Hot hot heat

I think I had my first encounter with heat exhaustion this week.

A possible encounter with heat exhaustion Tuesday drove me to the treadmill today.

A possible encounter with heat exhaustion Tuesday drove me to the treadmill today.

I tackled my long run, something like an 11-miler, late Tuesday morning, when temperatures topped 89 degrees in Washington. I felt OK immediately after, but starting Tuesday evening, I began to feel like a truck hit me. I’d brought a little 18-ounce water bottle on my run, sipped water compulsively throughout Tuesday afternoon and continued to hydrate and be smart on Tuesday night, when I skipped having a drink at the Nationals game to keep my body feeling good.

Still, I woke up on Wednesday feeling like death, the way I’ve only felt after a few Gate River Runs in Jacksonville and one 18-miler in Jacksonville that I made the fatal mistake of leaving for at 8 a.m., meaning I was running in Florida, in April, at noon. Gaah!

Is there such a thing as late-onset heat exhaustion? I’m not sure, but if there is, I certainly felt it Tuesday and yesterday. I think my biggest mistakes were running without being acclimated — my poor body was expecting the 65-degree glory of Monterey and San Francisco, not the hottest and most humid day of the year in DC — and not taking more water, considering I had to literally wring out my shirt several times. Also, I made the major mistake of waiting until I already felt bad to ease up during the run. Truly, after living in Florida for four years, everything feels cool by comparison. I was so busy congratulating myself for being hard-core on this count, I forgot that 89 degrees is just plain hot when your body’s not used to it.

In any case, I think I slept it off, going to bed around 9:30 p.m. last night and waking up at 9 a.m. today, which is simply unheard of for me. I also learned my lesson, and am forgoing my planned trail run this morning for a speed workout on the treadmill, since today’s even hotter than Tuesday. I dislike the treadmill to the extent that, when I tried to think of a positive spin I could put on today’s workout, I could only think that doing speedwork on the treadmill makes it less boring, and means it’s over quicker.

But it will make me faster. It will get me in shape to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall. And … well, it will be over quickly, if nothing else. Wish me luck!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Hot hot heat

  1. Kim

    This is THE WORST. I encountered this during a 17 mile run this past weekend at my mother’s house on Cape Cod. It’s usually significantly cooler there and breezy, but the humidity rolled in during half way through my run and I wanted to die. I had to refill my water belt halfway through!

    I do agree with you though, I think pushing through these runs will make us better off in the long run. It will also help us if it’s ungodly warm during the actual marathon!

    Best of luck and see you at the starting line on October 25th!

  2. Kimberly

    How scary! Glad you are okay!

  3. Ed

    Great post and thanks for sharing! One thing a lot of us forget sometimes is that dehydration is cumulative and while we hydrate during, and after a run we aren’t really properly hydrated before. I have seen this a lot with the marathon and half marathon group I am helping coach right now. They show up bright eyed and bushy tailed Saturday AM with their water bottles and fuel belts, but havent worked on hydrating the day before.In the northern Sacramento Valley where the temps have been over a 100 for the last couple weeks this is imperative. For me I really like the PowerBar sport drink so I make sure I have taken in two the day before anything over 8 miles. One during the afternoon of the day befores and one the night before. This gives me plenty of electrolytes and a good jump on carbs too.
    Keep up the fantastic posts Amy!! Love em
    Ed

  4. Gosh I hate the heat… esp when it gets us offset… esp when running. Good luck on the treadmill today!

  5. Good luck!! Put a whoopin’ on the treadmill! Sounds like you were right in that you just weren’t acclimated to the heat…way to live through it!!

  6. i think i always take advantage of the “it’s hot – i should run reeaallllly slow” excuse! glad you made it through the run and are feeling recovered. i’m not such a fan of speedwork on the treadmill ’cause i feel like i will be shot off the back, lol. i hope you made it through the workout safely!

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