Stick a Fork in Me!

I'm done.
The marathon in December is not to be. Long runs just aren't working out for me right now. I'll be ready for the half in October, but I just can't (or won't) do the higher mileage in the heat required for the full.
For today's run, I did most things right:
  • I hydrated well all day on Friday.
  • I got up at 5:00 a.m. and had a small bowl of cereal and 1/2 cup of coffee---just like on half-marathon day.
  • I enlisted 5 runners to run the 10 miles with me at 6:00 a.m. before the heat really set in.
  • I carried 10 oz. of water and 10 oz. of Accelerade and Jelly Belly sports beans with electrolytes.
  • I did the 4:1 run/walk.

And yet, it was the worst run in memory.

Around 4 miles, I started having abdominal cramps. Around 4.5 miles, I noticed sweat dripping from my drenched ponytail down my back. That has never happened before. (It was about 75 or 80 degrees with 90% humidity.) There was a breeze and cloud cover, so it didn't feel hot enough to be sweating like THAT. I drank water and Accelerade as I went. I had Sports Beans and water at mile 5. That only aggravated the cramps.

Around mile 7, I started getting chills and ran out of water and Accelerade. My friend gave me the last of her water, which I promptly choked on and had to spit out, so I didn't actually get to swallow much.

I ran/walked until about mile 8 and the two friends who had stayed with me became concerned about the possibility of heat illness/exhaustion. I decided at 8.5 to just walk the rest of the way. My hands were feeling swollen and my stomach and legs ached terribly. I just felt really "off." Admirably and though we were pretty close to my car and in a safe, public area, they stayed with me. I hated to ruin their run. They got me back to my car and finished up the last .4 or so of their run.

I drank some water, cooled off in the car, and when I got home walked the last .4 to at least say, "I did 10 miles today," one way or another.

The 10-miler was to be the deciding point about the marathon. I think the decision is clear. Sure, I needed to carry more water. I think I probably need something more bland like a bagel for breakfast (no dairy!) and less non-water fluids. Maybe some salt tablets for electrolytes?

I think my next few long runs are just going to have to be indoors on the treadmill/track. My body isn't functioning well in this heat. Today was scary.

The timing isn't right for me to train for a marathon, though I tried to convince myself otherwise. I've only been running one year and have only completed one half-marathon. Maybe the Country Music Marathon in the spring will be an option. Long runs in January, Febrary, and March sound pretty good right now.


Lisa said…
Oh man... that doesn't sound like a good run. The chills are a definite sign of some sort of heat exhaustion. Hats off to you for finishing.

I'm sorry for your change in plans, but the best thing to do is listen to your body.

Oh... the best thing about a crappy run? A good run feels SO good.
Tina said…
I'm sorry about your tough workout. I think you've made a good decision in choosing to put the marathon off for awhile. Besides, there are plenty of other race distances that are a lot of fun to run that you mentioned you wanted to run this fall (I think).