A Horrible Time To Run

hot-sunLet me start by mentioning that if you are planning on telling me how you run in the early morning before the sun comes up during the summer, and that I really should do the same, thanks…. I know.  I will follow that up by saying, please feel free to still leave those comments and be as hard on me as you would like to because sometimes it takes me a while to learn or in this case re-learn from my mistakes.

Yesterday my three kids and I went out for a run as soon as we got home from church, before even getting anything to eat.  The original discussion was that we would run after lunch and a short break to let the food digest, but as I looked at the weather the temperatures were going to be climbing steady all afternoon and with the temperature already near 90 degrees I knew the sun was already planning some destructive behavior at the current temps.

The first mile was fun running with all of my kids at one time, my oldest daughter Ashlee said she felt like we were a running group with the four of us running down the road.  She was embarrassed, but I am not sure when a 17 year old is not embarrassed having to hang out with their parents where other humans can actually see them.

After the first mile had passed we dropped Ashlee and Brady off at home and Payton and I circled back out to do 6 more miles. After about three and a half miles we were really starting to feel the sun and the heat. By the time we hit the four mile mark we were feeling it so bad that we had to walk a little bit to avoid the onset of heat exhaustion.

dehydrationIt is always hard running that first really hot and sunny run. We have had some runs in the heat with some sun, but not this many miles, and this much sun combined with the heat. An additional factor is that I am sure neither of us had hydrated as well as we should have given the conditions.  I am sure this also played a big part in our demise.

We walked about 3/10’s of mile five and then finished that mile running.  We continued to run 7/10’s into mile 6 and then had to take another walk break to get to the start of the seventh mile.  From that point we only had one mile to get home and finish the planned 7 miles.  We were able to finish the last mile running, but not without feeling really drained and literally ready to fall over.

This seven mile run was really hard for both of us.  When we walked in the door we were both completely exhausted and spent. So many things worked against us being a success in this run, but we made it back alive which was a success in itself.

I don’t understand why I have to learn this lesson repeatedly.  It seems that ever year in late spring I have a run like this before I start to respect the heat and sun again.  Proper hydration would have helped I am sure, but also going out too fast for those first few miles knowing the conditions worked against us in the return portion of this run.

Are you the perfect runner always in tune with weather conditions?  Does proper hydration and planning come to you naturally like breathing, or do you sometimes struggle with being properly prepared as I do?

20 comments:

  1. Emilychristianson08May 23, 2011, 1:08:00 PM

    I felt the same problem this weekend.  I set out to run 3 miles yesterday around 5 pm and the heat was so bad that after mile 1 I had to walk the rest of the way home.  I decided to hope on the elliptical we have to finish up my workout.  Not looking forward to this summers heat. I, too, am not an early riser to morning runs are not really an option for me. 

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  2. I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who felt this way. My husband and I planned an 8 mile run Saturday. I waited until about noon to get ready. Our eight miles turned into four miles! I felt awful. I ran in the heat last summer, but I guess I am not used to it just yet this year. The rest of Saturday we felt so tired, which is not typical!

    It's so cool that you run with your kids!

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  3. I struggle with the same things that you do!  I always seem to forget.

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  4.  It does take some getting used to, doesn't it?  I actually do prefer to run in the morning and do most of the time, but lately have had issues with getting myself out of bed.  Good job finishing it up on the elliptical.

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  5.  Sounds much like our experience, other than we were 3 miles from home when it really hit us so we had to get home.  My daughter asked if I had brought my phone and I said no.... she replied: "we are gonna die"  We too we void of any energy the rest of the day.

    As for running with my kids, there is such a long story there, but they run because I lost a bunch of weight and started to run.  They then saw the love I had and now are all runners... and the daughter that ran this entire run with me is quite accomplished as well :)  I love running with my kids :)

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  6. Thanks Christi for chiming in and letting me know I am not alone :) 

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  7. I think it's important at various points in the year to run in every condition possible. Come race day, you never know what it's going to be like. That being said, in a perfect world of course I'd prefer to get my runs in before the sun comes up every day.

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  8. That is true David, the other part to this is that as we run in this type of weather we learn our bodies better and learn how our body reacts and why.  I always find these first ones to be hard because of a lack of planning and a lack of memory.


    I run at least one day a week at 6:00 pm with a running group and we run regardless of the weather or temperatures.  I find that these runs tend to do what is needed to both teach my body and learn from it.... even if I hate the sunny hot runs. :)

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  9. Sorry Tim, you will never get nagged by me to get out before the sun! I love to run, but I get up too damn early for work to make myself do that on my days off...9ish is a much more civilized hour ;D
    If it's hot I bring water & $ in case I run out.

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  10. Thanks Tloreilly!  I bring water and $ sometimes on my longer runs but I typically don't view 7 miles as long enough for that.... in this case I was all too wrong!  Distance isn't the only thing that is a factor and I forget that sometimes.

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  11. Urgh.  I dread summer every single year.

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  12. I think that's life.  Most of us need a bit of a shock to the system to realise things are changing. :)

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  13. So true Andrew, you think we would learn after years, but we have an entire
    year to forget each time.

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  14. I am quite encouraged to red this post on the heat. I posted something similar and a few peoplle commented to "Suck It up" On my facebook link! All of course were not runners, but that still stung a bit. Something about that heat! I know that I should be more disciplined and go out in the morning also.  I do not get out on sundays till mid day when the heat is blazing.. But hey...We still go out in the Elements, that has got to account for something! Great job on your run!

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  15. Thanks for sharing Anita!  Going out in the elements does account for a lot, and is what sets runners apart in many ways if you ask me.  We may not be the smartest bunch, but when we set our minds at doing something we find ways to get it done.  Keep up the good job!!  

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  16. I just started running in early April, so I have to learn these lessons from scratch.  I even have trouble with 22C (72F) at this point, so it should be interesting to see how I do when the temperatures are higher in the summer.  I am hoping that my body will learn how to sweat properly because although it's legal where I live, I am *not* running topless this summer.  lol

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  17. Same here.  I might have to stick to evening runs.  Sometimes I have to get up at 5am for work, so there is no way I'd be getting up at 3:45am for a run.  I am pretty dedicated (I guess) but not to that extent.

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  18. Great job with your choice to start running! Slow and steady and things
    will fall into place before you know it!

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  19. That happened to me on Memorial Day.  I'm a newbie. I drank 16 oz of water and low cal Gatorade before running. When I hit thr 3rd mile, my body said "stop". My fingers got numb and I coujldn't run. I had to walk the rest of the way. 

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  20. That is tough isn't it?  It is hard to walk and not run at those times because we want to push though, but with numb fingers it is the wise thing to do and could be disastrous if we don't listen to our bodies at that time!

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