I had big plans for a groovy run at the first Annual EPIC (Everyone Person Involved Cares) Half Marathon in Pontiac….I could give you a full race recap and tell you how I was flying and feeling strong for the first 7 miles or so….I could tell you about the guy who caught me at mile 6, and as he huffed and puffed said “nice pace girl!”…I could tell you about how it all fell apart, and that there wasn’t any Gatorade on the course – but Kacey would tell me that wasn’t very “groovy” so let’s talk about what I learned….
Most of my “learning” occurred upon reflection – and often it is reminders of lesson previously supposedly “learned” and you just have to do some googling to remind yourself of what you already knew! 😉 (what did we ever do before google, anyway?)
Things I reminded myself of
- When it is forecast to hit maybe 90 degrees, and is about 80% humidity – you may want to cut yourself some slack on pace…..
- When you have had a LOOOONG week, with insufficient sleep and helped a friend pack up her house the night before, then got up at 4:30am to get to the race which was then delayed by 30 minutes while they “build” the starting line – you may want to cut yourself some slack on pace….
- When you have no sports beans in your stash – you may not want to assume that they will have Gatorade on the course, and when there is no Gatorade at the first 5 rest stops – you may want to cut yourself some slack on pace….
So running in humidity…..here is the deal – even though you may be sweating like a crazy being – it is actually not cooling you – because the cooling effect comes from the sweat evaporating, and when the air is already saturated with water it has nowhere to evaporate to!
When you stop sweating, it is your body’s internal temperature regulation giving up. When that is closely followed by shivers – when it is 80 degrees…..you guessed it – you may want to cut yourself some slack! So, mindful of not wanting to end up in the ER with either dehydration or hyponaetremia (yeah, I’ve been there…and it wasn’t groovy!) and also mindful of the potential detrimental effect on my following weeks training even if I didn’t end up in the ER….I pulled up at mile 7. I had to jog the remaining course, taking water and cooling breaks, since I had no clue where I was or the shortest route back to my car…but didn’t cross the line since I had mentally DNF’ed at mile 7.
Alive to tell the tale, and race another day? Most definitely.
So stay hydrated, with fluids + electrolytes my friends and cut yourself some slack to race another day. Now that is Groovy, right?