Friendly neighborhood hitchhikers

Here in NY this past weekend we had temperatures that reached 100 degrees. I usually am good in heat, but even I’ve been struggling with hydration and keeping my cool. Last night at work I felt really sick for the last hour…I’ll work on drinking even more today.

When I am dehydrated, I feel sick, and don’t want to drink, then I get a headache and feel grouchy. Not a good combo. Luckily my coworker and best work friend Josh is pretty easy-going, so he makes me feel ok again.

On Sunday my coach and I met at the Twisted Branch course at 10AM for some heat training. Yup, heat training. Our plan was to do the first 20 miles of the course at a really slow, hiking pace. Which we did. Our pace was very slow and deliberate so we could keep going in the heat. There was also a water stop at the half point, and a creek to dip in.

However, best laid plans sometimes go awry, but not in a terrible way. Essentially, we got lost and off trail a few times. The FLT course markers aren’t always the best, and so we had to navigate a bit randomly. We got to the water hose, and it had already been about 2 hours and 15 minutes. We debated stopping then, because it was only getting hotter and I had a family party I wanted to get to.

The thing is, when you’re an hour from the people you know, there’s almost no point in stopping if there are no physical ailments. Sure, we were both hot, but I had enough food and water for both of us, so we kept on. I knew I was going to be pretty late to the family pow-wow.

Another issue in finding the trails was the lack of cell phone service. My phone kind of shit the bed and it was luck that we got a hold of Jeff, a trail pro, to help us out. After about 15 miles, we were lost again, so we decided to make our way to a parking lot and see if anyone would give us a ride back to my van.

Luckily, a few wonderful women who were on vacation, thought we were a riot and helped us out. We struck out with two families before that. Rightly so I mean we looked gross. The ladies even took our picture after they dropped us off. I am thankful for people like that. I wouldn’t give a second thought to helping a runner or hiker if they’re lost, but I realize it’s kind of sketchy if you don’t understand the culture.

We ended up with about 16 miles and 4 hours of heat training. Coach said it was a solid day. I said at certain points this race seemed like a really bad idea for me. Mental lows were real out there. They will happen on race day, so I might as well train through them. Better overprepared in that sense.

We hit a really good Mexican place finally, which made me forgive him for his heat training idea (I kid, but I was starving by 4PM) and I made it to my family’s party by 6PM. My sister and her boyfriend were getting ready to leave, but I did see them for a bit and hung out with my parents for a couple hours. No regrets.

I woke up really sore on Monday, so my 5 miler was kind of a slog. Today I took a rest day. With work being a sauna and my next race in just a few weeks, I need to be careful here.

Honestly, I miss my van life, but it’s probably better for me to have a stable home right now. I don’t need to worry about things as much. I don’t need to move my vehicle. I can rest assured everything is alright. Peace of mind, less stress, hopefully more recovery.

On the home front, I am still not home very much, but when I have been, I’ve cooked a few times. I made golden rice as my first meal. Technically the pancakes were the first, but I’m not counting breakfast.

I also got an air fryer on Saturday. I’ve had my eye on one for a year or so, and so I promised myself that if I wasn’t living in my van, I’d get an air fryer for the simple reason that I don’t have to babysit the stove and it’s takes less time. It’s also not as hot or dangerous working with less oil.

I made maple glazed tofu, as the only things I have in my pantry to flavor tofu are maple syrup, oil and salt. It worked great! 10 minutes to fried tofu just the way I like it!

My mom also gave me some hand-me-down sheets, so I am no longer sleeping on my sleeping bag. To be honest, it’s been so hot I don’t really notice a difference. I’m just sweating in front of my van anyway.

That’s kind of been it. Trying to manage the heat, my soreness (which now also comes from bruises on my left side where I fell during heat training) and learning how to live in an apartment again.

I don’t feel pressure to decorate. I like the white. I don’t feel the need to make a million recipes. I like how vanlife showed me how to eat simply everyday, and once in a while treat myself. That in itself is a blessing.

Running: Rest

Breakfast: yogurt, protein powder, flax seeds, raspberries and almonds

3 thoughts on “Friendly neighborhood hitchhikers”

  1. Ellie,

    You’re impressive. I wish I was as willing to live the “simple life”. It sounds like your apartment doesn’t have air conditioning and I would definitely be a hot mess at night without air. Have you considered getting a window air unit so that you can get a restful night of sleep? I was doing some research on sleep lately and it showed that sleeping in the heat leads to restlessness and sometimes bouts of insomnia. With some big races coming up … good sleep is a must!

  2. I’ve thought about an air fryer for a while too Ellie! I’ve heard they make such yummy potato and sweet potato fries. Also, wow, heat training sounds really hard. But it does sound really good. I’m amazed at how well you do with heat.

  3. I love that the ladies took your picture! That will be such a fun memory. Heat training sounds intense! I know dog walking has been intense in this heat, so I can’t imagine running and hiking! Your breakfast looks delish. I am now craving some yogurt 🙂

    Glad to hear you like your air fryer! I’ve been thinking of buying one!

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