Saturday, June 2, 2007
It's time for heat training and lucky Oregonians get to do it the hard way. It's the sauna for me! What's your form of torture. My gym has a good sauna and not many people use it, they are drawn to the steam room vs. the sauna. I see them walk by and get in the steam room then I see them leave the steam room. That's my entertainment while I am getting hottttttttttt. I started my heat training a bit early this year because last year we got the opportunity to go the the Grand Canyon on this day last year when they had record setting temperatures in the canyon. The shade read 118 degrees so it had to have been at least 120 degrees in the full sun. We did a double crossing and had to stick together and use Bright Angel Creek to cool our core temperatures as we crossed the canyon floor. That was last year so since I am not in the canyon I am in the *&%^!*" sauna. I started with 15 minutes last week and thought, "hmmmm this isn't so bad" as I did push ups, sit ups and ran in place. Then I bumped it to 20 minutes and was climbing the walls at 15 minutes as my watch went tick, tick, tick. The Counselor (Micheal) is an over achiever already lasting more than 40 minutes in his sauna, he even showed up with a long sleeve shirt for our run this morning. This week I bumped it to 35 minutes and yikes that's not fun. I did all my moving around for the first 20-25 minutes then the truck hit me! I was begging to get out....kinda of like a caged animal but since the Counselor has set the bar so high I had to persevere. I have had 2 sessions of over 30 minutes in the oven and after our run today I forced myself to drive straight to the gym for another hot flash :). This is me when I started......Not looking to bad....sort of fresh and happy. When I arrived the temperature for the sauna wasn't set to high so of course I immediately cranked it up thinking, "what on earth....who turned down MY sauna" forgetting that other people use it to. I get in and there is a lady in there and she immediately looks at me as she relaxes nicely in her moderately hot sauna. The temperature started to rise nicely....170, 175, 180 and within about 3 minutes that sucker hit 190 and she was out of there. All by myself I started to do my sit ups, crunches, push ups....standard sauna workouts. Then the sweat started to pour. Seems like I must be getting used to it because I was sweating so fast and it really wasn't bothering me. 15 minutes flew by and I am thinking, "this rocks.....ha!...I can do this" Then my water bottle starts to melt a bit and my headphones start to short out from all the sweat in my ears. My heart rate is lower than it has been so its workinnnnnnnnggggggg.....I am getting heat trained. 25 minutes goes by and I feel remarkably good still walking, jumping a bit of rope, modified push ups. 30 minutes hit and here comes the truck! Crashhhhhhhhhhh it hits me, I feel weak, tired, every minute seems to take forever, I am soaked with sweat, chased out two ladies (sorry) and been checked on by gym staff twice (seems and anorexic died in there recently, very sad). Waiting and waiting for the 35 minute mark to hit and I swear it seems like forever....sorta of like it feels when your waiting for aid station to appear. Bingo.......35 minutes! This is how I looked after 35 minutes in the hot torture chamber. Now if the Counselor says it's no problem to stay in there for 45 minutes one more time....I am going to hurt him! Next week it's moved up to 40 minutes.
Afterwards I weighed myself to see how much I lost and only lost 1 pound whereas a week ago it was more like 2 pounds. I cooled off in the locker room then took a cold shower and was still sweating 30 minutes later! BTW.....I don't really like the heat but I am using some of Stacey's thought process......"I love the heat, the heat is my friend, the hotter the better". I just love this sport of ultra running, when would you ever do something like this unless you were ultra running :).