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Posts tagged ‘heat’

Overhydrating on a rest day


The 100-degree temperatures usually don’t keep me down, but today I mandated a rest day for myself. In the past seven days, I’ve run 40 miles. Yesterday, my three-mile run was more painful than it was fun.

I figured, then, it was time for a rest day. So today there was no run, despite my legs feeling better. Instead, I spent all day working and hydrating.

At 11 a.m., I had already gone through two bottles full of water. Since then, I’ve probably taken down six more. Temperatures reached 101 today. We still have multiple more days in the three-digit zone before this heat wave breaks.

The problem, though, is now I’m likely over hydrated. I’ve been craving salt for about three hours now, thinking I was just really dehydrated. So I’ve been hydrating more. And more. And more.

There is a limit in how much water you can drink before it makes you feel a little off. Had I of run today, I likely wouldn’t be feeling as “ugh” as I am right now. Here’s proof that as much as hydration is important, it’s also something to watch as to not overdo it.

It’s too hot to run outside

I am a treadmill evangelist. I love my treadmill. I don’t care what anyone says about it being boring or monotonous. There have been many times when my treadmill is my only saving running grace.

Today was one of those days. And it’s not because I waited to long to run and didn’t want to venture into the night. Nope.

It’s because my air conditioner kicked on in my house immediately after I woke up.

That means my house was already 85-degrees. At 8 a.m.

I tried to put myself together quick to GET OUT THE DOOR AND RUN BEFORE IT GOT HOTTER. About a half mile from my house, still within my neighborhood, but almost out to my six-mile loop trail, I pulled out the metaphorical white flag.

I surrendered to the heat.

And I went home, into my air conditioned formal living room, grabbed a box fan from my bedroom and turned the small one I keep near my treadmill on and finished my run.

Then I confessed to it on Twitter.


I’m not sorry. I’ve spent the past two 100+ temperature days hydrating my little butt off and yet my calves cramped up like there was no tomorrow as I ran through my neighborhood. Coming off a massive misuse and mistreatment of my left hip and I wasn’t willing to do anymore damage.

I hopped on the treadmill and ran through nearly two episodes of “Clean House” on Netflix (I love the way Niecy Nash looks at the clutterbugs and says “Take me to your foolishness!”).

Two hours later, I snapped a picture of my yet-to-be-disassembled partial setup.


Both of those fans were on. And the sun was the opposite direct this morning so the treadmill didn’t get that much heat.

There are multiple heat warnings going out today from municipalities, including my small 80,000-person city of Tracy. Officials took to Twitter today to encourage people to go, of all places, the cool mall. Or the local transit center on the other side of town.

If local officials are encouraging people to seek shelter from the heat, I’m keeping my two-fan, Netflix setup for my shorter run tomorrow. At least inside I don’t have to worry about reapplying sunscreen.

Especially considering this is just the beginning of the heat streak.

Yes. I’m totally good with my treadmill right now.

Sometimes even bad runs can be good

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past year is that sometimes a bad run can actually be a good thing. It can also be a good run in other ways than time.

It all depends on how I define what “bad” will be on any given day.

A couple weeks ago, I set out with my running buddy Jennie for what was supposed to be a 15-mile run. I was still exhausted from the week before, after working over several days and ushering my students through the first issue of the newspaper for the school year. I had hardly any sleep the night before our Sunday run.

Jennie, too, showed up exhausted.

I admitted that I was considering canceling. She was thinking about it too. Both of us really wanted to run, though.

There’s a popular mantra that says “running is cheaper than therapy.” I didn’t believe that until I started running with friends.

You can cover a lot of ground over six miles, and not just the distance. You can talk about different topics, analyze problems and, generally, really get to know a person. That’s why I run with my friends. I enjoy the athletic part as much as I do the togetherness aspect.

So on this particular Sunday, we were dragging. Not just a little, but a lot.

Our first three miles seemed to go on forever. We didn’t seem to be able to find our stride. After our first bathroom stop, Jennie mentioned that she didn’t think she’d be able to make it to 15. I didn’t think I’d be able to either.

My feet just didn’t want to carry me.

It was also the day I was to be retiring my first pair of LunarEclipse +2 shoes. (Don’t judge me for keeping the timing tag on. I never seem to take them off after a run, usually not until the next one, so I had no need to remove it.)

“Can I push you to eight miles?” I asked Jennie.

She said maybe. So we kept on. At eight miles, I asked about, maybe, going 10.

She was still down to run, even though we were both tired. It was also starting to get warm. Just when I think it will finally be cool in my part of California, it seems to warm back up again.

We kept going, trying to stay in the shade. Then we turned back down one of the main streets in Mountain House and headed back to our cars. Our damage for the day was only 11 miles.

But it was five further than Jennie wanted to go initially. It was 11 more than I wanted to run that day in general. That’s a win.

Especially on a beautiful day.

Our time didn’t reflect any sort of success. For all the training we’ve done recently, it really doesn’t say how strong of runners we’ve become in a short time with increased workouts.

I thought about that on my way home: What defines a good run?

Is it distance? Is it time? Is it not having an leg pain? No cramps?

It’s different things for different people, that’s for sure.

But for me, on that day, it was just about getting out there and getting it done, despite fatigue and heat. It was also about propelling Jennie through and encouraging her to run “just one more mile” and “just two more miles” as we went.

The end result was a win for both of us. And, in many ways, a very good run.