The FA run on the Stone Steps course this past Saturday officially kicked off my heat training that will hopefully prepare me for the Mohican 100 in 3 weeks. Every year in the cool Spring, I set goals for the summer, but always tone them down after my 1st encounter with an 80+ degree day. This year will not be any different.
With the forecast high of 83 in Cincinnati for this FA run, I was looking to get a gradual introduction to running in the heat. I really wasn't prepared for the actual weather I encountered: 90 degrees & high humidity!! The sun was intense & when out in the open, I had to run from shady spot to shady spot. The best thing about this was it felt "cool" once I got back into the woods, when actually it was still hot. Only about 2 to 3 miles of the 50k was out in the direct sun -- at Mohican, about 25 miles of the course will be on dirt, gravel or paved roads -- alot of sun exposure will be possible & most all of that portion of the race will be done in the afternoon.
As for my FA run, I arrived 30 minutes late due to a wreck on I-75 and did not start with the other runners. I set my own slow steady pace that I hoped would get me thru the day. That pace was almost 16'/mile -- which I was able to maintain for about 8 hours for the 50k, a PW (personal worst). Still, if I can keep that same pace up thru the heat of the day at Mohican, I would be in a good position to finish the race this year (as long as my back cooperates!).
I did get in a good chat with Dave Corfman, RD for Stone Steps 50k, who was taking it easy this day recovering from an injury. Got to hear about his upcoming Badwater adventure in mid-July -- talk about the need for heat training!! Also ran into Kyle Fahrenkamp this day, who was also getting in a heat work -- he'll need it as he's on Dave's crew! Good Luck you guys!
I'm going to have one more long training run in the heat & humidity this coming Saturday: Another Dam 50k. The course has alot of road & wide trail that will be exposed to the sun. I could not handle that whatsoever last time I ran it a few years ago. I need the training, yet I don't want to get burnt out (literally) 2 weeks before Mohican. So will set the same goal as last Saturday -- finishing!