Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweatfest 2011

Sorry for the lack of blog action as of late. I've been too busy turning myself into a date or a prune by sweating every ounce of hydration out of my person.

Bill and I headed down to my parents' in Maryland for a large chunk of the weekend. With Storm the Shore two weeks away (shit!) we knew we had to get some training in between sleep, tailgates, Navy football and play time with the fam and the friends.

Bill is well on the mend from a foot booboo and wants to stay that way so we lugged the mountain bikes down with us to get some time in the saddle. I hadn't sat on that saddle since the finish line of the Equinox almost two months ago.

What kind of an adventure racer am I? Circle all that apply.
     A) The awesome kind.
     B) The short kind.
     C) The lazy kind.

I know you leaned toward A but, in fact, the correct answer is both B and C.

We headed down to a small park about 20 minutes south of my parents' digs near Annapolis. Only one real trail -- a 9.5 mile loop. We thought it would be boring and, based by the quality of the riders and bikes in the parking lot when we rolled into the park bright and early I was worried I was in for a day of hot mess technicality.

Instead, an awesome roller coaster of buttery single track, some short climbs, tight turns and only a few rocks and roots. I always forget that the Wissahickon, my usual riding spot, is one of the more technical spots to bike within a few hundred miles.

It was pretty stellar. We did a lap and a half and then found ourselves unable to stay away from the awesome -- we headed back to the park the next day for a few more hours of riding.

Bill likes to mountain bike, a lot. He also happens to be pretty good at it -- pushing the pace and the more technical, the better. This park was a bit beneath the technical junk he prefers so we decided to make the ride a bit more of a challenge for the both of us. I'd get an 8-minute head start on the first lap and then the last one to the end had to buy gas and Wawa hoagies to get us through the ride back to Philly.

I was off, zooming the best that I could up and around switchbacks, through tight turns, wedging between trees and splashing through a few streams. I could ride the whole thing -- only had to unclip when I'd go around a turn to find another rider zooming right toward me.

So yeah, I suck at mountain biking. Just past the half-way point I heard someone come up behind me, fast. It was Bill. We rode together for about two miles and then he was off, making it to the parking lot almost 20 minutes faster than I did.

I was a drippy, muddy, sweaty mess as we sat in the parking lot for a few before heading out on the trail again. Sweating so much that the sweat was actually rinsing off the mud on my legs. How damn nasty is that?

My new bike shoe make my feet look extra gigantic!

We rolled back to Philly at around 9 p.m. and I was up again at 8 to meet Abby for a longer trail run in the Wissahickon. As we chatted about whether our run counted as marathon or adventure race training, my new found obsession with The Hunger Games and whether we should really try to race the Philly marathon or just make sure we cross the finish line I found myself basically melting.

My entire person turned to sweat. I had a small pack on with about 60 ounces of water that I was chugging. It might have been more efficient just to dump the water directly onto my person. Every few minutes I'd grab the sides of my shirt and wring them out, sweat leaving a trail behind me. My hair looked like I'd gotten caught in a downpour. My shoelaces were so drippy they started whipping my ankles as I meandered along the trail. Blisters? I got them on my feet, thanks to the fact that my socks were so wet that I wrung them out when I got home.

How effing disgusting is that? On a scale of 1 to 10, please leave your score in a comment. Personally, I think it's a 9.

I don't weigh myself a lot, maybe a few times a year to make sure I don't have a tapeworm or that I haven't secretly been eating Big Macs and tubs of Crisco in my sleep, so I am not entirely sure what I weigh at any given point in time. But, I hopped on the scale once I got home from our 17.5 nasty (and, for me, sort of painful) trail miles.

I weighed 2 points less than I ever have in my adult life.

Not good. Kidneys, I apologize. Heart, I apologize to you, too.

I spent several hours sipping on blue-flavored Powerade, lemonade-flavored Nuun, water and chocolate milk. I never felt entirely terrible or death-like -- I just felt like the most dehydrated person in the tri-state area.

When I got on the scale this morning I'd put on five pounds. I felt fine today -- not sore, not dehydrated, not particularly tired, so I guess I didn't do any real damage.

But, fall, roll in soon. Please and thank you.


Anonymous said...

These are pretty intense workouts! Personally, I still maintain that A is the correct answer. Can I at least get partial credit? ;-)

Johann said...

I go with all of the above although after reading this I know you are definitely not lazy. Agree with the 9 but not on a gross scale and rather a hardcore badass type scale where 9 is seen as awesome!