Friday, July 9, 2010

The Heat is ON!

Holy frijoles has it been hot in DC lately!  This past week the highs were over 100 degrees just about every day, and even the nighttime lows were in the mid-80s. Not exactly the best running weather, but I am happy to report that I've built up my heat acclimation to almost creepy levels at this point. Between all the weeks of steady 90+ degree runs over the past month (and the 19+ hours of a hot Mohican 100), my body is cooling itself more efficiently than ever before in this steamy weather...which is great because I've been training my butt off out there lately!

Of course, I can't brag about my heat-training at all this week as the bad-ass Badwater runners will be showing everyone how it's done starting Monday morning out in Death Valley. They'll have 120 degree highs each day with nary a cloud in the sky. ...and in case you haven't noticed, there isn't a whole lot of shade along the 135 miles of road out there in the desert!   Jamie D. is lining up to try and run her winning streak to 3 consecutive years, Tony P. is headed back for a second time (and in great shape!) looking to chop a bunch of time off his PR, and U.S. teammate Phil McCarthy should be fighting for the top spot all day as he returns a little wiser in this, his second running of the race. Best of luck to all my friends running and crewing out there this year! If you're bored at work, everyone will be off and running at 10:00 a.m. PST on Monday (it's a wave start with the fastest group of runners starting last at 10am), and the webcast can be followed here!

All this talk about hot and sunny weather makes me think about my trusty old that I lost on the Mohican course a couple weeks ago. Sure, I have another hat...and I could probably find the exact same model of the one I lost online somewhere, but that beat-up old hat was on my head for every ultra I've ever run (when I didn't have a winter hat on, that is). Cue the emotional montage music as we take a trip down memory lane in honor of my hat!

Probably the best quality of this hat was its ability to let air flow up under the brim onto your head if you twisted it just a little to one side or the other. It wasn't an intentional design trait, but after running 20,000 miles or so with it on, I learned a few tricks!

This shot from Bull Run in 2009 shows how I wore the hat most of the time on hot days: pulled up on top for added ventilation.

The hat also served to help people figure out "which one" I was during the Viaduct 100 last year when coincidentally Greg Geerdes and I wore the same outfit!

...and of course it was there for a few triumphs, like when I finished the 142 mile Horse-Shoe trail...


...and when I survived the 192 miles of heat and sun during Run 192...

...The fact that you can't see my face here means it was doing its job!!

There were less-than-fun times too, like the 98 degree (with 90% humidity!) Old Dominion 100 in 2008. Can you see my hat saving me from heat stroke out there?

 ...it was also there for the not-fun time when I had to drop from the Massanutten 100 w/ a quad injury.

...and who could forget the super crazy hills of UltraCentric later that year...

Not a fun time at all, but just under that hat my brain was learning a whole lot about how to run a 24 hour race, and in the next one I wore it for 139+ miles!

 ...no matter the circumstances, that hat always kept me smiling out there!

 Here's the last known photo of my hat at the starting line just before Mohican (shown in rare reverse position - photo curators take note!). I hope someone found it on the trail, washed it (many, many times over) and is now putting it to good use again! Long may you run, my hat friend!!

9 comments:

Amelia said...

I love this homage to a hat, complete with so many great pictures. Dear lord you have done so many races! I liked seeing the Run192 pictures best, for nostalgic reasons. Years later, I am still amazed at your achievement. In much smaller news, my beloved visor is on its last days too. The clasp in the back that holds the velcro strap together broke and now I have it held together with a safety pin, which doesn't really work and the velcro keeps sticking to my hair. But it's tough to give up a trusty hat, I agree!

Kim said...

Hey I will put out an APB on your hat. And keep a lookout if it still somewhere trailside for you...

Dan Rose said...

Oh Kim, you're too kind...but I'm sure it's long gone at this point! The good news is, from the sound of Amelia's note, I have a headwear shopping trip to look forward to next time I visit her. I wonder if there's an iPhone app for haberdasheries in NYC?...

The Gittelman family said...

Dan, I've been following your blog for a while and just had to comment on the sad loss of your hat! I hate wearing hats as they make my head feel like it's about
to explode (even when it's super cold I only wear one of those really thin beanies!) but I know that others are very close to their headgear! Hope your new hat becomes your old hat soon...and maybe I'll see you out there on the trails some time! Alison

ultrarunnerbrianphilpot said...

Everyone said Mohican was too hot on raceday, but this week in Ohio was slamming hot! I'm not a hat man, good luck finding a good new one.

Dan Rose said...

Thanks Allison! I completely agree that wearing a hat while running is less-than-preferable, but when you're bald and gangly like me, you need that sun protection for your head! The hat I lost seemed to work just right for me...my shaved hair worked a bit like velcro in keeping it perched loosely on top of my head without it falling off. We had a pretty good relationship, me and that hat!

Brian - Sounds like you guys have been in the same sauna as the rest of us on the east coast. Good thing you guys have those shady trails of Mohican to run on...I think I'd run a purple loop when it gets this hot and stop half-way around for a little waterfall shower to cool off!

Ric Munoz said...

"Holy frijoles" -- I love it, Dan!

So sorry about your hat. I never leave home without mine, so I feel your pain. Let's hope the replacement proves to be loyal as the departed hat was.

Great news about Jamie at Badwater, huh?

Dan Rose said...

Hey Ric!

Jamie really tore up that course yesterday for the new record. She now has the top 3 fastest times in history! Talk about having the perfect training/race plan for that course...she's amazing! ...and to think her mom once told me she hated the hot weather as a kid!

Ric Munoz said...

Amazing is -- as you know -- a total understatement, Dan. Jamie demolished her own CR by 35 minutes (!) and I just consulted the ol' calculator: 11:40 pace for 135 miles in all that heat! Yikes! I'm really glad she got to experience the triumph yesterday after enduring the disappointment at the 24-Hour WC. I'm sure Badwater will be -- as Mohican was for you -- a much-needed (and great) confidence booster for her!