Yes, That's a GIGANTIC Sweat-cicle

Yes, that's a GIGANTIC Sweat-Cicle

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Overmountain Victory Trail Revolutionary Run 25K

Wow! Where did this one come from? Part of the Blue Ridge Cup Series, the Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT) 25K was in my sites as another race to gain valuable series points and sort of round out the long racing season. There was some mounting competition in the series and I was looking to secure my place on the podium. It turns out the the top two competitors in the series were also at the race so I was a good thing I made the trip.

I have biked on this course in the past. If fact I won an offroad triathlon here the previous year. This Summer, I camped here and actually ran this whole course a couple of times not knowing that I would return to race in the fall. After having one of my best race efforts ever, just two weeks earlier, I thought my season was over and really had no intention of doing anything else. But when I found out there was a race on these spectacular trails, it was a no-brainer.

The venue is located at the Kerr Scott Reservoir near North Wilkesboro, NC. There are about 40 miles of fantastic running and bike trails, well maintained by the Brushy Mountain Cyclist Club, and a spectacular lake and campground area that just welcomes a hot summer family getaway. The morning met us with low 40 deg and foggy weather and a full group of runners for this inaugeral event. As well as the 25K, there was a 10K option that raced concurantly so it was exciting to break from the start no knowing who was doing which course.

I had no game plan for this one. I knew the course so that was no mystery. I just didn't know what I wanted to do. My sole motivation was the Blue Ridge Cup Series. I just needed to stay with the points leaders. I tried to start out slow (always my first choice) but it didn't last long. There were a few guys that took off and I just didn't feel like I could let them go. This was a strange distance for me. 25K should be what pace?!?. Who knows? So, how long do you wait before you go after the lead group? For me, it was about 1 mile. I took off and pulled a few with me. We chatted a bit in my chase group but I was really trying to focus. I tried to get them to cooperate and work together to grab the two in front of us. Nobody was playing so I pushed off on my own.

A short time later, I caught up with #2 and worked with him for a couple of miles. I didn't want to take off as I was a little spent from the effort to catch up but he seemed content to hold his pace so I bolted from him as well. Now in 2nd, I was somewhat content. I kept my hard pace and soon found myself right behind #1. When I caught him, Abran Moore, I asked if he was willing to work together to build a lead on the others. Abran was a player and he was ready to move. He was looking strong and experienced so I was reluctant to pull ahead but I thought since it was my idea that I would jump around to the lead and pull for awhile. Abran was OK with that and off we went. I pulled until about 1/2 mile to the turnaround when he offered to take his turn at the pull. I was feeling the race at that moment so I let him go.

We were right on top of each other at the turn and I was struggling to hang with him after just the next mile. I took a gel and tried to recover but was now a bit sick to my stomach. Never being one to play the part of the "leach", I offered to pull a bit. I told Abran that I didn't want to slow him down but I would do what I could to work the rest of the field. He pulled over without hesitation and I grabbed the lead. To my surprise, I started to drop him. We came to a somewhat long hill and I put about 10 seconds on him. It was way too early to put on the push to the finish but I was forced into a move and I took it. If I was going to shake him, it had to be now.

The course was relentless. There was no flats. Many of the hills were 8-10 footers. Not too hard but it was very difficult to hold a pace. You were constantly accelerating and decelerating. I did my best to end the race about 5 miles out. I was feeling a bit better a short time after gapping Abran but soon hit a bad energy zone in some of the remaining hill challenges. The trail had many switchbacks that offered a view of anyone trying to sneak up from behind. On one of those sections, I caught Abran just a few seconds back. I really thought it was over at that point as I was on E.

Abran's effort to bridge back up to me must have been too much. At the top of the next hill, I put in my final kick to the end and put another 30-40 seconds on him. Very surprisingly, I finished in first place!! and secured the overall win in the Blue Ridge Cup Series. I am very proud of this race. It was my first ever trail race win and one where I went through several tough moments of doubt. In the end, the ever present motto of every distance runner came true. "Never give up, EVER"

This was a first time event and a very highly recommended. You will not find better running trails in the beautiful NC mountains.

New River Trail 50K

Anybody looking for a 50K PR? I'll let you in on a little secret. Start heading toward Fries, VA in early October and look for a super pretty and ultra flat rails-to-trails path along America's oldest river, you wont go away disappointed. Annette Bednowsky's New River Trail 50K is really a super event. One of the smoothest, most layed back events I have participated in, this race can really bring out the best in experienced ultra racers or provide a non-intimidating environment for the first timer.

