It’s getting hot in here…

I received an e-mail from the BAA, notifying  of predictions for “higher than normal temperatures” on the course on Monday. Unfortunately the cold front didn’t come through, and as right now it seems that temperatures will reach 86 degrees or higher on Monday. Race organizers will have 30 percent more of everything in place for hot weather. Medical professionals are using 2004, when temperatures hit 86 degrees, as a template for preparation.

“Heat is the most challenging thing you can have,’’ said Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray. “ We’re just looking for the runners to understand what the temperatures mean and really slow down their pace.’’

“You have to get in your head that it’s not going to be a PR [personal record] day. You have to back off. The two most important things are to be safe and cross the finish line. Everything after that is a bonus.’’

These are definitely not ideal running conditions, especially because we haven’t had time to acclimate; in fact it takes approximately two weeks of consistent running in the heat and humidity to acclimate to warmer conditions. But there are precautions that we can take.  The e-mail listed “important heat recommendations’’ to avoid overheating and dehydration:

  • Dress accordingly; wear as few clothes as you decently can.  Wear light-colored micro-fiber clothing to reflect the heat and to permit evaporation. Protect your head from intense sun with a lightweight hat that can breathe. The back of the neck can be protected by the hat/visor or a cotton kerchief.
  • Run in any available shade on the course
  • Stay hydrated throughout the weekend and drink 4-8 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes while running. Remember that thirst is not an indicator of dehydration. Once you are thirsty, you are already low on fluids.
  • Eat salty foods and drinks such as pretzels and tomato juice. Coach Rick told me to take Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes throughout the marathon (he takes 1-3 every 5 miles) as you will lose sodium through excessive sweat
  • Slow down…. Running in the heat should drastically change your pre-race strategy. Slowing down can significantly decrease many forms of heat illness. Heat illness is related to elevated temperatures, elevated humidity and to the speed of running
  • If you have support along the course try to encourage them to have baggies of ice for you-you have a thermostat on the underside of your wrist and the back of your neck-apply ice to these areas will reduce your core temperature
  • During your run, drink about 4 to 8 ounces of water and/or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF #15. Make sure that it is a non-drip formula that won’t drip into your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses that filter UVA and UVB rays and/or wear a cap with a visor.

These are all things that we should consider and know but  I feel it’s also very important not to worry too much about the weather and be obsessed by it. As I said in m y previous post WE have plenty of other things, entirely within OUR control, that We can focus on. Let’s just do our best and have a good time! Hopefully there will be sprinkler along the way=)

If you want to track me during the marathon my number is   11576 

Registering your cell phone,  you will receive text updates (courtesy of AT&T and the Boston Marathon) when I have crossed the following points on the course:

  • 10K
  • Half-Marathon
  • 30K
  • Finish

Here is how to get real-time updates from the course from your runner!  

TEXT – Simply text the word RUNNER to 345678 using your US mobile phone. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number. (You will be opted in to receive 4 messages during the race. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel, Text HELP for help. This program is available on the following carriers: AT&T, Boost, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.

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