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Turning Up The Heat

Posted Jul 15 2009 6:02pm

First I'd like to say that I really like my YMCA. Actually, I love my YMCA. I've never been a member of a "gym", like one of those fancy places that gives you a towel when you walk in. But if I had to guess, I'm thinking I would much prefer a good old YMCA any day anyway. Why? Well first of all, for O and I both, our Y memberships are $7.50/month. Yes, that's right, $7.50/month. For both of us. Okay, part of that is because I am a Y employee but still - it's essentially FREE! Second of all, the Y has everything I need. A pool (the biggie) and a weight room. And third (and most importantly of all) I seriously LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the people at my YMCA. I love all the little old ladies in the locker room and the guys in the weight room that are nice to me even though I'm pretty much the only female in there (ever), and the people that work at the YMCA and Pam and Kathy, the lifeguards that are just so kind to me and always take care of me and have a real interest in my life which means so much to me. It's just a great place to be that Y. And even though NOTHING is new (and some of the stuff in the weight room looks to be centuries old) and it's closed on Sundays and holidays and the pool temperature is like 95 degrees (okay, not really), I wouldn't even consider going somewhere else. Three cheers for the YMCA! :)

(by the way, when I was there swimming this morning one of the employees asked me if I'd be interested in coaching swim team in the fall because the previous coach is not returning and I actually thought "hmmm...maybe that would be really cool - more time at the Y!" but then I remembered I don't even know how to do butterfly and figured it would be kind of a crime for me to EVER to be a swim coach :)

Second I would like to say that the TdF is so AWESOME! True, I think I've said this in my previous 3-4 blog entries but I just finished watching today's stage and the finishes are just...so...SPECTACULAR! Bike racing has so much drama!

Third I would like to say that I'm becoming increasingly concerned that I might melt in Alabama in August. Hear me out on this one.

I am really, really excited to do AG Nationals in Tuscaloosa, AL in mid August. I did AG Nationals 2 years ago but it was right after I was hit by a truck while riding my bike and leading up to the race I had run about 3 times in the span of a month. So...yeah, not my best performace. But I LOVED the race and really wanted to return. Last year I didn't go because I already had too many races on the schedule where we needed to fly and budget wise, Portland didn't fit into the plan. Boo. So this year I was excited to get to go again! And Alabama - wow - never been there before!

And then I started to think about how hot this race just might be. Oh boy.

I've never been to AL but I have been to South Carolina in the summer and the humidity and heat is so bad you can barely breathe. SO, this will certainly be a challenge. Add to the fact that it's just not been very hot around Pittsburgh thus far this summer and thus arises my concern for major melt-age come August.

As a runner, cooler weather is my favorite. I really have never met a runner that LOVES to run in the heat. Let's face it - the mid 40s to low 50s is ideal running weather. But then I took up triathlon and realized that "ideal" running conditions went right out the back window along with my track spikes. Wowsers. I haven't raced in Kona so it's not like I even have seen the worst of the worst but I have been through some really hot ones. Last year in NYC it was in the high 80s/low 90s with MAJOR humidity by the time we ran and I felt like I was running backwards (although come to think of it, that was the only race last year where I broke 40 minutes in the 10K so maybe I won't die in AL? :)

Regardless, it ALSO occured to me that the swim likely won't be wetsuit legal in AL. Duh! But I wasn't exactly sure (it was wetsuit legal in Buffalo Springs I reasoned) so I consulted the ever knowledgeable slowtwich forum. :) Sure enough, there was a thread on the triathlon forum regarding this very topic. And this is what I found:

"I don't know the exact temperature, but most likely it won't even be close to wetsuit legal. It's hot as balls in Tuscaloosa right now."

and

"The run will be a real treat. Yall may want to set up a treadmill in a sauna and add about 5 heat lamps pointing at you to simulate the last half of the run."

and

"I lived in Alabama from 84 - 2001 and during that whole time I never had a single triathlon that was even close to being wetsuit legal during the summer."

Well okay then - that answers that question! :)

Anyway, today I'm waiting until it's in the 80s to do my running workout. I can't take credit for that one - O actually suggested it. I wanted to do my workout this morning when it was in the low 50s. I'm so bad. :)

And come race day, melt-age or not, I'll give it my best. Our bodies are infinitely more capable than we can imagine. And speaking of "infinite" - I might think about adding a shaker of salt (or two) to my Infinit sports drink in AL - Lord knows I'll need it. ;)

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The start of my one and only non-wetsuit swim last year in Charlotte, NC. I actually had a great swim. Of course I know I'm slower without a wetsuit and the strong swimmers will be even stronger than me in comparison HOWEVER I actually prefer to swim without a wetsuit. I'm a BIG kicker and the wetsuit takes that away from me. That and I feel like I'm being strangled by the wetsuit the whole time. :)

Have a great day everyone!

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