Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Death by Heat

So to bet a dead horse here, I'm going to talk about my terrible terrible long run that went down on Sunday.

I think my first mistake was letting myself sleep in till 7am. After getting up I had a muffin and a banana before leaving my house at around 7:45ish for 14 miles. I was thinking this run would take me a little over 2 hours but it ended taking 2:30 hours and I probably out there longer than that because I stopped my watch a couple of times and just stood there.  
It was already hot out, maybe 85, but I was feeling fine for the first two miles and keeping my pace right around the 8:45 range. Miles 3-4 my stomach started feeling not so great but I kept running regardless. I made it Haines Point near the Lincoln and the entrance of the rock creek trail when I stopped and threw up. I felt like crap! I don't know if I was drinking too much water while running, getting dehydrated already, or if I just ate the wrong thing before the run? Either way I felt miserable. I called Jason almost in tears and told him how bad I felt and that I just threw up in the grass. He offered to come get me, and every bone in my body said "yes, please!" But there was this little nagging voice in the back of my head that said: "you can't have someone come pick you up during your IM because your having a bad day." "You are tougher than this, and you are already outside and only have 10 miles left. 90 minutes, this should be a piece of cake." So, I told Jason, no. That I would continue the run on the trail until I made it to P street in Dupont and if I still felt horrible that I would just take the metro home.
As I ran along the trail, I was struggling and getting passed by just about everyone. I started letting myself walk for a minute after every mile. Then I didn't even care how long I was walking and would pick a tree or an object and just say to myself I will starting running again when I get to that point. I made it to P street and started to run my G-town loop, then I just stopped and stumbled. I just stood there for about 3 minutes thinking what I wanted to do? I really didn't want to tack on the extra miles away from my house incase I couldn't make it and decided I would rather do a 3 mile loop around my house. So I made my way to my old apartment around mile 8 and called Jason again. I was just as miserable and dry heaving ever so often. By this point my miles were up into the 11 - 12:30 range. When I talked to him, I told him I have 4 miles until I'm home, then another 3 miles left. So Jas offered to run with me for my last 3 and said, "so I should be ready to run in 35 minutes." HA. 35 minutes, yes maybe on a normal day, but I told him to expect me in about 50 minutes or so.
As I got closer and closer to my house, my walk breaks got longer and longer. For those who watched the Kona world championships last year, I felt like that little old guy who was running all hunched over and then fell into that road sign. I would catch myself running hunched over from being so tired/hot and try to correct myself. I was also thinking about all my friends who were racing Eagleman and my heart went out to them because I knew they had to be suffering in the 90+ degree heat. I considered myself lucky for only having to run 14 miles without a swim/bike in-front of it.  I ran out of water with about 2 miles to go until my house. Nothing was open near the Capitol and I was so thirsty. My mind was basically mush along with my body by the time I made it back to our house. I know I had to look like death! I only took about a 2 minute break here and re-filled my water bottle, drank a glass of gatorade and popped some grapes in my mouth. I really wanted to just crash, but I only had 2.5 miles left. With Jason is tow we did a short loop around our house and I was so thankful to have him there for mental support. I also think it's the first that he was running too fast for me and I was just dragging behind.
I will just say I have never been so happy to finish a run in my life! It was not a pretty run, but it was a run and I finished it! I still felt pretty out of it for a good hour after I finish and actually threw up again 45 minutes after my run. I think I had to have been dehydrated?
So at the end of the day I give myself two check marks:
1. Mental toughness ~ check!
2. Stupidity ~ check! 


  1. Wow, tough day, glad you are ok after that run. You are right to file that in the old memory under mental toughness runs and can pull it out wen you struggle!

  2. Wow, that sounds pretty awful. Glad you finished and are feeling okay now! I've had some tough runs in the heat, but never gotten to the point of actually throwing up (felt like it, but not done it).

  3. Wow that is terrible!!! I agree with JFord that you can use this run as a memory to pull out while you are on the run course at the Ironman. You survived this and you will survive that! However...I think throwing up usually would warrant cutting the run short just to make sure you are ok! I wouldn't have blamed you for heading home after you got sick the first time!

  4. That's definitely tough! That happened to me on our 10 mile run a few weeks ago. We waited way too long and it was already 80 degrees by the time we were running. I had wanted to turn around too but just like you I didn't.

    At least we are gaining mental toughness form these experiences!