Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Linear Trail: Temperature 85 degrees...hottest day of running in a while (Yuck!). Splits 8:55; 8:45; 8:43; 8:56; 8:50; 8:42; 52:51 total for 6 miles; 8:48 per mile pace. (Planned pace was under 9:00).

It was hot. It was humid. I didn't want to run. I know a lot of you can relate to that. Running the NY City Marathon in 101 plus days is a good thing, because it motivates me to suck it up and run. I looked in my box of Hammer product goodies for some pre-run help. I decided to try the Endurolytes, which I had never used before. I took one pill. According to their website, "Cramping is your body's final warning signal that you're on empty electrolyte wise. However, your performance is deteriorating and you are slowing down long before you feel the slightest twinge of a cramp. To keep your body's muscular, digestive, nervous, and cardiac systems firing on all cylinders you need a consistent supply of all electrolytic minerals, not just sodium and potassium. Plus, in many instances, you require greater volumes of electrolytes than any sports drink or gel can provide. That is why Endurolytes fulfills such a crucial component of your fueling by supplying your body with a perfectly balanced, full-spectrum, rapidly assimilated electrolyte source, allowing you to meet your widely variable electrolyte needs with tremendous precision, hour after hour, no matter what the weather throws at you." Sounded good to me, especially I've been feeling like a cramp was coming on at times the past few weeks, plus the warmer temperature. I also mixed up 20 oz. of Heed and stashed it in a bottle in my "tool belt": "HEED's subtle tasting, all-complex carbohydrate formula goes down easily and supplies you with consistent, long-lasting energy and the electrolytes you need to keep pushing the pace. Because we add no citric acid to the formula, it will not burn your throat or stomach no matter how long you drink it. HEED's sweeteners - stevia and xylitol - are actually good for you, xylitol being especially beneficial for helping promote oral health. The full-spectrum, all chelated mineral, electrolyte profile helps satisfy your body's mineral requirements. L-Carnosine and Chromium Polynicotinate help to buffer lactic acid and support stable blood glucose levels. If you prefer sports drinks over energy gels or like to use the two together, try HEED and find out what a sports drink done right can do for your athletic performance." OK, you get the idea.
I started off feeling great. Although it was 85 degrees, running on the Farmington Canal trail makes everything seem so much better. No traffic to dodge, no hills to go up or down, and best of all today, it was the return of drum roll please..."roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady." See my May 20th post for more about her. Strange thing was that she actually was skating normal-no singing out loud or disco dancing. Oh well. Anyhow, I was running a comfortable and effortless pace, just happy to be running on a summer day. I reached mile 1, and Garmin beeped and showed me a respectable time of 8:55. I was off to a good. I was saving my Heed, figuring once I started to feel dehydrated I'd start drinking it. The voice of Lindsay (http://www.chasingthekenyans.com/)always reminds me to properly hydrate ever since I was a "space cadet" a few months ago and she commented in my blog to hydrate AHEAD of time as well as during my runs. Mile 2 came quickly and easily also, and Garmin showed me an 8:45 second mile split. I was running easy, despite the 85 degree temperature, humidity, and not much available shade. I hit a flat, open, full of bright sunshine area of the trail, and started taking drinks of Heed. Around mile 2.3 (Garmin is so precise!), I felt as if I was running on a treadmill with rocks in my pockets. Worse yet, as I approached an elderly couple walking on the other side, I suddenly became light headed, staggered, and regained my balance. ( I swear Lindsay, and everyone else, I drank enough water before my run, and up to that point). I quickly explored my options: a)stop; b)stop and walk; c)run slower and see what happens. Quitting never entered my mind. I went into "marathon mentality." That is, I asked myself "What are you going to do if this happens in the NY City Marathon?" Answer: c)Slow down to a slow jog, regroup, and regain my normal pace (hopefully). So I slowed down, chugged some more Heed, wiped myself off with my favorite small running towel that I carry in my pocket, and cursed myself for not bringing my favorite energy food, my Vanilla Bean GU energy gel. I was hurting, or at least I thought I was. It was left brain vs. right brain, and I was going to make sure that right brain won. (See April 21 for explanation of right and left brain). Right brain was telling me that I could do it, that the Heed and slower pace was going to help revive me, and get my mojo back. Left brain was telling me that I now felt like I had cement shorts on, it felt like a zillion degrees, and I might be better off just walking. I continued on, using the marathon mentality of just put one foot in front of the other, and keep running. My Garmin beeped, meaning I had "finally" reached the 3 mile/turnaround point of my planned 6 mile run. I reluctantly looked at my split time: 8:43. HUH?! I thought I was hallucinating. My 3 mile split was faster than my previous two splits? I don't know how it happened, except maybe I was so spacey that I didn't realize how well I was running. I decided to reward myself for toughing it out, as well as preparing myself for the last half of my run, so I slowed to a walk, chugged some more Heed, toweled myself off, and gave myself a pep talk, all in about 15 seconds. My first thought as I resumed running was that I wasn't going to be able to run a nine minute or better split for mile 4, since I had walked. Right brain reminded me that with the Jeff Galloway method of training, walk breaks help me revitalize and run well. At about the 3 1/2 mile point, I suddenly felt great again. I indeed was revitalized! Thank-you Heed, Endorolytes, and Jeff Galloway. I wasn't feeling quite as well as I did at the start, but at least I had lost the "lead legs." I reached the end of mile 3-4, and was pleased to see an 8:56 split. I still hadn't run a 9 minute split, which was my goal. Better yet, I was now feeling as good as I did at the beginning of my run. I picked up my pace, and reached mile 5 at 8:50. I was now 5-5 with sub 9 minute miles. I certainly wasn't going to run mile 6 slower. I wouldn't allow myself to. I reached for whatever physical and mental energy I had left. I was smiling, and having fun again. I was alert, I was sane, I was almost done in what felt like a short mile. Garmin beeped and rewarded me with my best split of the day: an 8:42. I was finished. I had sucked it up, defeated the heat, humidity, and left brain. It was time for a reward. I headed to 7-11 and celebrated with a 32 oz. Slurpee. As I've said in previous posts, try one sometime after a run on a hot day. It's cold, refreshing, and delivers a wicked brain freeze. P.S. Anybody out in Bloggerland want to do a team relay of 12 runners from Connecticut to Boston??? Check out this link: http://www.ragnarrelay.com/boston/index.php

