Starting a new intensive training program is always exciting.
I’ve built a solid base of running ability over the last year, but the next seventeen weeks is going to be a monster test of will, patience and body management. The more I can hype myself up, the better chance I will have at project success.
I spent an hour yesterday (Saturday) heat acclimating with a one hour run in the peak Atlanta afternoon heat. 97 degrees with a heat index over 100 degrees. The physical drain factor associated with that kind of heat is unbelievable. I made sure to run in the wide open, direct sunlight. The concrete was so hot, I would run in the grass medians just to avoid the heat rising up off the ground. Crazy hot.
Hot to Trot 8-Hour Race
Why the heat acclimation? I’ve decided to run an ultra in August as long run training. It’s an 8-hour timed race called the Hot to Trot at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve in Decatur, Georgia. It’s going to be quite a challenge. The field is limited to 40 runners and is run during the hottest month in Georgia. I am probably not 100% qualified to run the race, but I begged the race director and did my best to demonstrate that I understand the risks of running such an event.
The course is a 1.x mile trail loop through the nature preserve. The loop element to the race will allow for some good planning. In dangerous heat races like this, it’s important to properly manage your fluid and electrolyte balance. Poor planning, lack of appropriate aid and slack race management can make bad go to worse in a flash. Eight hours is a long time to be moving on your feet. Good race management is key.
My goal is 30 miles. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it will be a miracle performance in the expected heat which should easily register at 90-100 degrees.
Stay tuned, tomorrow begins the official seventeen weeks of regimen training and I’m excited and ready.