Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Get Hypothermia in an August Heat Wave

I have a triathlon tomorrow so of course we're having a heat wave at the end of August.  Last year I blew up in the unseasonable heat in this race and conditions look like a repeat for this year.  I've also been struggling a bit with swimming in the Rez in my full wetsuit in the warmer weather.  I'm o.k. for a lap but by the second lap I'm getting too hot.  Or at least I had been for the past few weeks.  Once I even took off the wetsuit for the second lap and was a little chilly after I got out but was mostly o.k.  I didn't even own a wetsuit when I did my first couple of Olympic Distance (1500 meter swim) triathlons in the Rez way back in the day.  So I came up with the idea of not wearing a wetsuit in the race tomorrow in the hope that I might be a little chilly when I get out of the water and I won't overheat too badly for the rest of the race.  It's only an 880 yard swim, how cold can I get?

I was a little toasty after my first 1100 yard loop of the Rez yesterday morning so I thought I'd test out this theory and take my wetsuit off for the second lap.  The coach suggested I just do half a lap but I told her I'd done this a few weeks ago and was fine for a full lap.  Unfortunately I'd underestimated how much the Rez had cooled down in the past few weeks and I was cold as soon as I took my wetsuit off.  But I needed more yardage and there's no way I was getting the suit back on while it was wet so off I went figuring that the sun was blaring warmly on the water and I'd warm up once I got going like I did a few weeks ago.  Except I never quite warmed up.  I probably swam my fastest loop ever though even without the advantage of the wetsuit.  Even when I got to the place where I could head back to shore for 1/2 a loop I stubbornly kept going, need more yardage, can't turn back until I get a full workout in.  I was already cutting the workout short by doing only 2 laps.  I made it back to shore and thought I was o.k. and even changed into dry clothes at the car but when I got in the car to drive home I starting shaking, well beyond shivering even.  I blasted the heat and luckily the Rez is close to my house because it was an interesting drive home.  I got in a hot shower and 50 minutes after getting out of the Rez I finally felt o.k.  So the plan for tomorrow is to wear my wetsuit because the water will likely be a couple of degrees colder even than the Rez.  At least I figured that out before the race and didn't have to try to navigate a mountain bike on single track while shaking uncontrollably.

Unlike last year I've been training in the heat this year so I'm better prepared.  My plan is to have a small cooler in transition with a bottle full of ice water to pour over my head before the run and a small water bottle to carry with me on the run to pour over my head as needed.  Last year the water supplies for those of us at the back of the race weren't so great.  There aren't many aid stations which is understandable but when I finally did get to one they gave me a cup of water filled maybe 1/4 of the way.  I think they let me have 2 cups but it still wasn't nearly enough.  I hate to carry a bottle, it's such a nuisance and extra weight to haul up the hill, but I don't trust the race to provide enough water and I'd rather be sure to have it.  Also I can have it when I need it and not have to wait so long between water stations.  I'll be able to go faster if I can keep coolish so it'll be worth it.

This race is not an 'A' race, it's a fun end of season go out there and enjoy race.  But I am going to race my hardest, especially looking to improve my running.  But I haven't been training in earnest, no more 2 a day workouts, no more intervals.  I did the bike in 1 hour 22 minutes for the last 2 years, weird since the courses were different each year, and I plan on cutting some time off of that.  And I'm always trying to better my swim.

In other news Strummy finally got to go play at agility this morning.

If you throw the ball I might forgive you for ignoring me all summer.

I finally got him doing some dogwalks.  Set-up was curved tunnel on one end, jump on the other.  If he hit the contact he got his toy, if not I kept going until he did.  He got all 4 reps with the jump at the end, all 4 perfect contacts.  However he only got 1/4 with the tunnel at the end and it was the 4th tunnel rep that he finally got.  I ended there but played with him a bit so he didn't think hitting the contact with a tunnel there meant the end of his fun.  Even at 7:15 am it was too hot to do any more dogwalks after that.

Then my training partner and I worked on a little exercise that was already set up.  We managed to work everything in - weaves, teeter, table, A-frame.  Strummy was pretty perfect except for leaving the teeter when I moved ahead to front cross.  His teeter had been so good but was getting sloppy at the last trial so I'm back to working it in practice.  Weaves were pretty awesome even with coming at them at speed out of a tunnel and me doing a rear cross.  Good practice over all but it was quickly too hot to do too much.  Bring on the fall!


  1. GOOD LUCK tomorrow!!! Have a great race and enjoy it as best you can :) Hope the weather stays nice until you are done.

  2. Oh yikes, I saw the post title but wasn't expecting that you actually did have a bit of an "experience" like that. Well, glad you got that out of the way and hope your plan worked out well at the race.

    I totally agree -- bring on the fall!