Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lesson learned--must hydrate

Usually I post about happy races.  I actually had a race planned this morning, but chose to help my dear friend move into her new home and spend the day with her instead of running a race out of town.  So because I knew I'd miss my race and really wanted to run a significant amount.  I chose my favorite route, which is 5.70 miles and then dressed for the weather.

It was 7 degrees out and I knew I'd have to wear more than my usual shorts and a tank top.  I had two layers of running skins on for my legs, then a tank top, an under amour long sleeve shirt then another shirt. warm socks, gloves and a full running mask and a hat.  

I set out and the first mile I was cold, but I felt with each step that I was getting slightly warmer.  I was sure that by mile 2 my hands and legs would be warm like usual when I run in cold weather.

However by mile 3 I just wasn't getting warmer, in fact I was getting colder by the second.  I knew, just knew, something was super wrong.  My thighs and butt never warmed up and my fingers were so cold that they burned with pain.   Thank goodness I had my cell phone on me.  I got it out and took off my gloves to dial Jason to rescue me.  I was shaking and it was hard to dial the number.  I told him I was so cold and not getting warmer and I needed him to pick me up as soon as possible.

I should have, at this point, gone in the building I was by, which was the University Hospital and stayed there, instead I told him I'd be running up Melrose Street and to look for me there.  I then continued to run.  I was at mile 4 when he found me.  I was shaking so bad when I got in the car that I started to bawl.  I was so disappointed in myself for not being able to make it home and run my full loop of 5.70 miles.  

When I got home I was at the beginning stages of hypothermia and it scared me.  It took me well over a half an hour to warm up.  This was with a hot shower.  I couldn't understand why this all happened.

I found out later that I was dressed warm enough, but in the winter you have to extra hydrate because if you are under hydrated you will get cold no matter what you are wearing when you are exercising and because you are exercising it takes all your warmth out and you get colder and colder.  Crazy but true.  In my mind I thought that the more I ran the warmer I'd get, but I really was just hurting myself by running futher because I wasn't hydrated enough.

Thank goodness he saved me.

A running friend of mine posted this article for me and I'm so glad she did.  Running article


Jason said...

And she wasn't dressed warm enough. Simple hydration is not the only answer - an important part but not the whole shebang.

Jason said...

It was 7 degrees out there. When I asked her how many other runners she saw out there, she took a moment and then responded, "there weren't any other runners." That's because it was COLD!!!

Michelle said...

Jason, I definitely had enough clothing on. Maybe thicker gloves could have been a nice thing, but seriously I had layers on. Today was only 20 degrees warmer and I had less on and peeled clothes off by the end of the race, so I really believe the article in my blog. I believe I wasn't hydrated enough which lead to me slowly freezing.