How hot can you get before you collapse? That’s what I’m wondering while finishing the last few miles of a 20 mile training run in the desert. The weather has been blistering hot; sapping the land of all moisture, so I left at sunrise hoping to beat the heat.
My plan was to run through the Quitman canyon this morning, but it is a 20 mile out-and-back route, which would be too long for my dogs in this searing weather. Cara, Maddie and I are spending time at her family’s ranch in West Texas and six of the dogs are used to tagging along on my runs.
When I was ready to leave this morning, I put them all inside and started to depart, but there was such a ruckus that I turned only to see a bunch of little sad faces at the window crying, “are you really going to abandon us and make us stay here?” My heart sank and I was too much of an ol' softy to leave them. I caved in to pressure and let them come along. Therefore I changed my route to several shorter legs, so my partners could return home before they became overheated.
|Maddie plays a mean washboard!|
I have six more weeks to get ready for Kendall Mountain Run in Silverton, Colorado. It is a half marathon course that ascends a 13,000 ft peak and runners have the option to run it once or twice. Most run it once, but I signed up for the double climb which only about ten people registered for in the last few years. I figure this gives me the chance, for once, to finish in the top ten. Haha!
My training has included running hills in my neighborhood, trails in the Franklin Mts and dirt roads near the ranch. All my routes are hilly, but I will soon add climbs to North or South Franklin peaks (7192 and 6791ft. elev.) at least once a week for the next month to get my legs ready for the elevation changes I will encounter in Colorado.
Here’s a “funny now, not at the time” story for you: When we were playing whiffle ball with our niece and nephew at the ranch it was my turn to bat. Suddenly, I felt a sharp wasp sting on my back so Grandmother took a look and saw no wasp. I went inside to put some Ssssting Stop on it and decided I better shake out my shirt in case something was still crawling around in there. Well, lo and behold, a scorpion fell on the floor so I stepped on him and promptly went back outside, presented what was left of my clawed friend and accused the other team of cheating for dropping bugs down our backs. You should have seen the swiftness of those shirts flying off!
Here's what I do when I'm not running or getting stung at the ranch:
We have had some gorgeous sunsets lately due to the haze from the Whitewater-Baldy fire, New Mexico’s largest on record and an indication that our climate is quickly changing. My brother-in-law, a firefighter for the NM BLM, said the behavior of the fire is unprecedented. A brush fire has also been burning near the ranch for a few days and we could see the smoke rising from many miles away.
As I finish up my long run, It seems I am plodding along at a snails pace. My back is aching and the heat has zapped all my energy; I have no choice but to keep going. I’m motivated to keep running as fast as I can, so I will be finished sooner and will get to lie down. Finally I make it back and find the only piece of soft green grass growing within a hundred miles —the little patch under the palm trees that Granddad regularly waters. I lie down on my back, prop up my feet and go to my happy place. Ahhhhhhhhhh..........I made it.
See you on the trail.