July 06, 2012

A super hot 10-miler

Boy, did I pick a bad day to run 10 miles outside.

The kids spent the night at my parents' house, so I woke up bright and early at 5:30 to drive to the Metropark and start running by 6:00. The idea was to finish before it got TOO hot outside. When I stepped outside, the air was so thick it was hard to breathe. I couldn't believe how humid it was at 5:45 in the morning! As I drove to the Metropark, I started having second thoughts. But the sun was just coming up, and it was gorgeous next to the water:
I wanted to try and run at a pace that felt similar to running on the treadmill, just to compare my pace to running outside vs. the treadmill. I didn't want to push myself too hard, for fear of not being able to finish the run; but I didn't want it to feel too easy, either.

I wasn't focusing too much on my pace, just running by feel. I brought along my iPod, and I was listening to Jillian Michaels' podcast. I saw at least 10,000 bunnies all over the path, and one baby deer. I had mapped out an out-and-back route, and as I approached the turn-around, I ran into a family friend, so I chatted with her for a minute or so. I even saw a hang glider (parachuter? Not sure what to call that!) above me, which I never see around here:
Can you see it?!
I was getting really hot at that point, and as soon as I turned around, I was bummed to discover that the sun had come up over the trees and was right in my face. There wasn't any shade coming up for a few miles, and I started to get a little worried about how much I was sweating. I only brought water with me, instead of a sports drink, which was stupid on my part (no sodium).

Thankfully, my knee was holding up well--I was able to keep running without any walk breaks. At mile 7, I was back into the Metropark, and I felt my whole body get covered in goosebumps despite the heat (a sign of heat exhaustion). I took that as a cue to take a walk break. I walked a little to bring my heart rate back down and drink some water. Thankfully, I got about a mile of shade.

At mile 8, I got nauseous. That has only happened a couple of times while running, and I knew it was a bad sign. I decided to be safe and call it quits, so I stopped to call my dad (the first time I've ever called for a pick-up!). He works at the Metropark I was running in, so I was going to ask him to drive me to my car. Unfortunately, his cell phone was turned off--he never has it on when it's important that I get a hold of him!

I put my iPod in my pocket to be more aware of how I was feeling (and breathing). I walked for a little bit, then jogged a little, and kept repeating that. I stopped for more water about a mile from the car, and I doused myself with water from the fountain to cool off. That cooled me off enough to walk/jog the rest of the way back to the car.
The first 7 miles went pretty well!
I was so relieved to be done! I definitely should have planned better. In retrospect, I should have 1) warned my dad to leave his phone on, just in case; 2) brought Gatorade instead of water; 3) planned my route backwards, so that the sun wasn't in my face for the worst part of the run; 4) when I saw how hot it was going to be, completely forget about trying to set a good pace and just run much more slowly than I wanted.

My splits:
The first half of the run was actually going pretty well, and I felt good. It wasn't until I turned around and the sun was in my face that I started to really feel the heat. I definitely learned some lessons for next time, though!

I burned 971 calories, and I had already planned what I was going to spend them on--you guessed it, pecan pancakes at Cracker Barrel. Rather than go right after my run, however, I decided to wait and go for dinner when Jerry and the kids could go with me.

That was actually a wise choice, because it helped me to stay on track with my calories all day. If I had gone right after running, I'm afraid I would have had the "eff it" mentality and overate all day (which is what happened last week!). The pancakes were delicious, per usual, a great way to spend the calories I burned.

If you're running in this heat, please be careful and listen to your body!

My first blog post as a Fitterati is now posted on the Fitness website! It was so much fun to write--it reminded me of when I used to write columns for my high school newspaper ;)


  1. I'm going to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to knock out my 15-mile run. I still think it will be steamy.

  2. I have a hot 12 miler set for tomorrow. I guess this what we get for having such a mild winter to train in.

  3. I know we talked about the heat earlier, but I don't know how you managed to do ten. We did a 10k and I was dying, so I can't imagine adding a few more miles. I'm so looking forward to the 80 something degree days that are coming up...how sad is that?!

  4. I haven't run in over a week due to this insane heat!
    I'm a new runner and i remember after my first 5k run (when it was very humid out) I felt cold/shivers when I finished... now I realize why I likely felt that way

  5. I hate running in the heat. It is so hard and I feel like total crap. It's been over 100 here many days lately, and with the heat index 110 or more. On Tuesday I was scheduled for a 3.5 mile run, but I didn't feel like getting up early that morning so I decided that afternoon I'd go to the gym. Well, I got there, and they were closed! So, I went home and got a bunch of water and a pack to keep it cool, and drove to a park that has a trail that is pretty much completely shaded and I did the run there. It was 95 degrees that afternoon and if I had been in the sun there is no way I could have finished it. I was able to do the first 2 miles very slowly (there are tons of hills on this trail too) and after that i started to feel lightheaded, so after that I alternated walking with jogging. I stopped by my car after each mile and got water. After I was done I also got chills, and I remember reading that can mean you're getting heat stroke, so I drank a lot of water and walked slowly in the shade and then got in the car and went home. I was beat. Running in fall and winter is so much better. It's pretty much always 90 or above and really humid here in the summer. Next week it's only supposed to be in the 80s, so it will seem much cooler. Tomorrow will be 103, so I am running at 6. I have to 5 miles and I really don't wanna. :)

  6. Ugh! I've been wanting to run outside for 2 weeks, but I keep freaking myself out because of the heat. I give you props for not backing out! Make sure you're careful next time! I need my daily cookies!!

    I love the fitterati post. The picture of your cats watching the treadmill is too cute!

  7. Ugh - I hate running when it's sooo hot out. The worst. I have been in those shoes a few times, running and getting those bad signs of heat exhaustion.

    Happy that you were able to recover AND enjoy those pancakes!

  8. It was SO hot yesterday--you poor thing!! I'm glad you managed to get through it without injury or illness. Enjoy a rest day today--you deserve it!!

    I am going to have to try those pecan pancakes one of these days. ;)

  9. You are a rockstar! It was so hot yesterday and today is said to be worse. This morning channel 4 reported that people should stay in as much as possible, and only those in prime physical condition should attempt outdoor exercise (which? to me sounded like a personal challenge ;-)
    We have a big picnic scheduled today, so I already got the Gatorade ready. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. I see that split spreadsheet on a lot of blogs. What are you using to get that? Is it a GPS watch or a phone app?

    1. It's called Garmin Connect--I upload info from my Garmin watch to the website, and that is just a screen shot of the splits.

  11. Your Fitterati post is awesome! I think I'm going to try running on a treadmill next week at the gym. I can't keep running at midnight when I'm exhausted from work. And really, it's still super humid and only a few degrees cooler! Hopefully it goes ok. And I hate when people have their phones off or the battery is dead when I need them!

  12. Katie,

    I have a question for you dear. What have you found is the best way to avoid a binge? I have a past history of it, but I went almost a year without it being a problem, now all of the sudden the past two months have been horrendous! WHY the eff does that happen?? What are your tips and tricks to walking away from it? (bc sometimes that's so damn hard!)

  13. I decided to run at the gym today to finally get a 3-run week in! It's been at least a month since I've run 3X in 1 week! It was still too warm at the gym, but I enjoyed being able to play with the speed on the treadmill again. This heat is supposed to break sometime tonight or tomorrow for us, so hopefully my next run can be outside.

  14. My husband and I were in Grand Rapids and Drummond Island last week (in from Houston, TX) and man was it hot in Michigan! I was so looking forward to the tying away from the heat, but it was just as miserable!


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