The Best Ever!
I've written about my concern about the potential heat at the Great Floridian (average race day temp = 85) so I did some research (surprise, surprise) and came up with a plan that includes hot, indoor trainer rides, the sauna and possibly some Bikram Yoga. I may dress like it's the middle of the winter and go for a run, but I doubt it.
I noticed the YMCA has a sauna so I figured I'd start there. Maybe get in the sauna a few times a week for 15-20 minutes and see how it goes. My research told me you can get mostly acclimated within 2 weeks of exposure to heat. I won't have constant exposure, and I don't plan on doing all of my rides indoors so I figured I'd stretch the timeline a bit (plus I'm still hoping for 68 degrees on race day).
The picture in the upper left is the first picture that came up when I googled sauna. Trust me on this one...the sauna at the YMCA is nothing like the one pictured.
But it's not bad, actually a little nicer than I expected...which leads me to believe no one uses it. The sign outside says the temperature inside is between 160-180 degrees and you shouldn't be in there for more than 15 minutes. Perfect. I'll do 20.
The first thing I noticed walking into the sauna was that it's really freaking hot in there. Coincidentally, that was also the second thing I noticed. I didn't get around to noticing a third thing since my brain function quickly slowed because, as has already been mentioned, it was really freaking hot in there.
To be completely honest, I expected worse. I handle the heat pretty well and felt really relaxed. Loosey goosey. Taking a deep breath was tough, but other than that I was okay. I stretched out on the bench and listened to music. The next thing I knew, my watch read 18 minutes. Only two to go.
Don't get me wrong, I was sweating a lot and my old, baggy swimsuit was soaked. It wasn't killer, but it wasn't exactly comfortable either. Upon leaving the sauna I immediately went the wrong way around the pool and had to walk all the way around to get to the locker room. I changed, got in my car and drove home. I didn't feel quite right, and quickly realized I was experiencing a phenomenon that is best described as heat-induced mental retardation. Luckily, it's a temporary condition (arguably, I'm sure) and I felt better by morning.
And that was probably the best night of sleep I have ever had. I don't remember any of it, which is what leads me to believe it was the best ever.
[I can only imagine your disappointment to find out the title "The Best Ever" isn't associated with the posted picture, but a night of sleep instead. My apologies.]
Different subject. Here's a great Ironman Wisconsin race report from Hillary Biscay (she won the female pro division last year).
It's interesting, well-written, and I learned that people other than Chris McDonald refer to Chris McDonald as Big Sexy.