Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Heat Beat Me

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, July was the 6th hottest on record for this area.  Years that beat 2011 were 1980, 1936, 1934 and 1954.  I wasn't alive for any of those, so that means this has been the hottest summer of my life.  I've gone on several 100+ degree runs lately.  And each one just gets hotter.  As soon as I think it is impossible for a run to get any hotter, Kansas reminds me that it is.

So far, I've been able to categorize my hot runs into the following levels of hotness:
  1. I start out thinking it's hot, but this isn't so bad.  After a couple miles my body starts heating up and all  of a sudden I feel like I'm on the surface of the sun.  But I can still run.  95-100 (associated temp or heat index)
  2. See first sentence of level 1.  Running slows down after a mile or so and I have to spray myself with water every 30 seconds.  100-105
  3. I start out thinking this is f-ing insane.  This sucks.  I run a mile then mostly walk.  105+
My last couple runs have been level 3's.  Yesterday I e-mailed my friend Coleen, to see if she wanted to run in the afternoon.  After I sent the e-mail I checked the forecast and saw the high was supposed to be 111?!  I thought for sure Coleen would get back to me saying she would not be running and I would spend the afternoon indoors.  Yeah, I was wrong.  I forgot she's the one who LIKES summer and I'm the one who breaks her tailbone sitting in snow.  It turns out 111 was 5 degrees hotter than the previous record for that day.  And it's just 3 degrees shy of the all time high recorded temperature for ANY day in northeast Kansas EVER, 114.

So we were running.  I was psyched to have company though.  I ran the Shawnee Mission Park trails on Monday too (108 heat index) and it was rough.  I figured it would be more pleasant with company.  It was. 

We ended up doing the 2.5 mile loop, so we could meet up with Deb at 4:30.  Well we ran the first 1.5-2 miles.  I felt more and more fatigued the farther we went.  I drank plenty all day, had plenty of water on hand, had plenty of electrolytes, but my body could just not cool down.  I told Coleen and Chris to go on without me, because I needed to walk.  Of course they were not on board with the going on without me plan of action.  So we all walked.  Coleen speed walked, which was too fast for me.  I would walk for a bit, then jog a few steps to try to keep up.  My legs were like lead.

I'm pretty sure that was the hottest I've ever been.  When we left the trail the sun was beating down on us and I went to the water fountain so I could splash water all over my face.  Of course I had to wait several seconds for the water to go from HOT to warm, which was as cool as it was going to get.  We walked back to the parking lot to grab more ice and to meet up with Deb for another loop.  I did not want to go back out.  I tried hiding in the shade on one side of Coleen's car, but it didn't help a whole lot.  The metal from her car was radiating a bunch of heat.  There was no escape from the heat ANYWHERE.

I had a bit of a meltdown about...everything...before Coleen, Chris and Deb could convince me to go back out for another loop.  I was frustrated that it was so hot I had to walk.  I was frustrated that I didn't get my long run in over the weekend because of my achilles (which is better now).  I was having one of my occasional Leadville panic attacks in which I feel severely undertrained.  But Coleen got me going again and told me I would be fiiiine.  So my buddies let me lead the next loop, and I was able to maintain a brisk walk, which was better than what I was managing at the end of the first loop.  I think putting ice in my bra really helped.  Sometimes it's so hot that just drinking water will not cut it.  You need some other cooling mechanism besides sweating.  At least it's that way for me.  Like I said, I'm not so good in heat.

So what's the benefit of running in the extreme heat if it reduces me to walking and makes me miserable??  Well supposedly it's good for flatlanders training for high altitude events.  It definitely is difficult to breathe out here right now!  So I'm working on it.  I have a suspicion that this is Kansas's way of being all pissy about me moving to CO.  Kansas says, "Oh, so you're just going to LEAVE me after 20 years?! Well take this!"  I bet as soon as I leave, a week from today (!), the temps will drop into the 80's.  Yeah, it's all about me.  I'm not conceited or anything.

While I'm not "running", I've been hanging out with my temporary roomies, Sarah and Justin, and their kiddo.  It's been a blast.  I've totally been jealous of Nick being in Colorado and going on runs.  But I bet he's jealous of my 2 week long sleepover.  We've been doing a lot of giggling (or in Justin's case, chuckling, because men don't giggle right).  We haven't done makeovers yet though.  Maybe this weekend.


  1. guhh, this heat. my only consolation is that when cool weather rolls around, we'll all be faster!

  2. Pre-Leadville makeover for SURE! I'll let Nate do your hair! XOXO

  3. Pretty positive you're right on the money with ks being pissed at you! You're gonna do great at Leadville, you have wonderful friends and a good support system...and besides that, you just rock!!