Sunday, June 6, 2010

Running in the heat

I had my last long run today in preparation for the Manitoba Marathon in two weeks. The forecast said it was a high of 16, so I thought everything was going to go my way. I was wrong.

It turns out it was quite a bit warmer, and quite a bit sunnier than forecasted. Had I known how far off they were, I would have scheduled my run first thing in the morning instead of over lunch. After 12 miles, I knew things were going wrong. My heart was racing, despite my relaxed pace. I had also stopped sweating. I still had about a litre of water left in my water bladder, but every time I took a sip my stomach turned. I already bailed out of one run this training cycle, and I wasn't ready to bail on another one.

Fortunately, my running route takes me through the University of Manitoba. I paused my workout and dashed into the first building I ran by. The air conditioning was heaven-sent. And for some strange reason, this building only had water fountains on the third floor (eep!). This cool-down was going to have to be earned. Managed to cool myself off by dunking my head in the water fountain and standing on an air conditioning vent until I had goose bumps. Heading out with my now cooled-down body, it didn't take long before I started suffering again. With only 3 miles left in my run, I had to take a walk break in a shady section in the hopes I'd cool off again.

With 1.5 miles left, I broke down. I stopped running and rested in the shade of a tree beside the sidewalk. Fortunately, I was able to drink again without my stomach turning. And I felt my heart rate slowing down. After about 5 minutes of resting, I managed to run back home at a normal pace.

I celebrated my failed long run with a punishing ice bath. Good thing Christine & Bean were out of the house, or they would have had to endure my screams of icy pain.


  1. (I tried to comment on this yesterday but the site wasn't working!)

    Running in heat is hard... if there is a silver lining, it's that this will help you figure out what you need to do in order to run well in the heat (for me, the solution is gatorade and lots of it!).

  2. (hm weird, now it's showing both comments!)

  3. Odder still, it didn't notify me that there were comments!

    I think the solution for me is to just cool down. I have a 2-litre water bladder when I do my long runs, and I put 2 E-caps in it. So it shouldn't be a matter of electrolytes. I should have worn a visor instead of my hat (that thin piece of fabric makes a huge difference).