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Friday, June 12, 2009

How to run in the heat... and not die.

The title of this post implies that I have some solutions for running in the wonderful sauna like weather conditions of Nashville. But, the title is deceiving. I actually have no good tips on how to run in the heat. Because, honestly... there aren't any.

Yesterday afternoon was the 3rd two-a-day for me (which, by the way, I noticed that Runners World must be reading the blog, since they have an article this month about the benefits of two-a-days. Boo-ya!). The temperature was in the upper 80s yesterday afternoon and when I stepped out and started my slow 1.5 mile warm-up, I decided that it wasn't that bad. I finally broke out my summer running partner: the resurrected visor, for the first time this year and it was a welcome addition to the run.

By the time I met up with Anonymous Commenter (A.C.) I was thinking... "PUHLEASE. This heat has nothing on me. I am an acclimated running goddess. Bring it, Sun." And for the first 2.5 miles or so with A.C. I was rocking my tempo run even with the sun beaming down.

And then, like so often when I get cocky in a run... I hit the wall. And by "wall" I mean... I felt like I was going to die if I didn't stop immediately, puke, and then lie down on the sidewalk and await a death due to heat exhaustion. I kept saying to myself... "okay, when we get to the next street pole, intersection, tree, etc... I'm going to have to stop and walk for a few minutes." And then we'd get to that point and I'd say... "okay, well I'm still alive... (unless I died and went straight to hell which turns out to be a continuation of this run, in which case... well played, Satan) so maybe I can make it to the next street pole, intersection, tree, etc." This went on for the remainder of the run. I kept pushing through and I'm glad I did, because I made it and I didn't die or puke. I did slow down significantly, to the point where it felt like we could've potentially been passed by a 73 year old power-walker. But whatev. I made it.

I thought I might walk some on my cool down run back home... but, I didn't. I figured when I logged my run that my pace would be way slow, but it actually wasn't. Overall, I got over 7 miles at an average 9:17 pace. Which... honestly... I probably ran 10:00+/mile pace for my warm-up and cool down and 9:17 is sadly wayyy faster than I've been running these days. So, I'm happy. Happy to be alive, happy that I didn't puke, happy that I still averaged a fairly fast-ish pace.

This weekend? Rest day tomorrow because I'm volunteering at a race. And 18 miles on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

6 comments:

Chris said...

You're right. Other than trying to beat the heat, and hydrating days ahead, it simply a killer. Be careful!

Have a great time volunteering and a peaceful [not too hot] 18-miler!

J said...

Is running in heat and humidity worse than just running in hot temps?? I have been running in 75 degree heat with 90% humidity in the mornings and somehow I have managed to survive lol!

Melanie said...

I think the key to running in the heat is to just SURVIVE. I'm always surprised though after I do a run in the heat... 9 times out of 10 it went better than I thought it did when I was out there. And you references to hell and Satan made me literally laugh out loud. :)

MrsCJ said...

You are a bad ass for all those two a days, very impressive work!

CJ

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I ran the half @ CM and yesterday I ran a half in Ridgeland, MS. Have you ever been to MS in the summer? Hot as hell. I ran a disappointing 2:02 in Nashville, and a disappointing 2:03 in Ridgeland (long course - 13.4). It's survival for me from now until the St. George marathon in Oct.

Nat said...

"well played Satan" -- hysterical. I hate running in the heat. I live in Ottawa our heat is nothing compared to the rest of you...

I think I need a misting truck to follow me around like they did in the Olympics.