Ok… Me and Ma Nature need to work on our timing… Yesterday I went to a group swim at Finger Lakes. The forecast was for scattered showers, high around 90 and HYOO-MID. This is fine for a swim though. The water is always pretty humid… I pulled into the parking lot to see a thunderstorm to our north (and moving away) and broken cloud cover.
I got in the water and it felt awesome. Perfect temperature. I made mistake number one though when I failed to put sunscreen on my back. I went out for an 1100 yard lap with a few friends. The swim felt much better than Friday’s debacle. I was tracking straighter and felt like I was floating a little more balanced. I was still slow, but I’m working on looking straight down and pushing my chest down into the water and it seems to be helping, it just doesn’t feel natural yet. Even though my time was still very slow (over 4 minutes slower than I swim with a wetsuit) I managed to knock a minute off the total time without much change in effort. It’s a good start.
In fact, I got back and was talking with a couple of other people and felt so good that I decided to go again! I told myself that I would only go to the end of the lake this time and skip the dogleg back into the cove. But I got to the end and still felt fine so I did the full lap…! This was a first for me and the longest I have swam (continuously) this year.
When I got back I was pretty pumped and failed to notice that slight, bacon frying smell coming off of my back.
The clouds, by now, had cleared out behind the storm and it was 100% sunshine. The temp was about 88. I know! LET’S GO FOR A RUN!!!!! And not just a one or two miler… I feel great! How about 6! …mistake #2. I did at least manage to put on a singlet but the sunburn damage had already been done. Mile one felt great but each successive mile withered me a little more. A friend (thanks Steve!) passed me on his way out of the park and offered me a bottle of water. I think it saved my life.
The course is an out and back on park roads. The speed limits are 20 for the first part and 40 for about a mile (STRICTLY enforced) so it’s really safe. But as I made the turn to come home I noticed that, even though there are trees everywhere along the road… there was ZERO shade. Lessee… No shade. No clouds. The back half was with the breeze so… no wind. It was at this point I switched to survival mode. The air temp may have been below 90, but the road was over 100 easy. I spent the rest of the loop run/walking and looking miserable. So much so that another friend (thanks Uwe!!) handed me an ice cold water bottle on his way out! I don’t get this much support on runs I pay for! After sucking all of the cold out of the bottle by placing it on my Carotid arteries until the bottle was hot, I convinced myself to run the sun and walk the shady parts. Unfortunately, this meant I didn’t walk much.
When I finally got back to the parking lot I was cooked inside and out. Another cold bottle of water from the group that was still there made things better and they even offered me ice cream (which, at that point, made me queasy to even think about). The only thing that made me feel better was getting in my car (sitting down) and cranking the A/C.
I will not complain about the heat like I did about the snow/cold. I just need to get used to it and that will take some time. So why am I upset with Ma Nature? As I was driving out of the park, I noticed that the next round of storms were starting to build and that it was getting cloudy. By the time I got home, the temperature was falling. Ten minutes later it was raining. I REALLY could have used that about an hour earlier…
Tinman is in a week! Let me know if you are going!!