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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mega Day

I am exhausted. In the past two days, I cycled 100 miles, ran 5 miles and swam 2 miles all in Harriman State Park with my friend, rival and all around good guy Super Todd. I installed 3 air conditioners (2 with the help of Todd), mowed my lawn and removed weeds from my backyard patio. I had several water balloon fights with my son, both of which I lost and ate a ton of PB&J.

The cycle and run happened on Friday as part of a mega workout. It was supposed to be a 120 mile bike/20 mile run day. However, taking the terrain of Harriman into consideration, I decided that a 100 mile ride would be much more manageable and I would see how much I could do on the run.

The day started cool enough, but the heat progressed throughout the day. I don’t have much to say about the loops other than after 5 of them I was becoming severely dehydrated and my breathing was a bit labored and shallow. The humidity in the air was causing moisture to build in my lungs and it hurt when I breathed deeply.

Until the 5th loop, I finished well ahead of Todd on each circumference, but on the 6-7th loops, I had just about run out of gas. The heat is definitely a killer for me and I need to learn to adapt. On the several occasions we saw deer along the course, I figured if I rode into one, that at least I would get to rest. Todd finished the last two laps ahead of me.

At the end of the 6th loop, we ran into fellow Lake Placid Ironman aspirant Walter. He just finished riding 7 loops and looked about as exhausted as I’ve ever seen another human. He was just about to head out for a run, with the intention of going 10 miles.

At the end of the 7th loop, we ran into Walter coming in from his first of 5 miles. The first 5 were also his last, as he had enough. Walter now looked terrible and started to throw up. Todd and I hung around for a few minutes to make sure he was ok. After assuring us that he was, Todd and I headed out for our run.

I started to get several stitches in my chest, but I managed to persevere. I knew right away that I was only going 5 miles. It was just too hot and I was too thirsty to run for much longer.

When I returned to the car after the run, I felt horrible. I was dehydrated and afraid of being Hyponatremic. I drink some water and electrolytes and it was very difficult to keep down. I felt really sick for a while, but after 30 minutes or so I started to recover. I had to let Todd start driving us home though, as I was not yet up to the task. I think Todd was worried that I was going to die. Truth be told, I considered telling him to take me to a hospital. Workout summary: 100 mile bike – 6 hours, 5 mile run – 48 minutes, over 5000 calories burned.

That evening, I spoke to my coach about how I felt after the workout. He said I should have drank more water and spaced out my electrolyte consumption more evenly and regular intervals. I’ll have to try it, as what I am currently doing doesn’t seem to work.

I also installed the first of the 2 air conditioners, ate dinner and got soaked by my son with water balloons in the backyard.

This morning, Saturday, Todd and I headed back up to Harriman to do an outlaw swim in Lake Tiorati. We both had the feeling that we were not allowed to swim out into the middle of the lake, but I reasoned we should do it anyway without asking. Besides, we got to the lake so early, that there was no one around to stop us.

We headed out for a 2 mile swim, which took us out around two islands in the middle of the lake. The water was warm, calm, clear and pleasant. The sun was shining first to our left and then to our right for the return home. My favorite part of the swim was when we moved within the shadows of the islands. The water became darker until we swam past the islands and the sun was able to hit us again. When we swam directly into the sun, you could see the sun’s rays shining through the water. It was very peaceful and dreamlike. I started thinking about driving up on weekday mornings to do this swim, before heading to work.

We finished the swim in just under 1 hour. Todd finished first and told me that a Park Ranger had come over to him and said that we weren’t allowed to swim like we did. He apologized profusely, which is just as well, since if it was me who finished first, I don’t know if I would have been so apologetic. It seems such a shame not to be able to swim in such a lovely body of water.

We then went to my house where Todd helped me install two air conditioners, destroy a bees nest and have some more water balloon fights with my son. I mowed my grass and de-weeded the backyard on my own. Now it is time for a nap.


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