Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Heat training started in earnest last night (Monday).

The looks on the faces of the fine folks in the health club sauna...well, I wish I could put a price on their stares. I'd make more than a few bucks.

The temperature on the (notoriously unreliable) thermometer registered a steady 170 degrees F...ample to fry the brain of the ignorant ultrarunner who comes into this cedar box unprepared for its unforgiving ways. I split the 30 minute session into three parts: 10 minutes of sitting, 10 minutes of pacing, and another 10 minutes of sitting.

I almost made the entire 30 minutes. With 2 minutes left, it was more than I could take, and I had to exit. That's o.k. A journey of a thousand miles... (or in this case, a journey of 135-miles in Death Valley...).

Thanks for taking this (warm) journey with me. My best to all of my friends (especially my peeps from the 503, the 541, the 206, the 360, the 425, and the 509) who find themselves in Squaw Valley/Auburn, CaliforniAY for the Super Bowl of ultrarunning, the Western States 100. I spoke with friend Gail this evening, who hopes to simply finish the race. She will. Friend Ronda has put forth some informative missives on her dealings with the heat as she gets ready to toe the line at Squaw on Saturday. After last year's finish line drama, this year is sure to be a doozy. Good luck to all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You could always play up the odd duck sauna role... here are some suggestions of scenes I've witnessed in the winter of Wisconsin that you could build on:

1. Sean Harrington running on the treadmill in the sauna in prep for MSD. Just the act of pulling in the treadmill is enough to throw folks off their benches!

2. Michael Boehmer growing out all hair to resemble a very skinny, blond-patchy bearded Grizzly Adams in a black rubber sweat suit top and hunter orange snow pants just riding to class or doing full-on training rides in a half foot of snow on his cross bike prepping for USAT worlds in Mexico years ago.

And for shits and giggles, I'd love to hear some dialogue like those of cute older ladies in European saunas. One makes an obvious statement, any statement, and all the others spend the next 5 minutes agreeing with her before taking their next sip of wine or beer! (Completely oblivious to any diuretic effects, of course.) And if you need a script, it goes something like... "Whew... it's hot in here. ... Ja, ja. It sure is. I can't believe how hot it is. Mmm hhh. (heads nodding) .... I think we should have ourselves another glass..."

Good Luck!