The venue runs along a well maintained and well traveled crushed gravel path along the a remote section of Virginia's Historic New River. This out and back course starts in the sleepy town of Fries, VA and travels a few miles down stream before crossing the river to hit a spur path along the scenic Chesnut Creek. Aid stations placed about every 5 miles allowed you to race with minimal supplies. Annette encourages "green" racing so it is important to carry your own water carrier but Johnny on the spot volunteers and fully stocked tables made for quick pit stops and added to the PR possibilities.

I traveled to the race from a job I was doing up in WV. I knew the course as I had biked on it several times. Beautiful and super flat. Living in the mountains, I have no idea what to do with flat racing. Anyone who thinks you can just switch between the two have never tried this. Running flat might be fast but the monotenous constant pounding of the same muscle group can provide disaterous for anyone not prepared. Fortunately, the place I was working was near the C&O Tow Path along the Potomac river and provided perfect training for this river path. I had a pretty good base going in but the few weeks prior, I worked specifically on running flat and constant. I felt pretty good going into race day.

The morning brough cool and foggy conditions, perfect for a fall ultra. This was the third edition of the event and it sported a crowd that was the biggest to date. Lots of good peeps coming together to support efforts to protect the New River Trail corredor. My plan was to start out very conservative and try to finally run negative splits. (Never before seen in my exploits). A quick group of 8-10 runners hit off the front and I let them go. I thought I was running a pretty slow first 5 miles and was feeling pretty good. I found a few folks to run with and had a good chat as I move between racers trying to hold my "backed off" pace. I knew about how many were ahead of me and was pretty well placed about 10 miles in when I finally couldn't stand it anymore. I had so much energy building up inside I had to break. I told my running companion "good luck" as I quickly picked up the pace. I started to reel in the various groups ahead of me and since it was an out and back, I saw that I was in 6th place at the turnaround. The lead guys felt a bit too far out of reach but there were a couple within striking distance. This felt too much for me as I really picked up the pace after the turnaround. Gold Fever is a good way to describe it. I caught three guys pretty quickly and found myself in third place and at about 20 miles.

I passed the marathon mark at 3:08 and was still feeling pretty good. I didn't think anyone was going to catch me at this pace. I was doing good with food and water and having the best run of my short running carreer. Then the wheels came off.

Its pretty amazing. I have bonked before but never like this. Usually its because of lack of water or not enough fuel or lack of training. This time I just hit the 'wall'. My legs just quit turning. I was at mile 28 or 29. It felt like I went from a 6:45 pace to a 10:00 pace in about 10 seconds. I kept telling myself to push through this. It didn't feel painful, I just couldn't get my legs to move. Quicksand. Molasses. BRICK WALL. Whatever you want to call it, I was there. I managed to hang onto 3rd place but I lost a huge amount of time in those last few miles. I had negative splits for 25 miles but I probably should have held back until the 15 mile turn around. Oh Well. This still turned out to be a huge PR for me in 3:46. I really couldn't have asked for much more. I came away very happy with the effort and would recommend it to anyone, experienced or novice.

Annette put on a super race. Great setup, beautiful course, great cause and a swag package that outdid itself. A couple of other bonus' that I appreciated: Instead of having a raffle at the end of the race, you were given a few tickets to blindly bid on all the raffle items when you picked up your race number. When you finished the race, you could just stop by the tent and see if you won any of the great booty. No waiting around until the end if you needed to get back on the road. Same went for anyone finishing on the podium. This may sound arrogant but it can be a huge amount of time to sit and wait for everyone to finish. As I had been working on the road for several weeks, I was anxious to get home and really enjoyed selecting a 3rd place prize, thanking the race staff and heading home.

If you are looking to have a good race, wanting to do a super long tempo run or needing a season sparking PR, you will not do better than the New River 50K.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moonshiner 5K

I have to give some props toward this race. I'm not a big 5K fan but when I first saw this it popped out at me as a must do. I'm actually not sure I have ever done a 5K on trails. This one was not only on trails but at night and sounded like a lot of fun. Some other bonus': It was just a short drive down the mountain in Greenville, SC and it was on Friday night. I would still have the whole weekend to do what people do on weekends. Yardwork!

