The average daily temperature in Madison has been about 40 degrees, sometimes cooler during the time that I have been out running. There were even a few flakes of snow when I was out doing 13 miles two weeks ago.
This coming Sunday, the temperature in DC is forecast to be 62. I am in so much trouble.
When ultrarunners are training for some of the more extreme races (races like the Badwater which goes through Death Valley, CA, or the Western States, which is known for its temperature extremes), they do what’s called heat training – wearing long sleeves and trousers even in warm conditions, sitting in saunas, driving around with the heater on (during the summer, mind). The idea is to raise your core temperature up to what it might be during the event so you can start to get used to it.
When I first realized what the temperature differential was going to be, I started trying to do something similar – running in long sleeves, a sweatshirt, and tights even when the weather was in the 50s and I didn’t really need these accouterments. But when it’s 35 degrees out (thank you, bank clock in Verona), will the concept really work?
I suppose we’ll find out on Sunday. I have a couple of advantages working for me: I have a strong base, having run about 40-50 miles per week since January, and I acclimate to heat a lot more readily than most people. My goal is to come in right around the 4 hour mark, but finishing at all will be great.
I think in general it should be a better race than last year. Here’s hoping, anyway. We fly out Friday morning. Wish me luck!