Tuesday, August 12, 2014

18 turned into 20. Heat exhaustion.

Hubby and I ran 10 miles on Saturday and had 18 planned for Sunday.  With a kid-free weekend upon us, we opted to sleep in.  We both needed it.  Unfortunately, that meant that after coffee and breakfast, we didn't get to the Glacial Drumlin trailhead in Cottage Grove until 10:30.  A little too late for a Sunday morning run in August.  The sun was warm, but not too intense.  And the path has quite a bit of shade after you get over a mile into your route.  The only water and restrooms are at the trailhead and in Deerfield at mile seven.  We packed a cooler and planned on doing seven miles out, seven miles back and then heading back out to do the final six miles.

We started our Garmins in sync and headed out for our long run.  I was kind of dreading it and had some sort of pre-race jitters.  I get all hyped up about a long run almost like I do about a race.  A mile in I was already comfortable and fine.  We were clocking in around 10 minute miles for the first part of our excursion.  I had my headphones cranked and he opted not to bring his.  He says he gets too warm with his headphones in, when the temps are high.  This was nice, because I ran along the right side of the trail and he ran in the middle and could be aware and listen for bikes coming up from behind and tuck in behind me on the trail, to let them pass.  2.5 miles in, we were discussing our next long run our next kid-free weekend - 20 miles.  I suggested that we add two miles to our run and he laughed at me, saying, "We are only 2.5 miles in, my dear".  I was feeling great.  So was he.

At mile 7, we had reached Deerfield and stopped at a local park to use the restroom and refill our empty handheld water bottles.  I also enjoyed a mint chocolate energy gel.  I also splashed cold water over my arms, neck and forehead.  He then took me up on my offer to run twenty miles with him.
We headed further out on the trail, trying to reach the mile 10 marker.  We had a great mixture of sun and (mostly) shade.  We were both still feeling great and we turned around right at mile 10.  We were still clocking in around 10 minute miles.  I couldn't believe it.
My legs weren't chaffing too badly for once, but my upper arms were getting red.  I kept soaking up the sweat from my face into my shirt.  I was grateful that I opted for a tank top instead of a tee.  And it was nice to be running sans makeup, so that I could get all of the salt off of my face and out of my eyes.  When we got back to mile 7 marker in Deerfield (fourteen miles), we stopped again to use the restroom, refill our empty water bottles and I took another energy gel.  Hubby sipped on one energy gel during miles 10-14.  I was grateful I had a second one.  Then we headed back out for our final seven miles towards Cottage Grove. 
We continued to be pretty consistent with our pace, only starting to slow down around mile 16.  I told hubby that I was at the good part of my playlist and was feeling pretty strong.  I felt like I still had some bounce to my step.  He was starting to slow down and I could tell he wanted to run solo.  I picked up my pace and ran ahead.  About five or six times, I would run ahead to some shade and then run back to him.  He was walking and out of water.  I would then run ahead and continue to look back.  He was running again.  Walking again.  Running again.  I could tell the final two miles were a death march.  My hip flexers started to hurt the final two miles, but I wasn't feeling terrible.  I wasn't trying to push it any longer - just finish.  My pace slowed to 11-12 minute miles the last few, but I was still feeling ok.  I only felt nauseous during the last mile when we ended back up together.  We finished in under 3.5 hours.
We walked about a half mile together to cool down, each downed a large Powerade Zero, stretched in the shade, took some photos, reflected on our run and thanked each other for having the experience together.  It's amazing all the ups and downs you can go through in 3.5 hrs.  Overall, it was a great experience.  I felt like we were really smart about it (other than getting out so late in the day).  We stopped, we hydrated, fueled up, cooled ourselves down, hydrated again and he walked when needed.

After our run, we opted to drive to Monona to Bourbon Street Grill for an outdoor lunch, while watching the boats drive by.  We were stinky, sweaty and hungry.  I was craving salt.  The service was bad, our salty fries didn't come out early like I asked.  Orders were wrong and I must have been a little disillusioned, because I asked for blackened chicken on my salad.  I thought it smelt fishy, but didn't say anything.  It wasn't until later, when my hubby mentioned the bill said blackened tuna, that I confirmed my suspicions. 
We got back in the car to head home and I could tell I wasn't feeling right after eating.  I pulled out my sweat towel to cover my mouth.  And, I quickly asked him to pull over.  He did so quickly - into the parking lot of a church playground.  He found me a picnic bench and rubbed my back - as my body got chilled, my legs filled with goosebumps, my eyes teared up, my nose dripped uncontrollably and eventually I vomited over and over again.  After two minutes, it was over and I suddenly felt better.  A van with a family inside pulled up next to us to play at the park.  I was mortified.  We went home and I continued to hydrate, showered, rested and went out for a nice, cool walk in the evening.
I felt like we were smart with our run, and I felt great during the run.  But, obviously it was just too much for my body that day.  Heat exhaustion is seriously no joke.  And if I am more prone to it now, I will need to be even more conscious of the conditions, when planning future runs and races.

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