wednesday - 9.3-mile Rogue/PG&E loop, 1,500 ft elevation, with three long layers on
  4. Thursday - 4.5 miles including one of the most difficult speed work sessions I have had with Bob in a while: a series of 12 200-meter repeats in 30 to 33 seconds each, with 30-second rests. That left me breathless...
  5. Friday - The same 9.3-mile Rogue/PG&E loop in 1:08 (4 minutes off my PR), with three long and black layers on for a good sweat
  6. Saturday - 29 miles and 4,700 ft elevation, see below for the details.
This Saturday, our weekly group run which rotates across 4 locations between Woodside and Cupertino, was starting from the Rhus Ridge entrance into Rancho San Antonio County Park. I parked at the main entrance and gathered with the rest of the group at the top of Chamise, on our way to Black Mountain. I had three layers on again, more than what I ever wear in Winter even when training at Lake Tahoe. It was not hot by any mean, but that was enough to give me a good sweat going up hill. The group first did split at the top of Black Mountain then, later on at Foothills. I ran back to Rhus Ridge with Ianni back to Rhus Ridge, and returned solo to the main parking lot.

Not only was I feeling tired after the lack of rest since Ohlone, but I felt so heavy carrying my soaked layers. I managed to complete the loop in 4:35 of effective running time and 5:05 of elapsed time, allowing for good breaks to socialize with the rest of the group. Now, here is a few additional numbers showing that I still need to work on my heat training and hydration. I really felt exhausted after this run and there may be a physiological reason. First, I did it on only 3 GU gels, i.e. 300 calories (instead of the 2,900 calories reported by SportTracks). Second, I felt like I had drunk enough with 2 20-oz bottles of GU2O and 4 16-oz bottles of water, but that was surely not enough according to the following experiment. When I got back home, I rushed on the scale: 125 pounds with all my layers (except the shoes) and 119.5 pounds without. The following day, the same dry clothes were weighting 1.5 pounds, which meant they were carrying 4 pounds of sweat. Furthermore, I've never gone below 120 pounds, estimating my optimal racing weight to be around 125-126 lbs.
The problem was not much that I was "carrying" these extra 4 pounds, but that these 4 pounds of fluid were outside my body! Thankfully I had refuelled by the end of the day. Getting so depleted is surely not something I want to experience on race day in 3 weeks, and I will make sure to leverage all the aid stations along the way, my favorite part of ultras!

At the time I write this post on Sunday afternoon, the sky is pure blue, free from any cloud, and the temperature above 70F so maybe this week will be hot enough to get some real and natural heat training.

Have a good week!


Nancy Miller said...

Wow again! Please don't lose any more weight. I worry about your health. I know you're aware of all that you need to do to keep yourself in top shape or you wouldn't be where you are today. I wish you good training weather to come and good luck in your next run.
Hugs to you!

paleopeter said... are right on lots of complete meat, fish, poultry and eggs so you recover ...keep the carbs down for the next few me if you have any doing this you are training your body to be a fat burning machine.

Anonymous said...

En espérant, pour ton entrainement, qu'il fait plus chaud qu'ici (l'appart n'est plus chauffé et c'est limite pour la toilette!)

Anonymous said...

You are too thin. Get your weight up or you will seriously injure yourself.

The few minutes you lose by having a few extra pounds are not worth your health.

Have you considered whether your are an anorexic/bulimic type? I am serious. Please be careful.