Friday, August 27, 2010

Heat Exhaustion

I went for my run today. We started at 8 a.m. since coach had to get her daughter off to school. 8 a.m. is not a good time to start on a day that is supposed to get into the high nineties. She would not hear of me doing 18 miles today, which was totally academic, as you will see. At 9 miles, I got the sinking feeling of nausea and panic. I couldn't even describe it to you, let's just say it is awful. And I knew I had seven more miles to go. By 11 miles, coach kept saying "Mary, are you all right?" At 11.5, I knew I wasn't. I wanted to find a small patch of shade (which was non-existent) and curl up and die - after I vomited. I made it another 2 miles back, with lots of help of the two women I was with, to my car and gratefully crawled in and drove home.

I am trying very hard not to be discouraged about this "failure." Coach later wrote me an e-mail telling me that she got so sick, she sat down on the curb at about 16 miles (they were going to do 18) and called her husband to pick her up. She has never done that, in 12 years of training. That helped me to know that I wasn't just being old or fat or out of shape.

I thought about the fact that I have never cut a planned long run short. I have always gutted it out. And then I thought about feedback I have been given by friends, particularly boyfriends, over the years. That I am so "tough." I never say never. I get determined and then go forward like a steam roller. That is sometimes a good quality, sometimes a bad quality. It is not particularly endearing to others - especially men. Today I had no choice but to give up.

I came home and bathed, ate, and slept for a while. Then I sat down and read that entire book and wrote my paper on it. Just like I did in college. It was probably good for me.

I don't want to quote this religious dude on this blog, but there was something in that book that I had never heard or considered before. That at night when we finally go to sleep, we surrender and God gets to work on us, all night long. I thought about the way my mind can change overnight -seemingly induced by rest and a fresh mind. Now I wonder. No, I don't even wonder. Now I understand how this happens.

Tonight I hope he will work on my body as well as my spirit.

It is nice to feel so loved by God. I think I will let him get to work now!


shadowlands said...

Haven't even read your whole post through, cos it's 3.50 here, and I got another soul to project and fret and give over to the program( I'm a gran). Just wanted to say, glad you exist and I love you! Do you hear? I love you!

Hope said...

I'm glad you are okay there Mary. I had heat stroke when I was five. I ended up in the hospital.
Of course I'm curious as heck about the book you read. I like the thought the author had. Sometimes when I do a session of contemplative prayer I tell God that I'm opening myself up for Him to work in that place I can't reach. That place where I am not in control. Sometimes I cry when I pray that little prayer beforehand because I feel so vulnerable.

dAAve said...

You used the term "give up."
Respectfully, I must disagree.
I think you were just listening to your body and respecting it rather than trying to push it farther than it could realistically go.

As time goes forward, you'll find more evidence how much your physical body is willing to take. Listen to it. Please.

Mary Christine said...

Yes, David, you are right.

I have gone 16 miles before, but not in 90º heat, blazing sun, and absolutely no shade.

I think my limit in those conditions is about 10 miles. I hope none of my upcoming races have these conditions because I don't think I would even be willing to finish.

And thanks everyone for your love and care.

Syd said...

MC, I agree with Dave. You don't need to hurt yourself. Pushing through is one thing but when a person feels sick and dizzy, it is time to take notice and do the safe thing. Around here runners drop dead occasionally in the heat and humidity. Please take care.

Linda Myers said...

Hurray for your body, letting you know when you've had enough!

In 2001 I walked the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. On Day 1 it was 95 degrees at 6pm. I poured ice on myself but it didn't help. That night I ended up in the ER, along with 200 other women. I sat in a hall for an hour, fan full on me, eating ice chips. Then I went home for the night. My body needed a break.