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I Fought the Heat and the Heat Won ...

Posted Jul 30 2012 10:20pm
Back in the mid-60's Bobby Fuller had a song titled, I Fought the Law and the Law Won. 


We have all heard it a million times. It has probably been covered by God knows how many other bands. Catchy little tune but the message from this song is that The Law is an immovable force. If you try to beat The Law you will lose. Respect must be given or you will pay the consequences.

Flashback to Saturday morning: I was slouched on the pavement of a Starbucks parking lot, pouring cold water over my head, and flashing in and out of consciousness and this song came to mind.

Except my barely coherent brain had replaced the word, "Law" with "Heat"?

Maybe my brain was a little more coherent then it is getting credit for because the slightly less then clever word swap was rather accurate. Right down to the part that gets to the heart of the original lyrics - Respect ... or lack thereof.

Flashback even a little further on Saturday morning. I am three weeks out from Ironman Mont-Tremblant.   Anyone who has ever trained for an Ironman knows this is the last BIG training weekend and then taper starts. My schedule had on tap a 3hr run in the morning and a 4500M swim to follow. Then on Sunday a 6hr 30m ride with a 1hr brick run. I was ready and looking forward to the weekend.

So Saturday morning rolls around and I meet my buddy Dave at the above mentioned Starbucks parking lot at 4:30am sharp. We have three different loops worked out that will allow us to pass our cars twice to refill our bottles. It was perfectly planned right up until the point that it was not.

The plan was to start early to Beat the Heat. For those new to the blog I live in a Northern Suburb of Houston, Texas. What this means is that the term Beat the Heat is something us Houstonians say but it has no real meaning because no such thing really exists here. It is ALWAYS smoldering hot during the summer (But our winters are glorious).

Anyway, it was already 88* and the humidity was at 96% and the dew point was freaking soaking wet.

We started our first loop in the dark and decided to keep a slow pace, to Outsmart the Heat, another phrase we say that is not possible to accomplish (well, unless a treadmill and A/C is brought into the equation). My sweat rate was incredibly high on the first loop but this was to be expected and I prepared. I normally run with a handheld bottle filled with two scoops of EFS Drink. The EFS Drink has close to 1100mg of Electrolytes which is perfect for replenishing a depleted body on a humid morning. However, I figured since it was SO HOT I would use THREE scoops of EFS drink per bottle, that is like a 3rd more electrolytes - genius, I know. This also meant I had 300 calories per bottle and no solid nutrition would be needed (in hindsight, not so genius).

First loop complete. Grab a second EFS bottle. Start second loop.

On the second loop Dave and I decide it is a good idea to do a couple of reps up and down our infamous 5-story parking garage . By the second rep everything started to feel very labored. The legs felt fine but my head and body felt bad. Real bad.

We then headed over the West Lake Houston Bridge and picked up a little breeze, it felt good and gave me a second wind. But then as soon as we got off the bridge and the breeze was blocked I felt horrible. I had pretty much quit sweating, my head was throbbing, and all of a sudden I had some severe side cramps. I could no longer stomach the EFS drink as the three scoops made it too sweet. Dave gave me what little he had left off his water.

At this point were were about 13mi into the run and about a mile out from the cars and I knew I was in some serious trouble.

We made it back and I grabbed some ice water from the cooler and started pouring it over my head and I knew at this point I was suffering from heat exhaustion and needed to get in a cold shower. My legs decided they no longer wanted to work and I ended up slouched over half in my trunk (with the cooler) and half out. Somehow this ended up slouched on the pavement within a few minutes?

Flash Forward to today: I am recovering from a pretty bad bout of Heat Exhaustion . If you click the link and look at the symptoms I experienced every singe one of them and believe me when I tell you it was not pleasant. The rest of Saturday was spent with a 102* fever alternating between rounds of chills and sweats. Sunday was spent on the couch with a discomfort level close to what it would be like if Mike Tyson had a 12-round boxing match with your internal organs. And today was back at work but probably only operating at around 50%.

The good news is that each day has got substantially better from the last and I am hopeful to be back doing some light training by Wednesday.

The morale of the story is to be careful out there. I've lived in Houston for 8 summers and have trained for triathlon through the last four. Due to all this time training I became comfortable and let my guard down. My ego and lack of preparation had led me to believe that a battle with the heat was mine for the taking. The Heat Won ...

Oh, By-the-way, Bobby Fuller was from SE Texas. Coincidence? I think not.

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff
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