In my 20 years’ living in the United States, I’ve never known an August as cool as this one. In fact, when I first arrived in the US (I lived in Maryland for the first few years) it was August, and I didn’t think I could survive the interminable heat and insufferable humidity. I didn’t have clothes for this kind of weather, and immediately bought one of those floaty sundresses, wearing it practically all the time. I couldn’t even contemplate running in this weather. I recall trying an evening run (morning running was not my thing as a 21-year-old) and feeling as if I was being slow roasted on a barbecue. I took up sailing instead. At least the water was coolish.
But this August – and in fact, this entire summer – has been delightful here in Virginia. Sure, we’ve had a couple of sticky days as reminders of what we usually endure on a daily basis, but for the most part, temperatures have been more than bearable. Usually during the summer I have to start my run at 5:30am (I managed to adapt to morning running in my late twenties) and even then it’s often a sweatfest, but this summer I’ve been able to delay until 6:30 or even later (I ran at 9 on Friday!), at which time it’s still really nice.
The pool has been chilly. Usually this time of year it’s like a tepid bathtub; even the beetles that fall in lie around in a stupor, too hot to try to fight the inevitable. I like to swim in the morning, before the water becomes hazy with sunscreen, and this summer the first few laps are a bit of a shock to the system. This morning I had to swim at 7am, the earliest I’ve swum all summer. I wore my wetsuit. Granted, I didn’t really need it as neither the air (66 degrees) nor the water was all that cold, but I didn’t overheat, either. I wore it because I was doing a race simulation workout, and
struggling with practicing wetsuit removal is an important part of race simulation so you don’t look like a complete idiot on race day.
Speaking of races, my race at the WTS Grand Final in Edmonton is just 12 days away. My bike leaves tomorrow. I leave a week from Tuesday. My race is Friday, August 29th. And the weather in Edmonton? Pretty much the same as it is here right now! I’m now well into the sharpening phase of training. Yesterday’s workout was with the coach – 12 mile ride at race pace, 1 mile run at race pace. Three times. I was feeling fine after the first lap. My legs were a little rubbery when I stepped off the bike after the 2nd lap, which was the fastest at 19.9mph. After the 3rd lap, my legs were buckling underneath me on the run, but I managed a 6:30 split. My legs ached like crazy the rest of the day. I wanted to sleep but they hurt too much. Today’s workout was 1000m swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run, 5 mile bike, 1 mile run. On the 5 mile bike I was attacked by a gigantic bee-type creature while in aero. It flew into my helmet (which I’m glad has a bug net) and then fell onto my arm. I had just flicked it away when I felt something else hit my helmet. Then all of a sudden the heavens opened and I was caught in a torrential downpour. Fortunately no other plagues followed and I finished up the workout with my younger son accompanying me on the bike as I ran the mile. I realized during the run, while he asked me questions incessantly and I tried to give single-word answers, that he actually runs a mile faster than I do, so I should have had him run and not ride. Might have kept him quiet.
One of the things I’ve been working on the past few weeks is the diet. I have cut out all the
things I likeÂ junk and am eating and drinking healthy stuff. I find that I eat too much when sitting at my desk, so I have resorted to this tactic:
Well, it’s an idea anyway. The main thing is to get enough fluids and eat the right types of food – lots of protein, natural anti-inflammatories, healthy fats and carbs, etc. One way I’ve dealt with the cravings is by making a chocolate protein smoothie: 8oz almond milk, a scoop of chocolate muscle milk, a kiwi, a banana, some spinach, and lots of ice. Tastes fabulous!
Sleep is another thing I’ve been working on. 7.5 hours per night at a minimum. At 41, recovery takes longer, and the effects of lack of sleep last longer, unfortunately.
Just the other day this came in the mail:
I left things a little late and had to do the expedited service to make sure I had it in time, but I figured it would be easier than traveling with my United Kingdom passport and naturalization certificate. So my trip to Canada will be my first trip as a US Citizen, using my US passport!
South Riding Triathlon is next Sunday, an event I’ve competed in 4 times. I wasn’t planning on racing 5 days out from a world championship, and wouldn’t have wanted to without my race bike, but then a friend mentioned that his daughter’s relay team had lost their biker to a soccer tournament. I couldn’t resist, and offered to fill the spot. So I am the old cat on the Wildcat’s team…going for the win, of course, although I have to ride my old bike!
12 days and counting…