Friday, June 24, 2011
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Now some of you may have heard of the Badwater (Death valley...24 hour endurance race, 235 kilometeres)....yes thats what I said..... and even the Marathon des Sables (6 days 120 degrees 241 kilometers) and quite rightly will have difficulty getting your head around it.......me included. But this is what human beings can do; at least I think they're human beings. Anyway, my point is this, living in the South of France running in the summer in temps of 85 to 90 degrees is quite normal and for many, many runners not that exceptional......except I was born in Yorkshire and my ancient ancestors were Vikings! Now correct me if I am wrong but to an ex-Viking this is seriously tough and well outside my comfort zone. Factor 50 suncream, 3 litres of water and a hat is all I've got between me and the nearest Star and.......well I could run out of adjectives but if it sounds difficult thats because it is.
I take all manner of gels and power bars and isotonic drinks but all this plus water and pack adds about 3:5 kilograms or nearly 8 pounds in weight and tends to increase the discomfort further. True, you do lose all of this as you go but after 2 or 3 hours you don't get any cooler......you get hotter and thats when the next two problems can rear their ugly head. Dehydration is the obvious one and so stopping, getting into the shade and drinking liquid is the key, hence the isotonic drinks......but in severe cases you need to be on a drip!...Now unfortunately, last time I was in the mountains I didn't spot any sexy nurses with an affable bedside manner hanging around the place. However, bad as this is, there is a much bigger problem and its called Hypotremia.
After a run I stretch alot, take on more fluid; chocolate milk is another good replacement drink and eat and thats me done. My fellow runners may have other routines and suggestions and I will be grateful to pass these on.
There is an excellent video in six parts on You tube, see link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuIVN3fp0eU&feature=related that may give you some idea of what this blog 'Trail Junkie' is all about. Its a story about the Westen States 100 endurance run which I find fascinating and inspiring in equal measure. Its a dream and a holy grail for many runners, including myself, and if you get hooked you might just go out, buy some trainers and discover a whole new dimension. This years race starts Saturday 25th July at 5am West coast USA time and goes all the way through the night into the following day, 24 hours later....non stop......Please take some time out to watch this documentary.
After starting this blog yesterday, in the heat, I waited till 7 pm and went out into the cool, dusky, evening air for a 2hrs-45 min run amongst the pine trees. It was so beautiful, peaceful and life affirming that I just kept going till it fell dark. This is the reason why I run....the other stuff is just background noise.