I saw this race advertised on my new favorite medium, Facebook. A Greenville friend of mine, Jeff, was going and I thought it would be a good reason to come down there and share an after race beer or two. I used to live in Greenville, but that was back in my fat-boy days. The race venue was Paris Mountain State Park, a place I had seen on the map but never actually ventured in. I arrived at Jeff's downtown house in time to car pool to the start. Apparently, the race had sold out and parking was going to be tight. Jeff, immediately hyped me up and told me it would be a pretty easy course (for me) and I would probably win. Nice. I don't think I have ever won any running race, and my 46 yr old legs really don't have the turnover speed to be anywhere near the front of the pack. Nevertheless, it sounded like a good plan so I got ready and scooted off for a long warmup.

By the time I got back from my warmup, the crowd of 300+ had gathered at the start. The sun had set a while back and it was now indeed dark. We listened to a few instructions from the race director and switched on the headlamps in prep for the rush to the trails. I have to say, it was pretty cool getting ready to run on trails that I had never seen in the total darkness. It made for an extra adrenaline boost anticipating the unknown. I have done a lot of nighttime adventure racing but never a trail race at 5K speeds. This was gonna be fun.

The race started off very typical for me. In the front and way too fast. I had been told that it was a short section of pavement before hitting the single track and I wanted to make sure I was near the front before that transition. It turned out that we had almost 1 mile of pavement (up hill) to the trails. Not knowing how far it was, I pushed pretty hard and hit the trail in first place. At this point, I was pretty pleased. I know I went too hard but I felt a bit recovered once it leveled out and I could see no lights behind me. Somehow, I faked everyone out into letting me go. Maybe they forgot about me and weren't even going to chase. Either way, I settled back into a solid pace for the last two miles.

Eventually, my fitness ran out, (as it should have). I started to see shadows in front of me signaling that there was now someone on my tail. At the same time, my trusty headlamp started flashing signaling that the battery was dying. Nice. I thought it would make it another 20 minutes but apparently not. I had to lower the setting on it (basically to low beam) making it tougher to see the trail footing. New Plan: Let the guy behind me get in front and I use his light to get me through the trails then take him at the end! Plan B, Part 1 worked fine. Problem was, he dropped me as soon as he got in front. I just couldn't hang. Then the next youngun' came along. Same thing. Passed right on by but this time I could actually hang. We both came out of the trail system together and back onto the pavement. I could hear the finish line but I couldn't see it. We took a hard right turn and up a steep driveway. I could now see the finish but it was too late to put on the kick. I made up a little time but finished a couple seconds back in 3rd place.

This was a very cool race. A great break from the usual hot and boring road 5K. Halfmoon Outfitters layed out a well marked course, good eats and swag at the end and turned out a big crowd for this inaugural event. Entries will again be limited next year so be on the lookout. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tsali Challenge

I love this race. Its one I look forward to every year. Maybe because it is one I do very well at. Maybe because it is one of the first multi-sport races I ever entered. Or, it could be because, in my circle, it allows the winner bragging rights for the whole year. This is one of the oldest, at least that I know about, kayaking offroad triathlons in the country. The venue puts it smack dab in the heart of the US Olympic Kayaking neighborhood (Nantahala Outdoor Center and Rhino Racing Club) and home to a smorgasborg of outdoor studs and otherwise very fit and active people. The US Whitewater Center has officially moved to Charlotte NC but there is still an Old School crowd and heritage that comes with this event. Put that in with an absolutely beautiful venue and this becomes and instant "A" race for my season.

The race venue is at Tsali Recreation Area. Its single track trail system follows the fingers of a resovoir boardering the Smokey Mountain National Park. The race consists of a 4 mile flat water kayak, 5 mile trail run and 15 mile mountain bike. The kayaking start is too small of an area to accomodate all the racers at one time so there are two identical races on the day. One in the morning for the Masters men and all women and one in the afternoon for the open men. In the past, since I am truly of Master material, I have always opted for the morning race. Being the same course, I could always rate myself against everyone even though I wasn't racing head-to-head. The other bonus was that is was in the cool morning temps. I have a major battle with the summer heat and any time I can put out an effort away from the heat, it is a no brainer. I have done the morning races several times. I have waited around in the heat to watch the afternoon guys as well. I have won the morning race and indeed had the course record coming into this year but there was always something in the back of my mind that told me that it was really not apples and apples to compare the two races. The heat KILLS me. It has to hurt everyone else as well. So, this year, I decided to do the afternoon race and see how the old man does against the young boys.

