Day 69: 7 miles in sunny Arizona!

Okay, so let me start off this post with a little update. Early (4 am) Friday morning we woke up, got ready and headed for the airport. We got about ten minutes in and I realized, OH SHIT, I forgot my sneakers. I don’t know how I managed to forget them, but P graciously turned around (without saying a word of complaint) and we got the sneaks. We finally made it to the airport, but couldn’t find a spot in the lot. At this point it’s around 5:50 and our flight was scheduled to leave at 7 am. We found one and ran the ten minutes to the terminal. When we got there it was compete chaos. CHAOS! Apparently there were two WJ flights rescheduled so the line-up was ridiculous. Around 6:30 a.m. we finally made it to the head of the line. They rushed us through and down to security. We got there and that went smoothly (for once) and by 6:50 we made it to the gate. The WJ person was like “You’re the last ones!” We got on the plane and people were giving us the side-eye. Anyway, it was a great flight to Vancouver and then onto Arizona.

So here we are in sunny Arizona (thanks to some good friends who let us use their home for a week). It has been so nice to get all this Vitamin D in. We were pretty wiped out the first two days (Friday/Saturday) so I took Saturday as a rest day (which is a good thing because I also wasn’t feeling too hot, either).

I also want to tell you about a random experience I had at Walmart. Okay. So we were madly running around trying to grab some food/necessities for the night after a crazy day of travel with toddler. We get to the self-checkout and are almost done checking out, when this woman behind us keeps inching closer and closer and closer. Now, generally things like this don’t bug me, but after said travelling and airports, I wanted a little space (and she was all up in my space). I turned around and said, “we just have one more thing – almost done” – said with smile to boot. She rolled her eyes and mumbled something. I said, “Pardon me?” And she replied, “You’re fucking stupid. We need to get through. What are you fucking dumb? Fat bitch.” and continued to say, “Fat bitch…” and other rancid comments.

For a moment I was completely startled. I’ve never had an experience like that. I wasn’t hurt, because it was incredibly obvious that she was an LCD, but I couldn’t believe that this is how a human being treats another. At any rate, I turned around, finished what I was doing (but took my sweet ass time finishing) and slowly walked away from the machine. When we got back to the car, I kept saying to P, “Wow. Can you believe that?” And of course, being defensive he said “She was scum…” and used another couple adjectives to describe her. But I kept thinking about a quote I read recently (and shared with a few other people since)…

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”  Wayne Dyer

And it’s true. For anyone who knows me, you know I generally don’t take sh*t from anyone. But there was no point engaging someone who can’t rationalize how inappropriate their comments are, especially in the context they were used. It wasn’t like we were in a  life/death situation. Anyway, at the end of the day, some people are just assholes. And that’s that!

Now onto my 7 mile run. What a day! I got up early because I knew there would be no way I’d be able to run the distance once the day got hotter. When I started my run, the temperature was only about 20 degrees and the first 5k were great. I felt strong, my pace was fast and I was enjoying it. Pretty well everyone I met was pleasant and smiling, who wouldn’t be in this weather? However, when the 6k mark came I think “oh shit.” I was tired. It was getting hotter and the sun was beating down on me. I could feel my face and shoulders burning, and that familiar feeling in mouth of dehydration. Lucky for me, I ran with water and candy, so I popped one in my mouth and took a couple swigs of H20. I did have to stop three times and I made mini-milestones for myself, e.g.: just run 200 m more. And so on. Finally after over an hour of running, I heard that beautiful voice come over RunKeeper “Interval complete”. Best thing I’ve heard all day. I was elated when I got an email notifying me that I had three personal bests today: farthest distance, longest duration and most calories burned. So you know what that means? I can have beer today and not feel an ounce of guilt!  One thing I find interesting here is how fast it gets warm. The temperature literally increases 4 degrees Fahrenheit every hour and today was actually hotter than the norm for this time of year.

Anyway, tomorrow I run 4 miles. I’ll get up even earlier so I can enjoy the entire thing. 🙂

That’s it. Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 11:28
  • Time: 1:09:08
  • Pace: 6:08
  • Best Pace: 5:15

Is it safe to run outside on a sunny, hot day?

I’ve never considered myself a fair-weather runner. In fact, I generally enjoy the days that are a bit of a challenge: snow storm, hail, pouring rain. However, it’s usually sunny, hot days that I find the best excuses NOT to go running. And since we’ve run into a mini-heatwave here in Calgary, I thought I’d do a little bit more digging on the subject.

So naturally I googled it (duh). There were a myriad of forums and polls from runners all over the world chiming in on what’s too hot to run. Runners from Kuwait, Dubai, US and Canada; some claiming that anything above normal body temperature could get you in trouble, while others believe that there’s no such thing as too hot to run. Curious as to whether this was personal preference or fact, I consulted the be all in running: Runners World. The consensus is that anything above 90 F (32 C) is too hot. And just for the record, the UK government has legislation dictating that a workplace temperature above 30 C is too dangerous for employees (just to put it into perspective).

After reading the tragic story of Kelly Watts, an 18 year old man who died in July 2007 due to complications from heatstroke after a training session in Virginia, I quickly jumped to the notion that running in the heat is serious. Watt’s was a terrifically fit young man, who trained exceptionally hard running upwards of 50 miles per week. He ate an apple a day; drank only water and 100% fruit juice and maintained a healthy lifestyle – so what happened?

Watts went for a run at the hottest time of the day; the temperature somewhere in the mid 90’s (35 Celsius). Heatstroke is a form of hyperthermia where the body reaches a temperature of 104 F (40 C). Very high temperatures can damage the body’s organs – which, sadly is what happened to Watt’s.

There’s a point at which running does become uncomfortable (not unbearable) and still safe; but there’s also a point where it becomes completely unbearable and dangerous. So how can you beat the heat?

(1) Run in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler

(2) Hydrate! Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. If you must run at a hotter point in the day, bring water with you or slip some money into your bra (or sock) to buy water.

(4) Apply sunscreen! There’s been research indicating that marathoners have a higher case of skin-cancer. Whether or not his is totally conclusive, slap that stuff on – it can’t hurt!

(5) If you must run during a hot day, buddy-up. Research has shown that from onset of heatstroke, if treated within 30 minutes the situation can be reversed. If you are running with a friend and run into problems you have a better chance at recovery.

(6) Choose appropriate clothing. I’ve seen people running in sweatshirts and toques during hot, summer days. This is really dumb and speeds up your odds of dehydration. Wear cool, light clothing.

(7) Workout indoors. If it is ridiculously hot out, take it inside. It’s safer.

So if you decide to run in the extreme heat (anything above 30 C) run with a friend and make sure you run in a urban area. Keep an eye on one-another. There are warning signs of heatstroke:

  • most obvious is an elevated body temperature (know when you’re hot and when you’re really hot)
  • red, hot, dry skin (no sweat)
  • rapid, strong pulse
  • throbbing headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • confusion
  • unconsciousness

If you suspect you or someone you’re running with has heatstroke, do the following:

  • call 9-1-1
  • get them to a shady area
  • do whatever you can to cool their body down (e.g.: remove clothing, use hose or water bottle to spray them down)
  • do not force them to drink fluids (they may throw it back up)

I not only find it uncomfortable to run on hot days, I just downright hate it. So I won’t be running in any extreme heat, but if you decide to please be safe!