Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running in the mid-west in the summer, frankly, sucks ass. The temperatures during the day range from the upper 80's through the low 100's and when you add humidity on top of that... YUCK. The nights aren't any better.. temps don't usually get lower then the mid 80's. So keeping motivated during the hot summer days can be difficult. A week ago, I started my run at 6:30 am, it was already in the mid 80's and rising quickly, the humidity was high enough that within 5 minutes of starting my run, I was literally drenched. To compound things, the bugs are ridiculous right now, so I'm covered in sticky sweat and bugs are landing on me and becoming glued to my skin.... and then I start hitting the spiderwebs. I know spiders are smart critters, but when they build huge webs right down the middle of the trail, I have to question their smarts. I grab a long branch and run, wielding my web stick knocking down huge webs and HUGE spiders as I trot along. Usually I try not to disturb nature while I run, but I have no choice in these instances... build the web on the side of the trail and no one gets "bugged", down the middle and you're gonna be rebuilding that thing over and over again.
At the start of the summer, the webs and spiders are small and you can just run right through them without a second thought, by the time August rolls around, these suckers are the size of your fist and the webs are so strong that I've literally bounced off them before. I guess, what I'm trying to say here is that running hasn't been as fun as usual here. I'm really looking forward to running in some other places (Portland, Colorado & Australia) and really looking forward to fall running. I'm craving running through that crisp, cool fall air.

Originally I was going out to The Mt Hood/PCT 50 miler to crew and pace for my friend Christy, but then another friend was not able to use her entry so now I'm just going to run the whole thing with Christy. We train together quite a bit and though my pace is a bit faster then hers, we're still able to make things work... for instance during the PCT race, I will run the whole thing at her speed, both to give her companionship during her first 50 miler and to keep me from running too fast a race just one month before Leadville. Then during Leadville she will pace me in the later miles when I'm moving much slower. Even with the nasty heat and spiderwebs, training has been going well, I've been lifting 4 days a week, doing hill repeats once a week, and the rest of the time trying to get in as much mileage as possible....I hope PCT feels good and goes well, since I'm pretty much out of time. Not a whole lot left to do to prepare for Leadville now but pray and try not to dwell on it!

I bought a new (to me) car as part of my L-ville prep... I've been wanting a Honda Element for awhile and hitting a deer in my bug meant I needed something new. I'm pretty excited for all the room for gear and ease of cleaning and space for my crew (my husband) to stretch out and take a nap while waiting for me. It also means that my Great Dane Otis doesn't have to fold up like origami in the back the bug... it's a win-win situation for everyone!


Mike said...

You're going to rock Leadville! And congrats on the new car, I got a Subaru Outback for many of the same reasons recently and it changed my life :) Otis, like Jack (my dog), will love you for it.

Damn stupid spiders - urgh

Kim said...

Congrats on the new car! Seems to fit you so well.

You and Christy have a great time at PCT. Sounds like a blast!

I'm with you on the running here in the midwest-it sucks in the summer. I, too, am looking forward to the cooler weather (although the past week as been pretty fabulous).

Slomohusky said...

Midwest summer running sucks? You could always trade it for the ever lovely 115 degrees Vegas had this weekend. Couple that with the wind - you know exactly what the inside of a pizza oven is.

Enjoy your Element.

Mt. Hood is gorgeous. If you have time, go to the Coast (Cannon Beach especially) or Bend, Ore. The Columbia River Gorge is also somewhere one needs to be. While in Portland Voodoo Doughnuts and Powells City of Books is a must. I am sure you will find enough Vegan spots to eat.

Talula Does the Hula said...

During our dog walk yesterday we were hitting spider webs, and this was in South Plaza on the sidewalk. I was trying to imagine what they're like on the trail. Yuck.

David Ray said...

Nice ride! And at least our spiders won't kill you. Just wait till you get to Australia, home of all things deadly. :)

HappyTrails said...

I love your Element - nice color combo! You will do great at Leadville-enjoy the whole ride! Bonus: no spiders at altitude! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sweet ride! Congrats on the new car. You always seem to be in cars that fit you -- the bug and now this Element.

Good luck at PCT if I don't see you. I'm sure you'll finish it with EASE and then transition nicely into Pb-ville. No doubt about it.

Hope to see you soon.

Cynical Dirt Doll said...

Thanks for all the encouragement folks!

Mike- I love the Outback wagon.. that would have been my #2 choice in cars.

Kim- it has been amazing.. I actually have my a/c turned off in my house.. yikes!

Brad- You win when it comes to heat.. but (ready for it?) the dry heat is SOOOO different! I wish I was going to be in Oregon longer.. I LOVE the coast, I've spent a few vacations there but this will be my first time up on Mt Hood.

David- I stay VERY far away from any and all insect life/animal life while down under!

Kathleen- good point! I hadn't thought about that.. SCORE!

Mircea- Miss you! I expect you to be fully healed and back on the trails full time by the time I get back from all my travels in October! That's an order!

Anonymous said...

Too warm? haha, whaddasensayuma! I guess you forgot all those 4-degree January and February runs. Are you sure those are webs you're bouncing off? I thought webs were supposed to catch and hold you. Have a great time in Oregon (I know you will), and don't drink too much beer. And be careful. 31 days to Pbville!