For those of you that don’t know, I live in St. Louis. Today was the 9th day in triple digits and the humidity has kicked in so it’s even worse. I’m not telling you this to complain. I’m telling you this because I know many of you are like me and have a tendency to through caution to the wind just to get your run in.
I can’t fault you for that but what I can say is “BE CAREFUL”. Heat is no joke. If you’re not prepared, it will mess you up. I wanted to share a story with you.
After college, I played a TON of volleyball in leagues all over the midwest. One tournament had us going to Kansas City in August for an all day outdoor tourney. (You can probably start to see where I’m going with this).
I love playing almost more than I love running (there I said it) and I won’t let anything get in the way, not even my asthma or heat, which were both issues that day.
I knew that I needed to have my inhaler close. I knew that I needed to have plenty of water close. I had it all but what happened was I got so wrapped up in playing that I did have to use my inhaler which is a stimulant and I drank water but it wasn’t enough.
3 matches in I started to get goosebumps. Did I notice it? Yes, but I thought it was just because we were playing so well and I was excited.
4th match, I started to get chills which I attributed to being so sweaty.
5th match, I started to get a little dizzy and that’s when I started to panic. I reached for my water between every volley. As I was waiting for the serve to come our way, I had to focus on the ground because that was the only thing that didn’t seem to be moving.
By the last match, I couldn’t move and I couldn’t think. I hadn’t let anyone know and I was an internal mess. I literally couldn’t move. I collapsed. I had to get carted off the court, and fed IV and IV of fluids. I battled waves of nausea the entire next day and I didn’t fully recover for about a week.
Looking back I realize now just how close I got to permanent damage or worse. I know every sign and I will pay close attention to them.
My message is this…I know that run is important but ask yourself is it worth it? Are you prepared to run in the heat?
Some of my tips:
Start hydrating long before your outdoor activity. If you start off dehydrated, you’ll run a much greater risk of getting it.
Stay hydrated during.
Hydrate after…your body has lost a great deal of sodium which needs to be replenished. Reach for a rehydration beverage…maybe a NUUN perhaps?
Have you ever been seriously dehydrated? What was your experience like?