Summer was finally here, and I was excited to have my work week over.
As I drove home yesterday, I contemplated which route I would run in this georgous weather. The radio said the temperature was pushing north of 90°F, intense for this region, "...but I was from the East Coast" I thought.
I can handle this!
So, I parked my car, headed into my house and put on my running gear. I decided to do a 6 mile route down and around Green Lake. I could steal some shade from trees on the sidewalk heading down to the lake and would bring my hydration vest for water.
I gulped down two glasses of juice and ate a banana.
Without thinking twice, I tightened the laces on my Brooks sneakers, and headed out the door.
BAM! The hot air hit my face and body. With each breathe, the air proved un-refreshing to my lungs. I've run this route many times before, but never in these conditions.
The sun beat down upon the pavement, heating everything 30°+ beyond normal. I started jogging and within just a few feet, sweat started trickling down my back. I took a pull of water from my hydration pack, but it too was heated by the sun through the exposed tubing.
Despite this, I was able to continue running and made it down to Green Lake.
As the downhill leveled to a flat trail, the effects of the weather started to take their toll. My head started pounding and my pace slowed.
With this slower cadence, I continued to run around Green Lake, passing sun bathers and families resting in the shade. However, with each stride, my body felt weaker. I was running, but was hurting and my stomach started to ache.
Normally, I pride myself on my stomach's robustness, but at that moment, it felt ready to lose itself. Maybe that juice and banana before the run was a bad idea?
At the same moment, my head began to pound louder than ever. I realized that I was suffering from some type of heat exhaustion and needed to cool down ASAP!
Luckily, about 200 feet ahead were the bathrooms by the Green Lake boat house. I sought refuge in the building and made a bee-line for the sinks. After pouring water onto my neck and back, and sipping water from my hydration pack, I started to gain my senses.
After dousing myself in water a second and third time, I walked outside and stood next to the lake. A breeze began to cool my damp body and my headache, lessened.
Running in this weather, at this intensity, was obviously a dumb call on my part. I ran too fast, and didn't listen to the signals my body was sending.
Once I cooled down and collected my senses, I finished the route, but at a much slower pace. For the last three miles I was careful to take note of my heart-rate, breathe, and perspiration, and took frequent sips of water.
My fellow blogger Kristina Moats offers some great tips on running in hot weather. I'll know better for next time.