Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My bad run.

I’ve got my long runs up to 15 miles now and I can do so without feeling too tired or out of it at the end. My legs still feel fresh, I’m not out of breath, and I can maintain about a 9 minute mile. But that is starting at 5:30 in the morning. The longest that 15 miles takes is around 2 hours and 40 minutes. 3 If I am trudging a long. So I’m back in the house before 8:30 AM. I ran 9 miles at noon last week as well. Most of that was by the lake so there was plenty of shade, but it was around 90 degrees.
So yesterday, I decided to run home from work. At 3:30, it would be a blistering 100+ degrees, but I was sure I’d get some shade on the way home. Now, I made a few mistakes to start with. First, when I run in that heat again, I’m going to not drink beer the night before. Second, My 50 oz. Camelback is not enough for that kind of heat for 11 miles. I have a handheld water bottle that will be going with me from now on as well. So here is a description of my first incomplete run.
I GPS’d the route home at 11.3 miles. I would leave the downtown and head down Congress to William Cannon, and south to my neighborhood. Leaving at 3:30, I felt pretty good. I turned some XM radio on my iPhone and away I went. It took me 28 minutes, with stoplights, to get to my first 3 miles, which automatically updated my Twitter so my wife would know where I was every 30 minutes or so. As I crossed into South Austin, my music stopped. I jogged along, trying to get a response out of the iPhone I was using as an iPod and finally got a “Temperature Warning,” so the music was over. I put the iPhone in the cool part of my Camelbak and kept going. Luckily, it was still telling me aloud every time I crossed a mile.
The sun was really hot. It was about 102 degrees and there was no shade. I was heading south and the sun was just beating on my right side with no mercy. All the sweat would dry from the heat as soon as it came out of my pores.
Around mile 5, I was crossing a crosswalk, in the proper time with the little walking man light on, and zoom! A green sedan came turning right. I tried to slap my hands on the hood to jump out of the way, but she was going too fast. I could see the lady driving was looking in the back seat, not paying attention to the road. She was about to turn on to a busy street without looking. I jumped onto the hood, slam! She stopped. I looked at the walking man light and back to her several times to make sure she knew I was in the right. She mouthed are you okay. What could I say? I guess. Just a little pissed. She drove on and I kept going.
At mile 6, I was still pretty good and saw a 7-11. Since it was 7/11, I knew I had a free slurpee in store. So I ran in, got my slurpee, and headed out. Drinking it as I ran, I could feel my body cool. I was not headed east on William Cannon near I-35. I was far from downtown and feeling great about my run.
Stoplights were becoming more of an annoyance. None of them had any shade. So when I stopped, I just baked, with no movement to create a little bit of air movement.
At mile 8, my water ran out. It seems like that is when I wanted water more than ever. I thought back about my stop in at 7-11. I had thought about getting water to refill my camelback but was not feeling bad yet and thought the weight was not worth the water.
I wish I had got the water. Miles 8-10 were pure hell. I became thirstier and thirstier. The sun was just baking me and I began to not sweat as much. 10.6 miles in was a gas station I frequent so I went in. I remembered the slurpee and got a “slushpuppee,” which was their knock off. As I drank it and began to cool, my body reacted very odd. The sudden cooling was making me dizzy. When I stepped back outside, I became very dizzy, where I could barely stand. My heart raced. I knew theses were the initial signs of heat exhaustion. I thought about the last .7 miles I had to get home and wondered if I’d be face down in the concrete with nobody around. I decided to do the prudent thing and called my wife to pick me up. While I waited, I sat down, going in and out of stages of dizzy and extreme exhaustion. The heat was just too much. I had run 15 miles in cool weather, 5 in hot, but never 10 in this weather. I decided it was  training run and not a race, so it was not worth getting hurt. I also thought that calling it here would help my wife with some of her fears of me getting hurt. I was showing that I had the intelligence to know when to put aside my ego and give up (on a training run).
I do plan on doing this again. The idea was to run home from work and the next day run to work. Doing this twice a week would get me 44 miles of running in and save $50 in gas. And during the school year, my wife is not home until 6 anyhow. So that is probably when I will continue this idea- September. Maybe in a year I’ll be in better shape and ready for 10 mile 102 degree runs. I just need to train harder. It does mean I will have to increase my long runs to get in my miles. But that’s fine. This week will end up totaling 35 miles, an 8% increase over last week, so I’m still moving up fine.
So, I think that was my first bad run since running barefoot/minimalist. It had nothing to do with the footwear, just the idiot inside of them.


  1. You'll eventually get used to the heat. And dont let a bad run get you down too much, we all have them from time to time!

  2. Thanks. I really think the biggest one was the lack of water was a mental blow at the end. I should have gone in the bathroom at 711 and put some more water in there. I also may need to consider eating something other than ranch flavored corn nuts before such runs.