One of the beautiful features of this race is that the kayak leg is handicapped. It starts out in waves with the slowest boats going first followed every minute by the next wave of faster boats totalling 7 differnt waves. The bottom line is that you don't have to have the most expensive boat to win the race. While these times are a bit subjective, the race has over 15 years of experience along with the National Whiterwater Team Manager's rating system (actually very scientific based on boat length and hull design) and is the best way possible to make for a fair start. Of course, I have my own super fast boat for these type of races, but all that means is that I start last, giving the first guys a seven minute head start.

I made it to the race in time to see the finish of the morning race. As per script, it was nice and cool. By the time my race started at 1pm, the sun was nice and high and the heat was brutal. Starting out in the kayak was uneventful. I had just 4 or 5 other boats in my wave and clear water. It took me about 3 miles to catch all the boats in front of me with the exception of one or two and a couple in my wave. The leg is an out and back section and I exited the water in about 7th or 8th position.

A quick transition to the run and I was off for the hot run up the gravel road to the trail system. Along the way I grabbed a water bottle as there are no aid stations. I was already overheating so this was a good move. This section has a 1 mile exposed uphill gravel road to negotiate before hitting the mostly shadded trail system. Its really easy to blow it right here. You need to keep the adranaline in check and get the blood flowing from the arms to the legs in the section before letting loose. I know this section well and kept cool passing one or two but at a manageable pace. On the trails, I pushed as cruised. I really played it by feel and backed off whenever I felt overextended. There is a very nice mix of hills and rollers and I caught a couple of others early on and was mostly on my own for the meat of the run. I was really feeling the heat now and wondering if I could pull this off. I finished my bottle but still no end in sight.

As I entered the transition area to the bike, I was really questioning what I had left in the body. Not so much my endurance but the heat I can take. I have a history of meltdowns and I was feeling horrible at the moment. Mostly, I needed some water. Luckily, I had a fresh bottle on the bike and took a long draw off of it before heading out on the bike leg. I was now in third place but still a few minutes back. I needed a good effort here to take the tape.

As I made my way out of the transition area, I tried to regroup and focus on the task at hand. I had to believe that all the heat was effecting the other guys as well. If not, well, then they were just better today. Either way, I was not going to give up. Never give up.

I quickly got into a good pace I could maintain to get my body switched over from runner to biker. It was another long uphill gravel road to the trail system and I just put my head down and focused. Surprisingly, I found the two guys in front of me in the first 3 miles. They were indeed struggling. Maybe from heat or maybe from effort. I kept pushing hard and dropped them on a steep climb. I didn't go into the red to do it. I just kept a very hard pace. If they could hang, then good for them. If not, then I break their spirit quickly and settle into a hard drive to the end. The latter was the game at the moment but, again, I ran out of water.

The bike leg was advertised as 13 miles long. I was near the end of that length but still not near the end that I remembered. I had the usual and horrible thoughts that I took a wrong turn and was now off course. This slowed me down a bunch as you just don't have the same drive if you think you are racing hard in the WRONG direction. Indeed that was how I felt. Now at 14 miles according to my odometer, I was very worried. I had to keep telling myself that I didn't see any other turns or signs. This was the correct way. Soon, I came to a trail intersection where the run had come into the course. I now knew that I was indeed on course. Still out of water I hammered as hard as I could to the end.

I crossed the line in first place with a new course record! Bettering my time from last year by a few minutes. First things first. Get some water! I was smoked. Feeling good to be finished but really bonking.

I'm glad I did this afternood race. It is truly not the same to race in the morning. As much as I like racing against an open group (not masters or whatever) the heat just makes for a more unpleasant experience for me. I think I will drop back to the old guys group next year....or maybe not. This felt pretty sweet on the top step.

Summer of This and That

I use this blog more as a race record than anything else. I can keep track of my past results and thoughts as I finish a tough race or pass through a threshold or just mark time and milestones. Unfortunately, life and work gets in the way more than I would like. So this is very easy to get left behind. I've had a lot of time in hotels over the past couple of months to keep things current but just haven't been able to pull the trigger. For those few that actually read this, I am attempting to make this happen now. Its not that I am a super human and did the next few reports in one chunk, but they were done over a period of a few months.

