In many of my writings, I have been attributing the fact that as I get older; I am not handling the heat and humidity as well as I did during my youthful days. At least this has been my excuse that I have been using.
That is until today. I finished up my long run early this morning and even thou I consumed extra water during the run, I was still pretty dehydrated.
Throughout the day, I keep turning over the problem in my mind looking for a different answer. Turnover anything enough, a different answer can sometimes pop out.
It is all about looking at problem but looking at it from a different perspective.
Granted, I am pretty sure age does play factor. I am on foolish enough to totally discredit the idea.
However, my new theory is adaptation.
Most of my running career, 14 to 16 miles has always been the high end of my long runs. Even today, running 14 to 16 miles, I don’t really feel the need to take water.
However, in the last few years, my runs have pushed longer and longer: 20, 22, 24, and 28 miles as I have been doing more and more marathons. These extra miles have pushed my running time from 15 to 20 minutes extra to nearly an hour and half extra. On top of it, my runs take place during the south’s oppressive summer heat and humidity. There is no way around not getting beaten down by Charlotte summers.
Finally, I added two and two together and got a different answer. I had been so focused on the fact that I was getting dehydrated that I just totally missed it. My dehydration through perspiring is my body’s way of adapting to the heat and humidity. Because I am running longer and my body temperature is higher, my body is compensating by increasing my perspiration rate. This totally explains why when I finish all of my runs; I literally look like I have been standing in a shower. It also explains why I feel so bad and why I drink so much water post run.
I should have realized it a long time ago. Sometimes, I so focused on the side effect that I don’t follow understand the cause.
As I have been thinking this through it also dawned me that during the summer, I might be working out in a constant state of dehydration. This cannot be good either. Having a deficient of water effects so many time systems in the body. It is little wonder that I often feel drained.
Hopefully, with this new found understanding, I will be monitoring my water consumption more closely and see if it produces any positive effects on my running.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner