Akron Marathon Training: Week Six

Last week it was too wet, this week it’s too hot. Welcome to marathon training in the summer. With the temperature in the 90’s all week I had to carefully plan out  my runs. Monday I was still exhausted from a busy weekend, so I moved my run to Tuesday, which is somehow becoming a habit. Tuesday we had an air quality alert all day, and it was already 85 degrees by 9:00am, so I waited as long as I possibly could and ran at 8:30pm. It was still hot and the air was still thick, but I knew to play it safe. I wanted to do 3-4, but with the weather I just went by how I felt. I did an out and back and actually felt better on my way in.

Wednesday was supposed to be a track day, but with a heat advisory all day, I pushed it to Thursday, hoping it would cool off by a degree or two. Then Thursday didn’t go as planned. I woke up with a racing heart beat, 98+bpm. My normal resting heart beat is usually around 57bpm, so I knew something was off. I wasn’t feeling good at all, until my heart “reset” itself and skipped a few beats. It’s a normal thing, for me at least, but this time was worse than all of them, mostly because I could barely catch my breath. Shortly after my heart rate started to go down, and by mid morning it was in the low 70’s-high 60’s. I had some small pains throughout the day, but I generally felt back to normal. So instead of mile repeats, I decided on a few easy miles and went by how I felt. It was hot and awful out. I started to struggle in the first mile and knew I wouldn’t last long. My heart just can’t take these 90 degree days.

Sidebar: Skipped beats are completely normal for me and happen most when I’m relaxed, ie when I was eating breakfast. They show up whenever, and usually don’t cause any issues. With the amount of stress I have been under and the heat wave that’s settled over Ohio, I’m not surprised they’ve picked up again in full force. I’ve been cleared in the past to keep running, but I just have to be more aware of what my heart is doing.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2.5 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 2 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Wellington Cheese Fest 10k

Sunday: 3 Miles, 8:58, 8:54, 8:54

Total Miles: 7.5 Miles

Saturday was slated for 18 miles, a distance I never ran as a training run last year. My plan was to run a few miles, run a 10k, and then finish up the leftover miles after the race was over. Saturday morning I woke up to dark skies and on and off rain. I could hear thunder in the distance and wondered if my race would get postponed. With an 8:30 start, I drove to Wellington around 7:15, the rain was getting worse, but I was hoping that by 8:30 it would be clear. Nothing had changed and the race had been delayed to at least 9:00. I went back and forth from my car to the covered pavilion. The closer it got to 9:00, the more I was less excited about running. I had been looking forward to this race for weeks, but with the weather and the constant delay, my motivation was going out the window. At 9:00, they called the race due to weather. I’ve never had a race canceled on me and wasn’t really sure what to do. I went home and the storm seemed to follow. By noon, things had cleared up, but with the way that morning went, I decided to push my run to Sunday.

After tossing and turning, I woke up Sunday from a dream that told me not to do my 18 miles. I wasn’t feeling too hot and my stomach was agreeing with my dream. I still got up and tried to get in the mind frame of running, but without a planned route I found it harder and harder to get going. I was still having some heavy chest pains and after a half hour, I decided I would take a mental health day and go back to bed. I woke up three hours later and felt better than I had in the past three weeks.

I knew I’d eventually have to get some sort of run in, so I went to the indoor track that evening for some monitored running. I did a tempo run of three miles and felt pretty decent considering the past week. It felt good to get some decent running in and not struggle with the heat.

I don’t regret not doing my long run. The heat had me struggling all week long, and I knew it probably wouldn’t have ended well. I can easily move it to this weekend and not get behind in my training. I’ve also been so worn down, I’m not surprised my body gave up. We’ve been so busy every weekend that I’m not able to fully recover after my long runs. I needed this weekend to touch base with myself and catch up on rest. Next week I’ll be back at it and enjoying the slightly cooler temps.

What I learned:

  • I’d take snow over a heat wave any day. My body can only handle so much heat before it turns on me. The most important thing is to listen to your body on those hot summer days.
  • You can’t cross train when having any issues dealing with the heart, so the best thing to do is wait it out. Not always fun, but better to be safe than sorry.
  • One bad week won’t ruin my training. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you move on. No need to stress over what you don’t have control over. Easier said than done….
  • I was bummed on the days that the heat took away my running. After a burnout that seemed to go on forever, I’m finally back in love with running, and it never felt so good.

Have you ever been to a race that was canceled day of? How did you handle the heat wave?

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