Hot Weather Running
Welcome to summer marathon season!!! So lemme think… The first 5 marathons of this year have been COLD-- freezing cold at some point in all the races. And NJ was ok-- sunny, but I wore a long sleeve the whole time. And Today in St. Louis? WARM!!! We‘re talking 3 cups of water over the head at every water stop, caked on white sweat all over, and people dropping like flies! Ok so I get winter marathon season then summer marathon season, what the heck happened to spring marathon season??? Damned global warming…
I usually don’t mind greeting warm weather slowly-- taking on some hotter long runs during the week and easing myself into it. What have I been doing as Cincinnati warmed up over the past 2 weeks? Oh yeah-- running in the cool 40 degree mornings or doing speedwork on the treadmill in the A/C thick gym. On top of that, I’ve been seriously slacking the H20 department. I didn’t really start hydrating until the day before the race-- and even then, I wasn’t doing a great job. Ok, kids-- what lessons have we learned? 1) Check the avg temps of your marathons and train accordingly. 2) When it starts heating up-- at least do a few runs in the warmth! 3) If it’s hot or going to be hot start drinking earlier and more often then you normally would! If you wait until the day before the race and it’s hot-- you’re already too late and you may as well show up to the race with saline bag prepped for later.
No, I didn’t use a saline IV or require any real medical help, but I felt extremely dizzy for most of the second half of the race. I couldn’t seem to get hydrated even though I was filled to the brim and nauseated from water and Gatorade. I wasn’t able to pee because of dehydration and I thought for sure I was going to vom up chocolate GU right in front of a hoard of children manning a water station, potentially scarring them for life. “Mom! It’s a poltergeist spraying brown water from her mouth!!! RUNNN.” Yeah, that’s a good way to keep yourself from being invited back to a marathon… and oh yeah-- I’ve actually puked up brown running gels in my first 15K back around 8th grade. It sort of looks like dark blood and has forced me to primarily select plain GU for the rest of my running career-- for myself and the sake of the volunteers who think they’re about to see a girl die on the spot.
Aside from the heat, the GO! St. Louis Marathon was actually a lot of fun. The course was filled with hills-- actually I’m fairly certain they found a way to make a looped course OINLY uphills. That or I was too busy concentrating on the NOT puking thing to notice the downhills? The sites on the course are pretty cool too. The starting line has the gateway arch looming in the background and makes for fun pictures. You go past some beautiful campuses and parts of the historic districts as well as parks. You also get to see some of the stadiums like Busch-- home of the 2006 world series champions the Cardinals.
There was pretty good organization and huge spectating crowds through almost the entire race. You can tell that this race is definitely a community event! Even the catholic churches get involved!!! Yeah, no joke-- 2 priests were out in mile 7 spraying the runners with holy water as you run by! I’m not sure I’m capable of asking more from crowds then a holy man doing a prayer over us as we run! Any on a SUNDAY-- I always thought city churches would hate marathons running early on Sundays, because clearly that means we’re not in mass.
Oooh and the runners were fun! It’s a little crazy at first with 13,000 halfies charging out and taking over most of the water stops. It’s kind of nice when they separate from us-- but don’t worry, the 3,000 marathoners were joined by, what seemed like, hundreds of marathon relay teams that ran with us the whole way. Ooooh and the best fellow-runner I found? It wasn’t during the race, but after at the party. She would be the lady who couldn’t have been more than a few minute post-finish and was BOMED very seriously dancing solo in front of the music stage and feeling pretty damned proud of her outrageous dance moves. She was my favorite for the day!