I headed out this morning knowing it would be warm in Los Gatos, but I was definitely not prepared for how warm it would end up being. I also just realized that I don't think I've ever done a summer half marathon. Okay, yes, I've done the SF 1/2 which is *in* the summer, but to paraphrase Mark Twain "the coldest winter is a summer in SF."
It was about 70 degrees at 7:00 when we finally got started. I had set my Garmin for my 'best' case scenario, which didn't include any adjustments for the heat. Poor plan, step 1.
For those of you who've seen the "Degree Clinical Protection" commercials, yeah, they're aimed at me. On a good day I sweat like a pig so today I was bathing in sweat. Nice. I took some Cytomax on the run, but no E-caps (electrolyte tablets). Poor plan, step 2.
Being so toasty, I decided to take water at every water stop, but to keep running through them. I'm not *that* coordinated, so I didn't get much water down my throat with each little dixie cup I took. Poor plan, step 3.
So, you get the idea. This was a plan hatched for a nice cool day, not the day I had today. The biggest mistake was not adjusting myself to the conditions at hand. And boy did it bite me in the ass.
The starting gun went off just after 7:00 and there was the usual slow walk/jog until there was enough space to get going. Right off the bat we headed up a small hill out of the parking lot. Not too bad though and before long the crush was nicely spread out. The first few miles went by pretty quickly with a few inclines, but nothing too major. Grabbed a little water at the first water stop and was so pleased with my run so far. I had visions of, not sugar plums, but a fantastic run dancing in my head.
I knew there was another water stop coming up around 5-6 miles and figured I should shoot a Gu at that stop (since I was only carrying Cytomax and didn't want to mix that with the Gu). About a 1/4 mile from where I thought the water stop was going to be I gulped the Gu down. A little too quickly. I was hoping to finish it right as I hit the water stop, but it was a little further away than I thought. So the Gu sat in my stomach like a lump until I could get to the water stop to dilute it with a drink. Or part of a drink anyway.
Six miles, seven miles, eight miles, all good. I'm feeling pretty good although it seems to be heating up. I start to wonder why this run is called the Jungle Run and figure they must have meant "Asphalt Jungle" as there is practically no shade but plenty of sun and heat.
Nine miles comes along with a small uphill and it hit me like a slap in the face. Hm, that's weird, I should be able to handle that no problem. As nine turned to nine and a 1/4 I felt like I was running through molasses. It only got worse. Belatedly I tried to force the Cytomax down, but it was way too late. I was already getting nauseous if I tried to push the pace at all. And by at all, I mean anything over 10:30. The last 3.5 miles were me trying not to hurl, walking, jogging a little, my calves cramping up to the point where I could barely walk, getting a hamstring cramp, side cramps, and begging my body to just keep moving. Finally the mile 12 sign appears and I still can't make myself move. I think once I got it through my thick head that I wasn't going to have a good day, I basically let my body give up. Or my body had given up already and my head couldn't convince it otherwise.
The worst part about the whole sad experience is that my next race ( a tri ) is in a nice toasty environment. And for the first time I'm thinking I may not make it. Sigh.
They say it's just mind over matter, right? Well right now the score is mind 0, matter 1.