Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Long runs in heat: dehydrated Turtlegirl and my experiences with "the wall"

I was planning on running with Britton for our long run. I woke at 5:15 and left our cozy camp and drove down the mountain road wishing i had a cup of coffee in hand.  When I reached the bottom, and cell service, there was a text that Britton wasn't going to make it. :( bummer.  so i drove the half hour back up the mountain and crawled back into my down burrito of a bed in our camper and snuggled with my dogs.  

Dumb dumb dumb.

hubbee said he would ride the bike while i ran so we packed up our camp stuff and headed home.  We began the run around 11.  it was already 81 degrees, and VERY windy.  i had a four bottle fuel belt and he had a large camelbak filled with water.  About .77 miles down the road (down two large hills mind you) i realized i forgot my fuelband.  And it was #Gameonworld fuel challenge day.  so we turned around and headed back to grab the band.  Just to fill you in on Hubbee's bike riding, I was running faster than he was riding--especially up the hills.  now my nickname may be turtlegirl, but I am also of the school "hurry up and wait".  I wanted to scream at him, "you have wheels!! move them!" but was thankful for the company, eventhough I was constantly turning and waving him to me.  

Do you see where this is going?

So now i have my fuelband, liquids, shotbloks, i'm set and ready to find my groove.  We are plodding along a rolling hilly gravel road at the base of the Crazy mountains.  it is hard to run into the wind, but it is way better than stagnant hot air.  Hubbee is beginning to complain about his rearend on my bike seat (i don't know why he took my bike--another bone of contention--and now he is going to complain.)  Again i find myself wanting to shout, "you have wheels. Shut up!!" But I still think i am enjoying the company.  And hey, my butt is not sore!! I think I feel okay, I check the GPS: 5.56 miles.  

One third done.

I suddenly feel a lump form in my throat.  

my mind starts to crazy spin.  Thoughts of not completing the run, falling in the ditch, thinking about how hot it may be race day in Chicago... yes.  CRAZY spinning.  And Hubbee (mind you the recently quit smoking, non-active, complaining with wheels) begins to try to talk me down.  I am not going to lie--i had visions of kicking his bike to the gravel, only the last two "sane" brain cells said, "stop.  he is on your bike."  So i plodded along and the insanity passed.  I kept my mouth shut and did not bite hubbee's head off.  Then the rest of the run was okay.  Not great, but not horrible and it was completed.  

I have hit "the wall" one other time, several years ago.  At mile 17.5, not 5.5 and i could see the roofline of my house once I crested one of the two big hills on my way home.  Same thing, lump forms and suddenly even in the heat, i had goosebumps and tears and nothing left in the tank.  I was waiting for a car to pass so I could lie down (yes, i was planning on lying on the side of the road).  i wanted to curl up and die.  And i remind you I could see the roof of my house!!  The car is going ridiculously slow, even for our gravel road traffic, and miraculously, by the time the car passes I began jogging again and felt GREAT.  Could have run several more miles.  

My lesson learned is push through.  Walk if you must but keep moving forward.  This too shall pass.  I know both of these times i didn't think of the ones that can't run and normally this helps me, too.  And another lesson--stick to the treadmill if it is that hot. it was 87 when done--blecht.  I know better than to set myself up for failure--but I thought i really liked the company.  eh, company can be overrated!! I do appreciate hubbee's efforts (and that was his longest bike ride to date! ) but I know better than to run in that heat.

Have you ever hit "the wall"?  Did you come out okay on the other side?


  1. love your posts/stories of success.

    Sounds like you have exp on all types of terrain - awesome!

    I can't say I've hit the wall yet...I do have my longest run to date this Sat at 11 miles. I know you ladies have already run farther than that. EEEAAAK!

    The temps here have cooled off a lot so hoping for a smooth run.

    1. thanks! maybe you will not hit a wall... i didn't until that 18 miler. if you set yourself up for success as you seem to do, you may never have to experience that part of running. you are crushing your training plan and will do great at the race! :)

  2. That is crazy and I thought my run was bad. You did great. It's days like that that we really learn what good runs are.
    You are right about moving forward. Sometimes we just need to keep pushing and you'll get there.
    You are such a motivation.

    1. Thanks Tiara! you are so sweet! you are also quite the motivator--you are wicked FAST!! :)