Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tough Run

It's been really really warm here this week - in the 80's almost every day, and yesterday north of 85 degrees. This is great for me and training, as probably my biggest limiter in the history of my big limiters is performing in the heat. So I was interested in how my long run of 2 hours would go yesterday. It was okay - just okay - and educational.

The humidity was at ten thousand percent, and a thunderstorm rolled through while I was on my drive out to run, leaving the air thick and damp. After the storm the wind died down to a light breeze, so my run was hot, overcast, and muggy. Perfect conditions for a nightmare for me, really.

I stashed Gatorade and Water at my halfway mark, and tried to be as disciplined as I could about drinking a lot from my Fuel Belt. And I actually thought I was doing okay - my first 30 minutes were at about an 8:34 pace, and my next 30 at about an 8:40 pace; I intentionally went out fast (probably for one of the last times in training on a long run) to try and push my heartrate and legs into some discomfort. I was wearing a Headsweat bandana thingy on my head that's apparently really, really, really effective, because usually I'm pouring sweat from my head, but yesterday I wasn't. So somehow that communicated to me that - huh, I'm not sweating too bad at all! But while putting one of my bottles back in my belt at around mile 5 or so, I brushed against my stomach and felt the Under Armour shirt I was wearing was soaked. I looked down and I was drenched - my shorts had even soaked almost entirely through, meaning I was sweating through my compression shorts and running shorts. A little stupid not to think that maybe the Headsweat was soaking up sweat, and that instead I was just not sweating much. Dumb dumb dumb.

So anyway, I went into the 2nd hour putting in more effort than it should've taken at that point, and seriously faded in my last 30 minutes. I didn't feel like I was melting down, but my legs were running out of juice and my heartrate was up dealing with all the perspiration and heat. I finished something like 13.4 miles with an 8:59 pace - essentially no better than my half marathon in April.

Most importantly, I weighed myself (actually brought my scale with me in the car to my run) before and after, and was really surprised that I lost 1.2 pounds of water in those 2 hours. That's pretty serious, and translate that to an Ironman and we're talking A LOT of hydration lost. So I need to make some modifications and find a way on my long runs to drink probably twice what I was drinking yesterday. Ideally, of course, I'd replace whatever I was losing in a 1:1 ratio.

So from here: First, my LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs will from now on be just that - slow, so I won't be pushing myself into that kind of effort for awhile. Second, I need to plant more fluids on my course, I guess. Third, I'll probably bring some sponges with me on days over 80 or 85 so I can keep my core temp down.

This weekend looks to be hot in Madison - 85 on Saturday, 89 on Sunday. It'll warm up as I'm on my bike through the morning Saturday, so it'll be another opportunity to acclimate. The Ironman course is sort of a lollipop - starting in Madison you bike about 14 miles out to Verona, and then do two 42ish mile loops before heading the 14 miles back to Verona. This weekend I'll be training on the loop, so I'm going to pack up a cooler so I can stop after each loop and stock up. Hopefully not having to ration for the entire ride will mean I can stay hydrated and cool. We'll see.


RunIrisRun said...

Take care of yourself out there! Hydration is a huge issue, and my downfall in Miami...

Also, thanks for the chat on Tuesday.

abby said...

No crap--it's been so hot! This morning I went for a run then sat out by the pool, and I guess my shower didn't really take (think George of Seinfeld) because even after I got out of the shower I was dripping sweat! I can't imagine running hard in weather like this.