Beat by the Heat

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August 24, 2013 by Amy B

Yesterday was an eight mile day. Funny, but it seems like eons ago. But the run? It was actually pretty great. My legs felt good. I kept a steady pace, indicitive of my dream marathon race pace. It was good to have a decent run beofre a really hectic and somewhat stressful day at work.


But admittedly, it was not a good fuel day for me. I’d planned on getting my carb on at Rodeo with a delicious veggie bowl, but shit was hitting fans all over the place at work and I got stuck. I managed to eat an egg white sandwich at subway (yeah, these things are consumable in like, two bites), half an avocado, some chips, a chobani, and a few bites of leftover rice I’d had from the day before. It’s possible I was able to chow on a picky bar somewhere in there. It wasn’t a good food day. I left work that day starving, only to go home and not eat much that night in the way of dinner; Sophie had been promised a cheeseburger, so we secured that from the evil FF joint and I ate half a fish sandwich and a bite of a hamburger. Yeah, great pre-long run fueling, right?

Sometime last night I made a decision to run my longer run this weekend instead of the shortenened 13 on the schedule. This meant I would save the 13 (or two hour-ish effort) for next weekend when we’re in MN for the state fair. I mean, twenty miles on the same weekend we want to traipse all over the state fairgrounds in the heat? Um, no.

But I wasn’t really convinced 20 was going to be really feasible, with a really warm forecast for today. I decided I’d shoot for the 18 mile route I didn’t quite finish last weekend. Or, I said to myself, let’s just shoot for three hours. You have to at least run for three hours.


I let myself sleep in an hour later this morning (first mistake).

Then the baby woke up at 7AM, which is about an hour or so earlier than he usually does on the weekend. Fail #2.


After getting him situated with food, clean diaper, etc. and getting all my running shit together, it was nearing 9AM. I’d wanted to get out the door by 8:00. Fail #3.


I suppose the one positive of leaving this late in the morning is that there’s no question of what you’re going to wear. The layered t-shirt was peeled off immediately, and my hat was on its way to being soaked before I even finished the first mile.

I set the garmin for an 11:00 pace, which is still well within the “long run” limits for me, but my first miles were closer to 10:00. And since they felt pretty damned easy, I just decided to go with it. Probably Fail #4.

I’d filled the 1L bladder with skratch labs raspberry (which I’ve been using on all my long runs lately), packed a few gus and some other goodies. I’m still trying to figure out the fuel problem, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to use.


The raspberry potion is pretty tasty, and usually it doesn’t bother me at all, but this morning it just wasn’t sitting well. I took in half a gu at the 45 min mark and followed it a few minutes later with an s!cap and some water; I’d brought an extra 8oz flask of plain H2O in the vest. I’m so glad I did, because by the end of the effort, it was the only thing I could stomach. And even then, I was barely keeping it down.

The middle of the run? It was warm, and I was sweating, but I felt mostly okay.

Then mile 12 happened, and I could feel the wheels starting to loosen. By 13, they had pretty much fallen off. My gut was on fire and queasy, and it didn’t seem really pleased about the second half of honey stinger gel I had at mile 11. I stopped and walked for a minute, hoping it would subside. It didn’t. I chomped on a few antacids. It didn’t help. I was a few miles away from the gas station in town, but knew right then that this was probably going to be cut short. I tried calling Scott – no answer. I left a text message and told him I’d meet him at the gas station (or try to get there). I managed to barely jog for about a mile and then more walking. At mile 15, I decided this was pointless. I was barely moving and my stomach hurt so much I couldn’t tell if barfing was going to help or not. I hit stop on the watch, stopped running, and slowly – very slowly – walked another half mile or so to the gas station. It was definitely not my finest hour.


I dumped the raspberry stuff from the bladder (there was a ton left; I guess I hadn’t drank as much as I thought, even though my stomach felt competely full) and filled it with cold water form the bathroom sink. I’d remembered cash this time (hooray) so I picked up a bag of potato chips, a nut roll, and a juice in case I felt well enough to drink or eat anything while I was waiting. I walked down another few blocks to Scott’s office, plopped myself on the grass in the shade, and waited for him to pick me up. I was still feeling pretty rough, but sitting was better than walking and most definitely better than running.


By the time he arrived, I was at about 50%. We drove into Houghton to pick up groceries, diapers, etc. and after enduring a pretty awful tantrum by Sophie in the produce aisle, I finally felt well enough to conquer some food (I had a cheeseburger, btw, and it as delicious).


Sometimes just changing out of sweaty clothes improves one’s condition immeasurably.

We’ve been home for about three hours now and I feel fine. The shitty part of this is that my legs felt great. I think I could have made it the entire 18 miles no problem, had it not been for my stomach issues. Maybe it was the heat, or dehydration. I don’t know. All I know is that it totally bit, and it doesn’t help build any confidence for marathon weekend, I’ll tell you that.

But bad runs happen, right? I’m going to do my best to put it behind me and just focus on the week ahead. I’ll still be super busy at work. It will be good to get away for the weekend, and 13 miles in the ‘burbs of St. Paul are always a little fun for me.

I’d stopped and taken some photos along the route this time in an effort to make it “leisurely.” I realized when I got done that I’d chosen mostly signs along the way. Maybe that should be the theme of this post: signs.

  • Signs you’ve not properly fueled in the day leading up to a long effort
  • Signs you might be dehydrated
  • Signs you might just be overthinking this and just need to accept the fact that long runs in hot weather can suck. Bad.


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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at Read more here.


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