Here I hold my trusty Garmin in my sweaty hand. They say anything over the marathon distance of 26.2 miles is an ultra-marathon, so I suppose technically that's what I accomplished today...hahaha! :)
Before my run.
Obviously I didn't have the greatest overall pace on this run. That 12:42 is over a minute per mile slower than my average pace on the Ogden Marathon a couple of months ago. I started out my run this morning at 5:15, knowing that as soon as the sun was up and over the mountains, I would have some serious heat to contend with. Boy, did I underestimate how it would make me feel. I felt really good for the first half of my run. There was actually a cool breeze and I was moving along well, doing my 4:1 run/walk ratio and averaging an 11:20-something pace. I started fueling at 10 miles, using Clif Shot Bloks as my fuel of choice.
As I approached the 14 mile mark, Chris caught up with me as he was getting off from working the overnight shift. He was headed home, but was going to place a water bottle for me at around mile 19 so I could refill my hydration belt. Seeing him for a few minutes was a nice distraction and kept me motivated for the next few miles. Once I had passed my turning point and was headed back towards home, I was really starting to feel the heat. From about mile 17 on, I had no shade. I mean none. Zilch. The sun was pretty much directly over head, temps around 85 plus, and I felt like my skin was melting. My lips were dry, my head was starting to ache and I was getting cramps in my muscles. I tried to savor the water I had until I reached the bottle Chris had placed for me. When I finally got to it, I was tempted to pour it all over my head! I refilled my bottles and even carried the extra bottle in my hand for about a mile so I could drink from it and save what was in my belt for further down the line. Once I was tired of lugging the big 1 liter bottle with me, I ditched it on the side of the road and knew I had to make my 16 ounces last until the end of my run - another 7 miles or so.
I was honestly starting to get concerned that I was starting to experience some heat exhaustion, so with only a couple of miles left and my water almost gone, I started to extend my walking breaks. Running was becoming too hard, with no shade or breeze to cool me down even a little. I would run for a minute or two, then walk until I could mentally force myself to run again.
By the time I got back home, my body was throbbing all over and I was seriously light-headed, but I sent one of my kids upstairs to start filling the tub with ice cold water. After pouring myself a big cup of Coke Zero, I wobbled up to soak in the ice bath, which I'm sure is what saved me from feeling any worse. Once I knew my core body temperature was down, I got out, fixed a protein smoothie and laid down on the bed with a fan blowing on me.
After my run. :)
Despite feeling so toasted, I actually enjoyed myself, knowing I was seriously challenging my body and testing my physical and mental limits. I kept thinking of Dean Karnazes and all the other ultra runners who recently did the Badwater in Death Valley, CA. Sheesh, if they can go 130 miles or whatever it is, in blistering 120+ degrees, then I can certainly do 27 miles! It did make me realize, however, that if race day (being only 6 weeks away) is anywhere near as hot, I will need to be mentally and emotionally prepared that I will most likely not have a PR there.
By late afternoon I was feeling much better. I showered and got ready so my husband and I could go on a date and enjoy some time together. I didn't even feel guilty about eating at Buffalo Wild Wings. Has anyone else noticed that they now put a calorie count next to all of the items on their menu? I love that. No surprises and the ability to make smarter choices while still enjoying some delicious food. Nice.