Back in 2007, I first hit three digits on my cycling mileage on a single outing (going over 100km). And while doing so, I got my first experience of being torched by the sun. Literally speaking.
And every time when we do long distance ride, seldom we can escape from it. The sun light at noon gives the perfect condition for outdoor photography, but not for any other activities unless you are under the shades.
That’s why cyclists easily get tan lines. And quite rare we find pure runners having them for a simple logic that cyclists normally spend 2 or 3 more times under the blazing hot sun as compared to runners.
Last weekend, I didn’t do any long ride, not even a long run or swim. I had some plans for a long run on Saturday morning but there’s a little voice in me that told me to get back to sleep. The same voice appeared once again on Sunday morning. So, blame the voice (and the blanket).
However, my wife’s family put on an ad-hoc picnic plan on mid morning Sunday, at Sg. Pangsoon. It was nearby Gunung Nuang’s entrance, in Hulu Langat. At the time where I was supposed (read: I wanted) to hit the tarmac on Sunday early morning, I was helping them in the kitchen to prepare the tidbits we wanted to bring along for the picnic.
And while everyone else was busy packing their extra clothes and towels and foods into the car, I silently clutched my running gear. I had my own ‘ad-hoc’ plan of the day.
We arrived at Sg. Pangsoon around 11.30am. If I was not wearing any watch, I’d say the sun at that time would have implied that it was 1pm or 2pm. It was blazing and sweltering hot. After done with offloading the picnic stuffs, I told my wife that I had ‘something’ to do.
To run under the sizzling heat, and see what happens to me, was that ‘something’.
Running cap and shades on, I braved the searing tarmac at 12:15pm. The last time when I ran at this time was during Desaru Long Distance triathlon – a 21km run after a torturous 90km cycling, back in 2009. And since this time it was only an experiment, I didn’t anticipate for a long run. I headed towards the entrance of Gunung Nuang, but didn’t really manage to reach the car park even after 15minutes out. My energy level was shattered and drained much faster that I thought it would, so I quickly make a turnaround and ended the run in 31minutes, slightly torched.
Despite of the short timing and distance, the heat really gets into me. I wanted to do more, but I just couldn’t. The rate at which my energy level dropped was beyond expectation. Somehow I knew this would happen, and this little experiment just proved to me that I need to work harder to adapt my body more into it if I want to become stronger in this climate we are in.
Ask any Ironman triathletes about the hardest thing they have to fight during their entire race. I’m pretty sure they’ll say something in the line of – “It’s the heat”.
There’s no short cut in this game we are in.
To be, or not to be. Period.