Running in the heat…

Today I set out for a run and I wanted to run at least an hour.  I woke up at 7am…errr…ok “Maybe I’ll go at 7:30.” right? WRONG!  I stayed in bed…7:30, 7:45…ok 8am I got up and I thought I would be out the door by 8:15.  Well that didn’t happen either.  I actually got out at 8:50.  I checked the weather, it was 77 degrees and like 80 plus humidity.  Before I left I made sure to drink 12 oz of water, eat a banana, and drink my coffee of course.  It wasn’t too bad and of course I ran about 1 minute slower than usual.  3.1 miles later, and I was back at the house, drank my slushy icy water, and went back out for another 3.1.  This time it was hotter.  I Gallowayed 4:1 the entire second half.  I didn’t want to get dehydrated or overheated especially since I haven’t even started my marathon training!

While I was running I saw another lady also on her run.  This is the part I feel ashamed about.  What ran through my mind as she was running was, “I’m faster than her.”  “She’s so slow.”  I quickly got so embarrassed…even though no one could hear the thoughts.  So I was running and catching up to her and then my walking interval time started.  Believe it or not 20 seconds into my walk time I continued running, I didn’t want this woman who was running in front of me to see me walking! Then I came to my senses, “WHO CARES?”  I began walking but I walked quickly, got to my running interval again and ran a different direction than her.  While I was running past the sprinklers and the new elementary school, I told myself, “I’m running for me.”  “I want to continue to enjoy running, how can I if I compete against people that don’t know they are competing?”  “What’s wrong with me?”  Then I had to shake that idea out of my head, there’s nothing “wrong” with me.  To be honest I am competitive with myself.  I have goals and I want to reach them but it’s not the end all be all if I don’t.  In fact I like to learn and make adjustments to these running experiences.  I completed the run and it took me 1:03 minutes not counting the break I took halfway into my run.  My pace remained between 10-10:30 which is good for running in the heat.

Before I set out on my run I read 8 tips to beat the heat while running.  One thing is for sure I will leave earlier on my next run for sure.  These are the things that I did and they worked for me this morning.

1. wore loose sweat wicking clothing, nothing tight or cotton! I wore a hat but not a cap since covering my head will retain heat (loose running tank top, running skirt, and visor).

2. Drank 12 oz of water before I went on my run.  I drank my water about 15 minutes before I headed out.

3. Run in the shade or in the grass.  In my case I didn’t have much shade but I tried to stay away from asphalt.  I also ran through sprinklers.  :-)

4. Drink water during your run.  I didn’t carry my fuel belt this time since I could stop by my house and grab some water.  Mostly I use my fuel belt on trails or longer runs away from my house.  If you don’t like to run with water bottles, leave some along your route.  One time I put my water bottle down in the grass during my run and when I looped around I grabbed it and re-hydrated.  I carried it to my next turn around, put it down and got it on the way back.

5. When I got back from my run I drank my electrolyte drink.  Last summer I was getting alot of headaches after I ran.  This is a way to prevent that from happening.

6.  Another trick I read about was to wear a cool vest, I assume it’s like a camel pack with water in it that you carry and it cools you off at the same time.  I’ve never done this before though.  After running the Too Hot To Handle 15K last July, they handed us icy cold towels at the finish.  I imagine this would do the same thing.  I’ll try keeping an icy cold towel in a cooler and getting it on my runs during one of my turnarounds and update on how it works.

7.  Of course slow down!  It is recommended to slow down 1-2 minutes than your normal pace.  I ran at about 10:00-10:30 pace today.  Normally I run at around 9-9:30.

8. Walk intervals.  Wow this was a life saver.  I could have just run the entire thing and felt horrible and dying at the end.  However, I learned my lesson from last year.  I finished my run today, tired but not overly tired and heat exhausted.  Last year I would push and run 7 miles before stopping and then the rest of my long run would be dreadful.  It’s important to understand that walking doesn’t take away from your endurance or make you less of a runner.  Walking helps prevent injury and burnout.  I chose and 4:1 interval and it worked out really well.

I’ll write about my Saturday long run and the tricks I used to beat the heat on that one.  Aiming for 10-13 miles!

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