Yes, I’ve been in a weird mood lately. I think it is at least partly related to the fact that it’s one million degrees outside. And then there’s the other fact that our budget has been squeeeeezed lately by unexpected auto repairs. Plus I’m not ready for summer to end, except for the heat. School starts soon, but wait, I need more time ! And lastly, I’m training hard for a couple of races that I really don’t know if I can complete. That leaves me feeling both motivated and demotivated. Why train for a race that you have a high chance of not finishing? Because there’s a small chance you might!
Even though I get moody, I’m not a quitter, and I AM impulsive and optimistic at times, so this week when a random thought popped into my head, I said to myself, Go for it! What idea, you ask? I decided to run as many 10 milers in a row this week as I could. That may sound easy to you, or it may sound impossible, but for me it seemed like a reasonably doable, but difficult enough challenge to make it interesting. I’m sure some of you have set goals for yourself that really seemed crazy to your friends or family. I think a goal like this in the middle of the hardest part of training can renew the excitement that we often feel at the beginning of a training cycle.
I’m not a high mileage runner, so for me , multiple 10 mile days, in extreme heat, is a challenge. You may notice that I ran 13.1 two days in a row last week and that was kinda fun and I’m sure sparked this idea. However, the weather was good on those days! I was so mad when the humidity came back that I didn’t even want to run anymore. We are talking a moist sauna with desert temperatures. Moab with humidity. Dubai after a storm. Misery!
So far I have completed three days of 10 mile runs! Today was the slowest one so far, but really not by that much considering the conditions and my legs being pretty tired. The first one I did was on an approximately 3 mile loop of trails in the forest. Then yesterday I ran on the road and got very overheated and dehydrated because of the lack of shade after the sun got higher. I literally lost over six pounds of sweat between those two days of running. Then today I ran on a short loop with mostly shade and some cloud cover but it was 98% humidity when I started. By the time I finished all of these runs I was literally dripping wet and my shoes and everything were soaked in sweat. The challenge for me is not really the distance. I have run much farther than 10 miles. The hard part is the heat. My body doesn’t handle it well at all for some reason, possibly my thyroid. Today I took extra time to put ice in my sports bra as well as in a buff on my wrist and also wore my ice bandana.
Staying Hydrated in extreme conditions
But ice doesn’t prevent my profuse sweating, so I have to take in tons of water and electrolytes . Today I drank about 1.5 liters of Gatorade, plus a Monster Rehab, plus a little water , plus I took salt tabs, and I ate two GU gels. Now I am drinking coconut water. I will be rehydrating all day from this assault on my body. Yesterday I drank tons of water all day, ate salty foods, and I took half a 1500 mg potassium pill as well to try to recover. Then I got a good night’s sleep and got up to do it again! Why would anyone do this to themselves? I think many of us just like to push the boundaries and see what our bodies can do. As for this particular challenge, I do have another reason. I want to do a multiday running event. Not a constant run, like the Snowdrop 55 hour, but a race where you run a lot, then sleep (usually in a tent), then get up and repeat for 5 or 6 days in a row. Sounds fun, huh?! So when this thought popped into my head, I thought it would be a good way to see how it feels to run day after day like that. Yes, I used to be a run streaker, and I ran every single day for nearly 3 years, but some of those were only one mile runs. I’ve been trying to regain my running mojo this year after kinda losing it and I find that I just can’t get real excited about running the same races I’ve already done over the past 5 years or so. So , anyway, I might try to run a longer run tomorrow, maybe 15 miles, or maybe I’ll do 10 again. A longer run after 3 hot 10s, ouch. I am a crazy runner! The good part is that pace doesn’t matter too much, I just count the miles. And eat ice cream when I’m finished! Ahh, maybe there’s the real reason we do it.
What about you? Do you like to make up goals for yourself ? Do you get burned out during summer or during long training cycles? Do you tell anyone what your goal is or do you keep it to yourself? It doesn’t have to be running. 🙂