This has been my first summer running since during high school. I’ve always hated the heat and humidity and have zero positive memories of summer running. When I look back on early cross country workouts all I can recall is sweat in my eyes and heavy breath hanging in the air. This is why I absolutely LOVE running during the winter. I would rather freeze my ass off, have my facemask stick to my beard, and have icicles on my eyelashes than deal with summer. Last winter running through cold Boston mornings was an adventure but November Project kept me motivated to “just show up” and I didn’t miss a step.
This summer has been a little different for me though. I was actually just telling my friend John that I have come to enjoy the pouring sweat and burning sun that I’ve been running with for the past month or so. That feeling of being absolutely drenched in sweat makes me feel like I’ve really been pushing my body to the limit, and I’m uncharacteristically loving it. I don’t know if this means I’m getting old or something but at least I’m out there running. That being said I’m clearly a novice to high heat workouts as evident by my experience with my long run yesterday. Working in healthcare I’ve seen my fair share of dehydrated idiots but I never thought I would be dumb enough to be one of them. Yesterday I proved myself wrong again.
I worked 5am-2:30pm in the lab yesterday. This hindered my ability to hydrate throughout the day because theres no food or drink allowed in the lab…this meant when I started my run in the 85 degree heat that I was already dehydrated. I was a little worried but I brought along my new Fuel Belt to test out so I at least had 14oz of mobile water with me. WRONG again, I had brought the belt but left the bottles in the drying rack at home. Oh well it’s just 10 miles so I can stop halfway and guzzle a bit and I’ll still be fine because usually on 7 or 8 mile days I don’t have any water. WRONG again. I did stop at mile 5ish at Runner’s Alley, they have a water bubbler there and were nice enough to share with a fellow runner. [turns out I missed one of the founders of Altra by a few minutes too! I really wish I could have met them because I’ve fallen in love with my Torins and was wearing them that day] Anyways by mile 6 I was feeling it, my mouth felt dry, my form was breaking down, and my eyes felt heavy. I ditched my shirt while passing my car at the hospital and shuffled on. I ran pretty slow the rest of the way and finished feeling dead but glad that I stuck it out. I drank a Nalgene full of Nuun, ate a banana on the way home, and figured I’d be ok. WRONG
I got home and tried to eat dinner but my appetite was toast. I had cramps, headache, nausea. Clear signs of dehydration. I tried to sip some salty lemon water but that didn’t help. No matter how well I thought I was rehydrating I still felt horrible. The next four or five hours until I fell asleep were spent uncomfortably in bed contemplating what I’d leave Greta in my will. I woke up today feeling kind of hungover and drained. From here on out I’m going to be smarter about pre-hydrating for long runs. What may not be a big deal on a 5 or 6 miler can catch up with you fast as the miles increase. Luckily I didn’t need medical attention and was more miserable than ill. This Friday I won’t forget my Fuel Belt bottles before heading out and Thursday night I’ll be hydrating like it’s my job. Lesson learned.