Monday, April 04, 2011
Today was my last long run training day before running the 8K Shamrock Shuffle next weekend. I had decided that I was going to run 6 miles today and then put in 2 more short training runs this week. I woke up this morning pumped to "get er done" and made myself a big breakfast of a tomato basil omelette, toast and coffee (my secret weapon for long run days to keep me fueled and energetic since I don't normally drink it during the week).
Outside the sky was beginning to threaten as I laced on my shoes and slammed back a couple more glasses of water. I checked the weather quickly - at the time it was hovering around 45 degrees. Warmer than the weather I have been running in, but still cool enough for the running jacket over my tank (I thought).
The minute I stepped out the door I knew it felt warm. I debated going back inside and ditching the jacket, but I was already all tucked in and ready to go so I unzipped at the neck a bit and took off anyway. A mile and a half into my run I knew that was a big mistake. Already I was totally parched. I don't take water with me when I run and unfortunately the fountains in the park aren't operational yet. I opted to keep running, feeling the sweat trickling down my back already.
2.75 miles in I was fading fast. I kept telling myself to slow down and relax, but even at the slower speeds my body was tanking without water. At 2.9 miles I had to walk. As I slowed to walk I felt a wave of nausea pass over me. This is CRAZY I was thinking. I've never experienced this before. I peeled off my running jacket and tied it around my waist. There was a nice breeze at that point and just the cooler air on my body felt good. I walked for a half mile and then decided again that I would run. No big deal - I'll just run the other 3 miles now and call it a day. I still hadn't had any water, but I started on a second lap around the park. Another mile and a half later, I just couldn't go anymore. I stopped to walk again. Angry with myself now for not being able to run and not having brought any water with me I decided to head it home. I was able to run for another couple of short stints, but after the last jaunt of 0.34 miles, I was cooked. Quite literally. Sweat was pouring off my body, I could barely open my mouth because it was so dry, and my body was so weak I was having trouble even moving. I ascended the stairs to my apartment as quickly as I could and found my water bottle filled and waiting for me. As I made my way back outside with my water bottle and a grapefruit for some quick sustenance I caught the weather report again still on my computer screen. 73 degrees!!! In 90 minutes, the temperature had climbed almost 20 degrees. NO WONDER I was out of sorts! I sat and drank my water, ate my grapefruit and did some stretching. Still feeling faint, I decided to jump in the shower anyway to attempt to revive myself. Mistake # 2 of the day. I almost passed out in the shower - never fun - and then immediately started feeling sick again.
Now, after having had a big dinner, lots of water, and an evening of sitting at the rehearsal table for the show I'm currently working on, I feel MUCH better. It's still very hot outside, but the thunderstorms that have been threatening all day and that brought in the heat wave have finally started, so temps should drop again for tomorrow.
All I know is - if this happens again next Sunday, everyone running the Shuffle could be screwed. So far in my running life, I've dealt with the temperature dropping and managing to adapt and run outside all winter. That was a change that I grew accustomed to and ended up quite liking as I tend to run very hot anyway and never needed much more than a simple running jacket all winter. 30 degrees is the perfect temp for me for a nice, long, outdoor run. Now I suppose it's time to get used to the seasons changing all over again. I'm not sure I'm going to like spring much - especially when it throws random HOT & HUMID days at you from out of no where and since I have slight allergies which the warmer weather always likes to mess with. Heat on a runner's body all of a sudden is not something to joke about. It's better to warm up gradually - and quite clearly I wasn't ready for this today. Now I know what the runners in the Chicago Marathon felt a couple of years ago when it was over 90 degrees in the middle of October. I think I remember hearing that one person actually died from heat stroke.
So moral of the story kids - be careful out there as the weather starts to warm up. Sure it's nice to get back out on the roads again for people who have been running inside all winter, but for those of us who are used to running in cooler temps, let's all make sure not to stress out our bodies too badly and make for a gradual change to accommodate the fluctuating temperature changes! I should have planned for a shorter run today. It's disappointing when the weather doesn't cooperate with your planned schedule, but we all need to learn to make adjustments. I'm glad I didn't really push myself to run the whole way - it could have turned out much worse than it did. Even though I was "angry" at myself for walking, I have since forgiven myself knowing that the temp spiked that much while I was out there. We can only do as much as we can do and I think given the circumstances, I still did pretty great today. Just hoping for cooler, clear weather for next weekend!