I’m combining two earlier posts, Born to Run from June 2 and How Hot is Too Hot from June 27 because both collided for me this morning.
The good news- about 6 weeks ago I decided to take running seriously. I could never run more that a minute or two at a time and I wanted to change that. Well, I now run 3 miles (in a row!!) and have run 5 miles (in a row!!) once. I have averaged 9-10 minute miles but have done a few in 8 minutes. I used a “couch to 5k” training regimen and it is working. Never in my life did I think I would look forward to running and never did I think I would run a mile, let alone 5. So- if you think you can’t do it, think again.
The bad news- it has been HOT here. I like hot and I don’t mind humid but we are in the longest hot spell that I can remember. I have advised against exercising in the heat because even the most physically fit people can succumb to heat stroke. Perhaps I need to heed my own advice. I was excited to go out for a Sunday run as I had plenty of time and could really push it. However, the temp at 6:30 am was almost 80 and the sun was shining brilliantly in a cloudless sky. This should have been a warning sign but I went out anyway.
Another warning sign- I ran into my friend Tracy out on the trail, she was on her way back from a long run. This girl is an experienced marathoner and had her tool belt filled with water bottles. We stopped for a 5 second chat and she basically said it was a really tough run and she was dying. (not literally, but close!). At that point I should have gone back home. If Tracy is struggling, an amateur like me would be in trouble.
But, no, dammit. This is my day off and I’m going to run. I started off well but it didn’t take long for the heat and humidity to catch up. At this point I was running downhill with the sun at my back. Did I think about the return trip being uphill and into the blazing sun? Of course not! Did I bring water? No, that would have been too smart.
I did make it 1.5 miles before I had to slow down and walk. At that point, I started to get goosebumps which is a warning sign of heat stroke. I did not heed the warning and started my run back home. Up the hill, into the sun, panting and pushing. Sweat does nothing to cool a body at such a high dew point so my body was just heating and heating. I would like to be dramatic and say I passed out and handsome young EMT’s came to my rescue but I made it home alive with no real problems. However, I was a bit dizzy and had a tough time cooling down. The worst thing to do is jump into a cold shower so I just wiped down with a damp towel until I felt better.
What’s the takeaway? Running is fun. Running burns tons of calories. Running helps clear your mind. But- running in the heat and humidity is dumb. Go to the gym or do an indoor cardio workout like jumping jacks, jump roping or high knee running in place.
Perhaps this week I will practice what I preach! Take it easy- triple digits are in the forecast.