Sunday, August 26, 2012

year of the horsefly, again

Seems like I say it every year: this is the worst year for horseflies here in the Jefferson Memorial Forest. I went running this morning & despite being soaked in deet, I was bit 4 times. And they weren't the usual size horseflies of years past -- these were real small ones, 1/2" or less in size (the ones that you can hardly feel land on you & find out too late). The big ones of the previous 2 years were so thick around here that at one time they would literally cover my car & house -- I would go out & swat them till I got tired of it & saw that there was no end in sight. But not this year. Another thing different this year is that the horsefly season started late due to a cool early summer -- they really didn't come out till July this year (but made up for lost time). And, strangely, about a month ago, there was a mass die off for some reason. I must have had 200 dead horseflies on my deck in a 40 square foot area. I did put up a new clear glass fence/railing around the deck this year, but usually horseflies bounce off glass & keep going, so it makes me wonder.

This is a pic I took today of one of the big flies that will bug you here . . . it looks like a cross between a horsefly & a dragonfly, or perhaps it's just a 2 wing dragonfly. They're over an inch long & as noisy as the big horseflies. I've never been bit by one or know whether it even bites -- I just don't let it stay lit on me long enough to find out:

About my run: I had not run for a few days because of my gut, but feeling better this morning, I went out & tried to do a 4 hour run. It was not an enjoyable time as I have had recently. The 60's the last couple of weeks must have spoiled me. I started my run before sunrise, temp about 70 & dewpoint in the low to mid 60's (this would have been super last month). Anyway, I felt very hot & my shorts were soaked after 1 mile. I got thirsty as I had misjudged my fluid needs & had not carried & stashed enough drinks. The horseflies were driving me crazy. What I should have covered in 4 hrs, took about 5, all consisting of very slow running & walking. My fluids: 20 oz right at the start, 80 oz during the run/walk and 60+ oz right after I finished. Even after drinking the half gallon immediately after the run, I was still at a deficit: I weighed 5 1/2 pounds less than when I started!

I was so optimistic in my last post saying I wanted to run 2 ultras next month . . . . I'm having 2nd thoughts now. Even though I would have to stay at a motel the night before these 2 races, it would still have to be a race morning decision whether I can start or not.


Chris said...

We've had much fewer horse flies than normal this whole summer. Must be the extreme heat and drought. Hope your running comes around so you can attempt a couple of fall ultras. I'm looking at Farmdale 30 miler (might hike a good portion since I'm not "ultra trained" right now).

ed said...

Hike??? Ha! I think you're being a bit too modest with your conditioning. You've got 6 weeks to get in some more good training too.

Maybe I can be at Pekin in Nov & see how easily you can run another sub 6.

Chris said...

Pekin (McNaughton Park) on Nov's on my radar too. I think 30 miles in the cool fall weather is appealing.

ed said...

I've heard the weather and course conditions have both cooperated in the past, as opposed to the Spring run. I hope you do well.