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June 28, 2010

Un-Fun-Run

It was Saturday, the day of my long run.  I got up early, suited up, and headed out to the track.  My plan was to do 6 miles following a pattern like.

Walk .25 miles

Run .75 miles

Walk .25 miles

Run .75 miles

..and just keep doing that for 6 miles.  I did something like that last week but with .50 mile run segments.  It was taxing but within my abilities.  This time, I would be reaching for something I wasn't entirely sure I was ready for.

But I failed to properly factor in one important thing.the heat.  Charlotte is in the grips of a nasty heat wave, baking the residents in the high 90s..with a side order of oppressive humidity.  Not good running weather.

I had my bottle of water.  My old water belt doesn't fit (yet).  So I've been just carrying a bottle in my hand.  It isn't a big bottle, just 1 pint.  And its all I needed last week.

Unfortunately, I burned through that bottle before I made the 4 mile mark.  But I was feeling okay.hot but handling it.

I crossed the 5 mile mark and thought to myself, "I'm home free.just 1 more mile."

Things changed pretty quickly after that.  I hadn't made it to the 5.25 mile mark and everything got blurry.REAL BLURRY.  At first I tried to tough it out.  I've just got less than a mile left.  My legs are fine.I can run this. 

Then it was 'out of the frying pan and into the fire'.  Dizziness set in and my vision was getting worse and worse.  I knew I was suffering from heat exhaustion.  This was only going to get worse if I tried to push past it.  It would be one thing if I had some water left.

There is no reason for this picture.  I just haven't typed anything funny in a while.

So close.the temptation was so strong to just try to push it.  But I've had heat stoke before.  I'm not going down that road again. 

So I found a nice shady spot and sat down.  Fortunately I wasn't alone.  Another runner stopped to check on me.  I got some water from him and we walked for a while.  I stopped and let him continue alone.  And I just kept that up until I got back to the car.  Stop for a while, walk for a while. 

Anyway, I bought a new water belt and I think I'll start doing my long runs at the indoor track at the YMCA until this heat breaks. 

So a warning any other runners, listen to your body and stop if you have to.  There are things that you can tough it out with but overheating isn't one of them.  This is especially true for fat runners.  Our bodies have to work harder to regulate temperature.  Its just a fact of life. 

Here's a pretty good link on the affects of both head exhaustion and heat stroke.

http://www.medicinenet.com/heat_stroke/article.htm

For me, once I got back home, I finished rehydrating.  Then got a shower in cool water and camped out in front of the A/C for a while.  After that I was right as rain.  Today (two days later) I went out and did my short run (3.1 miles) with my new water belt and didn't have any issues.  But it is still too darn hot out there.

Progress report

My weight loss has been continuing and I made a major milestone.  I'm currently down 40 pounds!  Did you see that?  Nice round number...40 pounds...yeah!  Hmmm, that's how much those giant bags of cat litter weigh.  Not the little ones..the BIG ONES!

40 pounds! NOT 40 pounds

Pick one of those things up and carry it around for a while.  See what my life was like back in January.

How much more do I want to lose?  I'm not sure to be honest.  If I can lose another 40, I'd be in a good place.  I'd keep going but it would be nice to get down to that sort of weight again. 

How do I feel?  Pretty good most of the time.  I'm at a point now where if I pay attention, I can see some of where I've lost weight.  My face, neck and legs are all thinner now.  I can tell with my neck as my collars don't really fit anymore.

I guess that's enough for this post.  Everyone remember to stay hydrated!