For the past few months, I have written about the heat and how I’ve dealt with it on a number of occasions. In a post in June titled “Learning to run in the heat”, I actually wrote these words:
“A bunch of more experienced runners all say the same thing: when you run in heat and humidity, you need to slow down.”
Although I know I’ve made some progress, I also know I need to get it through my thick skull that it’s OK to run at a slower pace. Today’s long run was scheduled to be 18 miles, and I went into the weekend feeling pretty confident that I’d be able to handle it since last weekend’s 17 went so very well. But this week’s weather has simply not been good, and frankly, I did a terrible job adapting and being smart about it. Since Tuesday, every day this week has had heat indices in the triple digits. Highs in the mid 90s and humidity also extremely high. So what did I do? Nothing different. Dumb. By the end yesterday’s mid length run (8 miles), I was wrecked, but rather than thinking through why that might be, I just chalked it up to “not feeling it.” Then I spent most of the rest of the day standing out in the sun.
This morning I got up early to try to beat the heat for my long run, but I didn’t take into account the humidity. When I started out at 6:00, it was only 75 degrees, but the humidity was at 100%. The fog was so thick, it was hard to see in some places. So what did I do different? Again, nothing. Noticing a pattern? I went out running 8:40 miles. By just a few miles into the run, I was absolutely soaked head to toe with sweat. Even my shoes. I did try to keep up by drinking more water than I usually do, but anyone who has every played any sport knows, you can’t catch up on hydration. Just after seven miles, it really started to get bad. I started to get very shaky and noticed I had stopped sweating. At least I had the brains enough to know that was a bad sign and I shouldn’t just push through it. Nevertheless, a failed long run.
I’ve written about my two boys many times. One of them is 10 years old, the other is 8. Ask either one of them to name the most important muscle and they’ll point to their head. I’ve told them to use their brains first a million times. If only their father would listen to his own advice.