Just to catch up on a few issues. I had been partaking in the North Carolina XTERRA Trail Race series. This is a 4 race series trail run series where you earn points toward an age group ranking. Winners of this series get bragging rights and a free entry into the XTERRA National Championships in Bend, Oregon. Bend is unquestionably, my favorite place in this country. It is a place I dream of calling home one day. So, my goal was to get the series win and head out there for beautiful venue and a 13 mile trail race. Maybe hit a few of the killer brew-pubs while I'm there...maybe.

Well, I did indeed win the points series for my 45-49 age group. I competed in 3 of the 4 races and had AG wins in 2 of those 3. That part complete, I just needed to get work out of the way and train for the distance. What I didn't count on was a 3-week cold I caught on one of my business trips. It hit me very hard and especially hard in the chest. I opted to punt on the race. It bummed me out but it really made no sense to spend the effort and money to go out to the race when I really felt like shit. I may give it a shot again next year, but for now, I at least know that I have the potential to compete in this type of venue and am happy that I was able to set a reasonable goal and achieve it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Captain Thurmond's Challenge

A long hot Summer of hit and miss racing kind of put a damper on my motivation. It seemed like no matter my fitness, my race results have been ordained by the temperature, I.E. meltdown madness. Nonetheless, I have had a few good results lately and that was enough spark to push me up to Fayetteville, WV for one of my favorite races of the year. Captain Thurmond's Challenge!

The CTC is an unusual style triathlon. Totally offroad, each leg of the event could be a challenging race on its own. It embarks with a leman's start to a Mtn. Bike leg, followed by an 8 mile Class IV kayak down the New River gorge finishing with a brutal 8 mile climb out of the gorge and back into the cool little town of Fayetteville. Starting as a "challenge" among friends, the race has grown each year to be a full blown solid competition. With its largest field including the past 4 year's champions, and biggest prize purse to date, this year's 15th edition proved to be no exception.
In past years, the race required a shuttle to the start in the old-timey river resort of Thurmond. But to make it a bit more spectator friendly the past few editions have started and finished in Fayetteville. We start downtown in a carnival atmosphere at a very gentlemanly 12:00pm, just the right time to make it good and hot during the toughest part of the race.
Racers line up in front of the courthouse for the leman's start (we run to our bikes which are staged about 100 meters down the road). No easy thing to do with Kevlar biking shoes on pavement! Check out this video from last year's start.

I've done this race several times. I've finished first and I've finished dead last. For me, my results usually get dictated by the way I start. This year, I decided to keep it cool and stay under the red zone and try to finish strong. There are relay teams in the mix and you never know who is pulling a strong solo bike leg and who is going balls out just to pass the baton and bail at the next transition. I wasn't going to worry this time and would just do my own thing for the bike section. The bike leg is a big paved hill right from the start. Its usually very important to get out in front here before dropping into the single track. I went out pretty hard but kept it manageable and hit the trail in about 6th place. This section is 13 miles long and has some tight technical, wet and rooty trail mixed in with some screaming fast gravel downhills. I was able to pass a few folks but had to let a few go so I could keep my HR under control.

The trail ends in a 1 mile super steep paved grade down to the river. I have hit 50MPH there before. This year, the National Park Service decided (in their infinite wisdom) to enforce their 10 MPH speed limit. They said that they would "detain and fine" anyone exceeding this speed. For that reason, the race director asked for all racers to treat this as a no-pass zone. Whatever place you were in when you exited the forest, you should just cool down and coast (or in most cases, ride your brakes) into the transition. Indeed the NPS was out in force and clocking our speeds. Amazing use of taxes. I was matching last year's champ, Brian Menzies, to this point but let him drift off toward the end of the pavement. I had a pretty slow transition to the boat and let him slip away with a minute lead.

The river was a bit lower this year but always exciting. I put in the water in about 4th position and had a pretty solid run. I could see Brian the whole way but made no ground on him. In fact he was putting time on me for the entire course. The raft traffic was heavy as usual but I managed to time my entries in the major rapids to avoid being steamrolled by the large rubber beasts. I kept good lines until the last two rapids where I lost focus slightly and got turned around backward.
My 13' long down river boat is not an easy machine to spin around so I lost a bit of time with these lapses. I came out of the boat in 2nd place but Brian was now a full two minutes up on me heading into the hardest part of the race...the monster climb out of the gorge.

