I consider myself an experienced runner. I know how to check and take stock of myself, when to push, and when to take it easy. Today was one of those days that would have ended in disaster if I didn’t have the experience I do.
I went out today with the goal of running 13.1 at least, as it has been quite a while since I did a full half marathon as a training run.( I also needed to try out my new Gaiam Touch Trainer Heart Rate Monitor, which I plan on reviewing in full in an upcoming post) I did not, however, go out at the right time of the day to run that distance (duh, noon in Texas). I was planning to run negative splits, taking it easy and keeping my heart rate below 140 for the first few miles… then I started running and quickly realized that I was not going to be able to reach those goals today, and I decided to just go until I felt like I was getting close to danger.
Danger comes up very quickly. I almost found out the hard way.From the start this of this run, I couldn’t get my heart rate down below 155 with any type of pace above a power walk, so I decided to run in the anaerobic zone (165+) instead of my original target of my recovery zone (-140). The heat still kept me way above my usual pace times in that zone. I logged my first mile with my heart rate around 155-160, then my second 160-170…my third mile (on the course I had laid out for myself)had a long flat straightaway, with no shade. I decided to power through this portion and kicked it up to 170-175. I stopped at my Z, parked around the 3.5 mile mark, grabbed a gatorade from the cooler I keep in the trunk, switched out my KSO’s for my Treksports, and headed off again. (this was planned from the onset, I wanted to try them both on a long pavement run) The next two miles went by without much issue, keeping steady @ around 175-183. My lungs were feeling ok, and I mentally checked myself over to make sure I could do the straight portion again. I felt ok to do it, or so I thought…. Halfway down the straight portion, around 5.8 miles or so, I realized something very bad was going on. I wasn’t sweating. I know, I know….you all think I am so tough I don’t ever sweat, but I really and truly stopped sweating….HELLO DEHYDRATION, where did you come from?! I dialled my pace back a little, and decided to cut out a portion of the course and head straight for the car… I stopped running as soon as I hit the shade (6.4mi) and continued on a brisk walk, checking my breathing… my pulse at a WALK was 173bpm, and I continued to check my breathing and had my phone in my hand by this point, just in case I didn’t think I would make it to my car. I cut through some wooded paths to keep to the cooler shade and shorten my distance a little and made it safely back to my Z. I popped the trunk, grabbed a gatorade and literally poured it down my throat…. no more then 10 seconds later, I was sweating profusely. I shed my shoes and lounged in the shade for a bit, slowly drinking a second gatorade while I ate a pack of sport beans. By the time I was going for my third beverage, I texted Mrs MuddyJ to let her know I had an issue, but was ok, and that I was cutting my run short and would be headed home shortly. The absolute most frustrating thing about this entire experience: I WAS FINALLY STARTING TO FEEL GOOD. My final mile, even though I dialled back the final 2/10ths or so of it, was my fastest and felt my best. I have a better understanding now of how experienced runners can fall victim to what seems to be such an (EASILY) preventable condition. I took precautions and monitored myself,I made sure I was hydrating well, and had hydrated before my run, and I still almost wound up a casualty. On the side, I do like my new heart rate monitor, and I will be using my Treksports for runs on hotter surfaces in the future. While I enjoy the increased ground feel that my KSO’s impart with their thinner soles, the thicker TrekSports convey a whole lot less heat to from the pavement to the sole of my foot….less heat, happier feet!