Be a Smart Runner

Yesterday I had an easy run on my training plan. Just 4 miles, I’ve ran that distance many, many times and all without problems (mostly). Well yesterday I was not being a smart runner. Knowing that its been hot here in Georgia, one might think I know not to run during certain times throughout the day because of our summer heat and humidity. One might think…

I opted out from running when I woke up at 9. The conditions weren’t terrible nor perfect, but I just didn’t feel like it. Thats the honest truth, I was being lazy. So I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax on the couch with Zach. Around 10:30 it started to get cloudy and I decided that was the time to run. I checked the weather and although it was past 80° the humidity wasn’t extremely high, near like 70% (which is low for us right now) and it all sounded like a good idea.

I wasn’t feeling 100% “normal” as I do before any run, I was really jittery from the coffee which instantly made me nervous. So I drank a little water, ate a Clif bar, filled up my Fuel Belt handheld, and headed out.

It was hot. I mean HOT. I ran really close to home so if something were to go wrong, I wouldn’t be far from getting help. I started nice and slow, but that didn’t seem to help any from the heat and sun beating on me. I started sweating a lot more than usual. First sign that freaked me out. At mile 1.62 I took my first complete break. Cooled down for like 5 minutes. At mile 2.10 I was already out of water. Second sign. So I walked back home and my face was beet red. Now, I normally turn red when running, but this was super bright for so early into a run. Third sign. I told Zach how I was feeling and what not just so he would be aware if I needed him to get me. After fueling with more water and Power Gels I headed back out. At this time I had already drank a full 16 oz water bottle, plus the water before I ran. That’s a lot of water for only 22 minutes of running.

This is where I will call this “things go south, way, WAY south” and I should of stopped completely. I noticed I was really struggling with breathing. I had to keep taking full gulps of air to balance out my breathing pattern. Fourth sign. Then my head started to hurt. Fifth sign. I was right at mile 3 and I took another break, poured water on my head, arms, and legs. My skin had goosebumps. Sixth sign. Thats probably the clearest sign that something is totally wrong! But alas, I ignored it. I kept running in the shaded areas, then the blazing sun. Somehow I missed when all the clouds disappeared. I finally hit 4 miles in 47 minutes and was like “eh, ok..man I feel really weird.”

I don’t remember coming into my house. I remember mumbling to Zach about a towel, I think I said “cold towel” and I remember getting a washcloth and soaking it with water. At this point Zach is full on “help-save-my-wife-mode” and gets the fan blowing at full speed and I crash in front of it with the towel on my face. I stayed there for probably 5 minutes alternating positions to allow sweat to cool off.

I just suffered heat exhaustion, near heat stroke. Bad.

I sat on a towel on the couch (because I don’t want my furniture to smell) and tried to relax. My arms, legs, and even my nose felt weird. I thought I was going to have a nose bleed. My head was killing me, my stomach hurt, and I felt so lightheaded I didn’t want to stand up. I was legit scared.

I got better throughout the day, but it took a long time for that. I was weak even after eating lunch. I felt like I was having a sugar crash all day, to stand was a struggle in the beginning. To shower was hard! I was like just “wash, wash, wash, don’t fall, wash, get out.” Around 8 last night, I felt normal again. I still had my headache, but that was ok. The sensation for the nose bleed finally went away too.

There was so many signs that I ignored and I suffered from it. I know better as a runner to not ignore them, but I did anyway. You’re probably asking why, and I’ll tell you. I’m stubborn as shit. Simple as that. I care way too much about a number. Now, if you wonderful reader reading my blog start to feel “off” or “weird” in any sort, please stop running. I mean it! You better stop. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with what I went through. Its really not worth it.

If you are curious on heat exhaustion, please read up on it here and here.

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2 thoughts on “Be a Smart Runner

  1. kristenk says:

    I just started following your blog and I love it so far! I have to say, this blog entry really hit home for me. I live in Philly and there are some days that I have to cut my runs short due to humidity. I can’t imagine how hot and humid it gets in the south! I have to give you props for running at all in the summer!

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