I had nearly drained my 2 liter Inov8 RacePro18 Hydration Pack during the bike leg and had been sipping on an additional water bladder during the paddle so I was in pretty good shape going into the run. I felt good. I could no longer see Brian ahead of me because of the terrain but I knew I could make some ground on him. It would all boil down to how good was HE feeling. Apparently, pretty good. I took a full 8 minutes off my run time from last year but was only able to make up 65 seconds on him for the 8 mile run back into Fayetteville. I ended up in 2nd place just a handful of seconds behind him. Same order as last year, but much tighter. I was really hoping to make this my last time at this event and go out on top. I stayed in control the entire way and never really redlined except right at the start. I felt very good in my trusty Inov8 X-Talon 212's. They were the perfect choice for this trail system. With all that going for me, I may just have to give it one more try.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Devil went down to Georgia

Yes he did folks....and brought his hell fire weather with him. I hadn't raced in a while so I thought I might take on a quickie race down in Gainesville, Ga over the weekend. Chicopee Woods Offroad Duathlon. It was a 3 mile run, 9 mile ride and 3 mile run on the SORBA built trails of Chicopee Woods.

I had a pretty good build up to this one. Did a few very good workouts and was embracing the Southeastern Heat wave that was hovering over Western North Carolina. I felt in fairly good shape. Even thought the weather forecast was calling for temps in the 90's and high humidity, I thought it was short enough that I could 'weather' the storm, so to speak. Bad pun and bad idea.

Trying to save a few bucks I figured I would drive down late at night, find a place to park and sleep in the car. No problem on the driving and parking but the temps were still in the 80's with no breeze. It was a sweltering night of 'rest' stuffed in the car. Still, I didn't feel all that bad in the morning and I was right at the start area so it was all good. I found a quickie mart nearby for a cup of coffee, checked in and started to set things up.

I met lots of old friends there and since it was the last of the Georgia Offroad Duathlon race series, lots of fast racers showed up as well. I did a good bike and run warm up before the start and felt the humidity quickly suck the life out of my legs. I was already having a hard time staying cool.

We had a 200 meter road run to get to the single track. When the race started, my plan was to go for the hole shot and stay in the front of the group. There were quite a few racers lined up and I didn't want to have to deal with passing folks right away. At the gun, I went out at my customary Way Too Fast pace and tried to hang with the lead group. This race also had relay racers and I wasn't sure who was going solo so I tried hang. I made it to the single track in 5th or 6th place but the lead 4 guys were sub 6min pace at that point. No way was I going to make that work so I pulled back and let them go. By the time I made it out of the forest and back to the bike transition, I was right where I wanted to be position wise and felt like I was the stronger runner among my peers but I was already in the red zone. Sirens were going off in my head telling me of pending doom. I tried to ignore it as I was in prime position to hit the bike. I just needed to get on the bike and cool down a bit.

I poured a bottle of water on my head before hopping on the bike but it just felt like a heat shower. The single track turned out to be a lot of fun. I tried to kick out the pace and catch up to the lead group but soon had a few folks pass me signaling my pending bonk. I was fading fast and just had no power in the pistons. I was overheating bad now and made it out of the trail system several minutes back.

Again, I did my best to do a fast transition but as soon as I started back on the pavement route to the running loop, I knew right then it was over. I was smoked. I thought maybe I would cool down a bit if I just took it easy but soon I was starting to feel dizzy and my breathing was labored. I began to walk at the first hill. Its over. I managed only a 11-12 minute pace for the last run leg and limped in several minutes back and way out of the game. My only saving grace was that I didn't DNF. I thought about it about 1/2 mile into the final run. I knew from past experience it as over and possibly I was in serious trouble. I was in the heat exhaustion phase and could have easily stroked out.

When I got back to the finish, I poured as much water over my head as possible. Drank several cups of Gatorade and water but was still having trouble breathing. I needed out of the heat so I packed everything up as quick as possible and hopped in the car for the maximum AC experience. I don't normally leave a race before the awards because I think its just bad sportsmanship, but I did this time. I needed away from this Devil palace.
I have had heat melt downs before. In fact, I have never had a good race in the heat...EVER. For some reason, I can't seem to learn that lesson. My body just can't process the heat and I have no mechanism to cool my body in the high humidity. I just need to choose my battles a little more carefully.