So as many of you lovely readers know, I just got back from a week long stint in the beautiful country of Belize. For most of you, I bet you probably haven’t heard of Belize much less know where it is. It is a Central American country that gained its independence in 1981 but is only now becoming completely independent and stable. It was a magical vacation you can look forward to reading about starting on Wednesday when vacation recap comes out!
Now what does this all have to do with running and shocking my body?
The fact that I went from a March 6th, 17 degree, afternoon run here in Philadelphia to a March 8th, 84 degree, morning run in San Pedro, Belize, was called nothing more than shock to my body.
I was so excited to be out running in the warmth and sun that I took off at a super fast clip. I hadn’t taken my Garmin with me to Belize and didn’t actually know my actual pace but it was easily a sub 7:45 minute mile.
After two miles of this pace, grinning, with the sun beating down on me, my body gave in and my breathing began to become labored and my lungs felt as they would explode. My legs were next and felt as though they were revolting and began twitching in odd ways I’m not used to. Finally my shoulders felt like they were on fire from the sun.
I quickly slowed down to a walk and found some shade before assessing what was going on.
One–I hadn’t had any water in almost 20 hours. Big mistake. The water in Belize needs to be purified and we hadn’t gotten any since we arrived.
Two–I was going faster than usual. If I hadn’t been so very excited, I would have remembered my training and research and remembered when you are going through climate change to warmer weather you are supposed to SLOW DOWN! Not speed up
Three–This was one that I had always kind of ignored while on vacation–staying near to your home base when running. If I had just done loops around the area I could have eased myself in mile by mile each day, instead I wanted to get in a nice 5 mile out and back exploring the area. This just left me 2.5 miles away tired and really hot.
That being said, it only took one silly day to remember these things and adjust my running accordingly, however, that first day in the heat was definitely a shock to my body. Now that I’m back here in Philly, my friend Jana and my post-church Ben Franklin Bridge 8 miler felt like nothing in the 45 degree day. I guess there is one good thing about the cold…
Now let my lessons be a lesson to you; when transitioning in a day to running in the warmth remember:
2. Slow Down
3. Stay Near
4. Wear Lighter Clothes