Monday, July 16, 2007

Insanity

For the first time in weeks, I actually felt like I was running tonight. After I got home from work this afternoon, the trail around Lookout Mountain started calling my name. This hill in northern Phoenix is the predominant landmark I can see from the front of my house and its 3 mile circumference trail had my number. Another number that called out was 111, as in 111F; such a pretty number, an insanely pretty number.

I hadn’t gone out for a run in anything over 110F yet this year, so why not tonight. I hit the trail at 7:15 PM, 15 minutes before the sun would sink below the horizon. To get a sense for how hot 111F is, I brought a frozen 17 oz water bottle straight from the freezer with me on the run. At the end of 3 miles, I open the bottle and chugged the contents. All but 1 tablespoon had melted.

But, oh what a feeling to finally get in a good run. It wasn’t fast, but running up and down the rocky terrain around Lookout Mountain wasn’t going to be fast. However, this is the first time I “ran” 3 miles over any terrain during the past 4 weeks with out any walk breaks. Of course the heat and steep hills kept my HR pegged over 150 for must of the run, peaking at 170 as I crested the top of each hill. Nothing like a fast tempo run at a slow jog pace.

After a string of disastrous runs (or more correctly run/walks), I was shocked to still be running after the first mile. With one good climb behind me and my HR north of 150 I was still feeling great. Legs were strong with no sense of weariness. On mile two I caught up with a kid on a mountain bike weaving his way through the rocks (stupid kid was riding without a helmet). By the time I got out to mile 3, I could just smell the “finish line”. With the cicada screeching in every bush and the lightning flashing up north marking the start of the evening thunderstorms, I just kept pushing up the last hill until I crested the top and could see my car in the parking lot below. Putting my brain in check, I blissfully ran down the hill to the parking lot, finishing the loop 3 minutes faster than a couple of weeks ago.

Have a great week.

10 comments:

Ewen said...

Nice run Phil. Good to see you getting back into it.

I know what 111 feels like. When we were in Prescott last year it was 105F and that felt hot!

We're expecting our coldest day of the year tomorrow - 5C and snow down to 500 metres. I hope so - we don't get snow in town that often.

Deene said...

i'd be shocked to finish anything in 111 degree heat. sounds like you enjoyed the workout though! we are expecting to hit 105 today and i plan on staying inside with much iced tea.

Sempre Libera said...

Glad to see you made it out for another solid run! I think you have those run/walks to thank for it. And now I feel like a wimp for not running when it's a measly 92 degrees out...

Pat said...

You're a stud, phil. Running in 111, I would have fainted. Hopefully, the mountain provided some shade?

pat

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Awesome job, Phil! Glad to see that your legs are coming back to you. That's a great effort under the best of cercumstances, but even better after the recovery you have had. Hope your are feeling much better.

ReneeMc said...

Glad you're coming back. 111*, huh? That's pretty hot, or so I hear.

jen said...

Great job! It takes a pretty hard core runner to find his groove in 111 degrees. Congrats :)

Mom tried decaf once said...

That is insane alright! Glad you got that good run in though! See you Saturday!

DawnB said...

so glad that went well for you!! great job. Wonderful to hear that you are feeling like yourself.

Love2Run said...

Simply insane! But it's a dry heat, right? I was talking to some tourists from Arizona and they couldn't get over our humidity.