Monday, July 25, 2011

Rescued on a Long Run

I had such a nice relaxing weekend.  I spent all of my Saturday morning reading and lounging.  I eventually got my butt up and cleaned house (while listening to an audio book).  Could I be a bigger nerd?  Later in the day, Angela and I went out for some dinner and watched a movie with some popcorn. I call that: the perfect Saturday.

Sunday was long-run day – with 16 on the books. Unfortunately, I was solo because Ang was at a weekend-long yoga training. Sometimes I enjoy long runs by myself, so I was thinking positively. I headed out at 11:20 or so. Big mistake. It’s summer. Summer means HOT. Sun. I live 20 minutes from Mexico, literally. The sun is deceivingly hot. I ran from home to Ocean Beach and made my way up to Sunset Cliffs. By the time I hit 10 miles, I was out of water and thirsty as ever. I was starting to feel weak and tired. My 2 pieces of toast weren’t doing much for me anymore.

First stop, Ocean Beach

Unfortunately, there weren’t any water fountains or stores to buy water. It was hard to run for more than 3 minutes at a time. I was constantly walking. Eventually I spotted a tiny, run down gas station that looked entirely out of place in this beach town. It belonged in Idaho somewhere next to a cornfield. I bought a bottle of water and some Mike ‘n Ikes. When you’re desperate for calories, anything sounds good. Sadly, I spilled most of my water before I even had the chance to drink it! Butter fingers.

Next stop, Sunset Cliffs, watching Cliff Divers. 
I was tempted to jump in myself.

I chilled out for a few minutes and began to run again. Every so often I stopped and walked. I felt weaker and more fatigued the farther I went. Thank goodness I had lunch plans with my friend Sarah, who began texting me. I should’ve been home by then and was still in Ocean Beach – about 5 miles from home. She so lovingly offered to rescue me but I tried to be tough. By mile 12 I was practically begging her to pick me up.

There she was at mile 13.6 with a vegan blueberry muffin in hand and a huge bottle of H20. That is love right there! She took me straight to Tender Greens for some replenishment where I had a fantastic sandwich filled with veggies and a salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes. It hit the spot.

I recouped at home before embarking on yet another eating extravaganza at our friends’ home. We enjoyed some stuffed peppers with homemade polenta and some vegan chocolate cake. I may have eaten my weight in guacamole and helped myself to a second piece of cake. Don’t judge me.

Today, I still feel groggy and tired. Even slightly nauseous. Can heat have this long of an effect on you?

Have you made the mistake of running too late on a summer day?

I’ve made this mistake before, last summer.  It can get ugly very quickly.  Like the time Ang started retching from dehydration.  Dry heaving is never fun for the heaver… or the observer.


  1. Sounds like you had so very yummy food! I've had heat exhaustion before and yes the side effects can last a while. Be careful and have fun!

  2. sooooooooooooo awesome. Blueberry muffin heaven. YAY for friends.

  3. I think you did well (maybe not so clever, but well) lasting as long as you did. Yes I ran in that kind of heat (2 years ago now, it doesn't happen here) in Greece in the middle of the day and it felt like it nearly killed me. Didn't bring a cellphone so had to hitch a ride back... You did the right thing. And it looks like you replenished your fuel stores wisely...

  4. And I thought you were a smart girl [shakes head].

    Seriously, woman, hot weather, no food, no water, and running do not mix well. Even water is not the best, ideally you're drinking electrolytes, sucking down a Gu (or whatever) from time to time. The whole point of training is just that, training your body to go the distance, make best use of the fuel you give it.

    Okay, lecture over. I'm glad you're okay and that you have wonderful friends. And next time, be prepared (and possibly run earlier).

  5. I've been there, done that and its not fun. I do believe it can last that long. I would just keep hydrating with electrolytes included...I like Zico water best when I feel that way. They give it during hot yoga also when you are feelign dehydrated. It seems to help much faster than water. Hope you feel better soon!...btw your pics of where you run are friggin awesome!

  6. you left for a 16 miler with no plan for water or food (even if it was just figuring out where to stop to purchase some). and with just toast in your tummy? you're crazy! I can't believe you suffered through 13 miles!

  7. I just did that same stupid thing…no offense :P. Running in the superheat with no water, near no water, withOUT food items…i claimed it as training for the post-apocalypse :) So glad you had a savior ;-) And how awesome to have such fab food after going thru all that! Glad you came out the other side :)

  8. AHHHH KATE!!!!! What a great friend you have:) I would have come and rescued you too!!! Yes, whenever I run with Billy he always wants to go later in the day and I DIE...I am not good at running in the heat. Oh well:) Come up to RSM and let's go for froyo:)

  9. Out here in Riverside I've pretty much given up on running outside, but the gym is even too warm in the afternoons! I can't wait until I have space for a treadmill (I know, collective booooos) and can blast the air.

  10. I have definitely made the mistake of getting a too-late start... not fun!

    PS - Thank you for the beautiful OB photos! Reminds me of home. :)

  11. Yikes, that sounds rough. I'm glad that you were running with your cell, could have gotten really scary otherwise. I really like to run in the late morning and have made this mistake on too many occasions thinking that weather is no feat too challenging for me, but I am always humbled when I have to jump into the lake to cool off.

  12. i had the same experience this morning on my run! set out too late (10am) and the heat and lack of fluids took their toll on me quickly. i had to stop and walk multiple times during my 10 miles and felt nauseous and weak. i'm still not feeling so hot. hope you feel better soon! sounds like besides the run it was a great weekend : )

  13. Ugh, all the time, hon. Even on a short 7-miler, I have to stop. I never know if this is normal, but I just get so drained with the heat.

    I know. I'm Texan, and my body should just get over it already.

  14. The heat index here has been at almost 100 degrees at 8 a.m. for the past month...I'm starting to feel like it's impossible to run anytime prior to 10 p.m., and even then it's still in the 80s with 100% humidity. Please Fall, come soon.

    Glad you were ok! Dehydration in the heat is no joke!

  15. Yes! I have totally gone out for a run only to realize that I was crazy and it was TOO hot. Summers are brutal, but being from CT, snow/ice is almost worse!

    Love your blog :)

  16. What a great friend to come and rescue you! I had to do the same thing this week when I started too late in the day and ran out of water. I'm actually not dreading winter. Your pictures are amazing! You are so lucky to live by the beach!

  17. Ugh! Yes, heat can completely kill a run for me. It happened in my 2nd marathon--I just bonked, couldn't get nutrition down. Totally dehydrated. So glad you friend could rescue you!

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