July 11, 2017
Two days later and I’m home sick… mostly because of this half marathon I think.
See, heat and I don’t get along. I think I got a touch of heat stroke a decade or so back and ever since then my tolerance for temperatures higher than, say, 35 C are just in the pits.
But you sign up for these things weeks or months in advance.
You don’t know what the weather is gonna be.
You pay your fifty or sixty bucks and you pick up your race package and you shrug off the weather because… meh… what are you gonna do.
I should have probably sat this one out.
I finished. I got my funky little moose medal and posted the obligatory pics onto social media. But the guy you see in that photo went home to utterly crash, and not in the whoa, tough race sort of way. More of in the, why is my head throbbing and why am I feeling chills in this sweltering heat sort of way.
I even went to work yesterday thinking everything was good.
But two days later I’m home sick because my brain finally settled into a “yuh… maybe take a day to rest this one out” kinda state.
The race started off alright. I cleared the first third of the distance at a respectable sub-six (min/km) pace. I was actually (if you only counted that part) on track for a sub-two hour half.
Then I left the shady area at about the same time as the sun rose high enough in the sky to start being a problem.
Another third of the way I had slowed to about a 6:15 (min/km) and was starting to really feel it, but I was stopping at every station and grabbing more water than I normally consume. Hydrating. Keeping to the shade of a creek-valley trail.
Then it opened up. The shade vanished as we had to cross over a major vehicle bridge, and climbing the short little hill to crest up to that the heat caught up with me. The ambient temp was only about 28 C, but combine that with two-thirds of a half marathon and some unfiltered sun and that add-fifteen-rule and you’ve got a feels-like temperature in the low 40 Cs.
And I don’t thrive in that.
I ended up walk-running the next three klicks. Then picking it up a little for the last stretch, clearing the finish with a worst-time-in-five-years 2:18. A finish, and though it always hurts to lower the bar like that, my body was mourning the next twelve hours of mild heat-stroke symptoms more than it was worried about my time.
I’ll chalk this up to a lesson learned. Race fees paid or not, sometimes you gotta know when to lower your expectations or even just sit one out.