8 comments:

Anais said...

Nice, sounds like an awesome run :) I'll have to try all of those products you keep mentioning, sounds like they might actually work! Of course, your brain (left vs. right) also helps :P

I'm still anti-slurpee, but I'm glad you enjoy them :)

Carlee said...

wow! way to tough it out. great run.

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

thanks for that info about electrolytes, I didn't know that. Well done for running through the humidity and heat.

lindsay said...

mmm hmm sure you were hydrated! ;)

glad you are trying to watch that (your hydration) more closely - it is important everyday but even more so on these hotter ones!

perhaps maybe you felt a little junky b/c you were running faster? when you gave yourself the short walk break you felt better afterwards, so maybe you felt worse b/c you were pushing it more. sounds good at least, right? :)

lindsay said...

ps - i'm doing a ragnar next spring. unfortunately don't think this one will fit in with my schedule for this fall, but sounds fun!

Kelly said...

Thanks for your comment :) My fiance is 6'4 so we also thought it was weird that we were invisible! It's so great that you are running the marathon for Autism Speaks. I have worked with a lot of autistic children, I love them all but life is very tough for their parents so it's great you are trying to help them!

Lisa said...

Great job! Remember, it isn't just hydration when you are running in the heat. When the temperature rises, your body works harder in general. Your heart rate does up quite a bit. If you feel bad when it is hot, don't be afraid to slow down... a lot. Heat related injuries can be dangerous.

I read a good article in Runnersworld (last month?) about the affect heat has on the body. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267--13245-1-1X2X3-4,00.html

You are definitely doing well following your plan for NY! Good job.

I might have to try a slurpee after a run. My treat right now is an Otter Pop, since I can leave it in a cooler in my car. Instant gratification! ;-)

Irish Cream said...

Awesome run!! Way to fight through the heat and humidity--and at such a fast pace too! You definitely earned that slurpee! ;)