Don't worry about ruing it, at some temperature (63º) the fan is set to maximum, if that doesn't decrease the temperature in the worst case the hardware is supposed to turn it off but I have never seen this case. I have been working at 83º CPU temperature for several minutes and it was ok.
(note that the last lines depend on your modules, these work for my X1 with Ubuntu 12.04 (64bits) and kernel 3.2.0-24-generic.)
If you worry about the temperature use lm-sensors to check the temperature and the fan. Also, install Psensor (from repositories as well) which places an applet on your panel and can be set to raise a warning when reaching some temperature.
Configuring this sort of things is a pain. It is not difficult but it is annoying. I would pay whatever necessary if they shipped my Thinkpad with a working and tested Linux distribution on it. We linux users are busy people as well, some of us also hate configuring things But Lenovo works for the monopolists.