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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gorgeous Texas Country / Heat Training Take 3

One of the few problems I have with running (besides running in the heat) is running on vacation.  For some reason I find motivating myself to run, and finding the energy to run while on vacation very difficult.  This morning I  took 45 minutes to get ready.  Back home I get ready in about 5. 

On my way out the door this morning, at 7:10 AM, I noticed that it was 78 degrees F in the shade (25.5C), and I thought to myself, “WOO-HOO, it’s gonna be a cool day.”  I took on the front pasture first, then ran back into my tranquil cedar elm grove.  By then I knew, it’s NOT gonna be a cool one.  I felt sluggish and was already drenched from sweat from the high humidity.

Standing in the cedar elm grove grove:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

With a heavy pack (I didn’t want to run out of fluids) and a calve with a dozen cactus thorns poking in the skin, I headed off the ranch.  I was unable to pull out all of the nearly invisible thorns, and in doing so, got one stuck in my finger.  That finger prick irritated me for a few miles.  Occasionally a breeze would blow, not a cool breeze, but at this point, any breeze was a good breeze.  My body temperature the first 4 or so miles fluctuated between .5 and 1.5 above normal.  I didn’t feel like someone was holding torches to my calves, but my breathing was labored, the air felt thick.  Grasshoppers were out in lesser numbers, though occasionally one would thump into my chest.



Hmmm.  I wonder the story behind this:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

About mile 6, I knew it was time to to take out my handkerchief which I had filled with ice.  Running blogger Rachel (Running Girl Hits the Trails) had commented on my blog once that she wears a handkerchief filled with ice around her neck to cool down on hot runs.  I thought I’d try the ice thing as a multi-purpose trick.  I wore the hanky tied around my neck so that the ice that remained wouldn’t fall out.  And then once it melted completely, I took the now cool drenched hanky and put it over my head.  The plan worked beautifully, cooling me down between .3 to .5 above normal body temperature. 

Eventually, another breeze came and completely dried out my hanky.  Not good.  I didn’t want to waste water to re-wet, so I kept on running, neglecting to take my temperature for a while. 

The sun bared down hard, and I was starting to really suffer from the heat.  I felt heavy.  I felt hot.  I felt drained of all energy.

Ice-filled handkerchief around neck, thermometer in pack pocket, time for a sports drink:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA


Suffering, but still happily, I go off road for some shade in dry riverbed:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

By mile 9, I remembered to take my temperature and it was 2.5 above normal!  I felt completely exhausted, heat exhausted and worked at cooling myself down.  I knew that I was running short on fluids, but kept on drinking.  I ate a few salty nuts.  I walked some.  But there was very, very little shade available. Unfortunately, I had to use some of my water to wet down the handkerchief.  I took a gamble, a good gamble.   I was able to get my temperature down between .5 and 1.5 above normal after that.  Still, I never felt the same.  I opened up the second sports drink well before making the cemetery.  I dreamt about the cemetery and couldn’t get there fast enough – it had shade, and a spot to sit!

One of the many varieties of grasshoppers:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I really could have collapsed at the cemetery.  Sitting at the edge of the Benson family plot, I finished up my sports drink, ate my apple, then phoned my husband.  “I’m going to stay here until I cool down, so expect me a little late.”  He offered to pick me up, but I declined, thinking I would cool down and had just enough water to run the approximate remaining two miles.

Resting in cemetery: SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I shut the cemetery gate and took to the county road with little confidence.  Probably .75 miles in, I completely ran out of water.  That’s when I knew it was time.  I WAS DONE.  I put in a call to hubby and he picked me up in an air-conditioned car with nice cold water waiting.  Upon returning to the ranch, it was 95F in the shade (35C), so it could have 100F (38C) or more on parts of my run since I found little shade. 

Miles logged today:  12.88 (20.73 km)

5:00 PM, I’m finally feeling good. 

ps.  At this point, I am seriously reconsidering my desire to run Bulldog this year. Sad smile


  1. Wow, that's a hot run! Way to get it done especially on vacation.

  2. I really reading your blog. What type of hydration pack do you use?

  3. Thanks Whitney! I appreciate your comments : )

  4. Thanks for reading Alex! I wear Ultimate Direction, a female version called Wink. There's lots of Ultimate Direction variations. Zombie Runner sells them. I bet the Ultimate Direction site displays them all. I know a few people who wear Ultimate Direction as well, and they really like there's as much as I like mine.