Monday, 22 July 2013

The Good Hair Guide to Avoiding 'Monica' Hair in this Heat

Oh I Wish
There is no way around it. I have big hair. And in this mini heatwave running with big hair is akin to running with a king size electric blanket wrapped around my head turned  up to scorchio.

So after planning my half marathon training to coincide with the first mini heatwave in since 2006 (when I used to wonder why runners didn't just use their cars) I started with a small seven miles to kick it all off.

Sat 13th July
I hadn't actually mapped the route but was guessing the distance based on similar previous routes I'd run. My running partner Gem hadn't completed a long run since the Great South in Oct last year, so combining that with the heatwave it could prove to be a tough one. But that's OK, we'll just leave early in the morning, how about 8am. I must admit to being quite excited by the prospect of starting my half marathon training as it was a weekend of sorting, life laundering, getting my proverbial 'stuff' together.

It felt difficult, I felt like The Wicked Witch of the East completely drying out, my eyes were stinging as the sweat from my electric blanket heated head poured from me. But as I've found, once you've mentally passed the barrier of 'not stopping', it's almost impossible to do so, you also start to automatically replace the negative self talk, which is basically 'I can't do this' with 'I can do this', 'I've done it before', and start to think about how chuffed and smug you'll be when you've finished the route.

And we did, we completed the route, yes were melting, and exhausted but we finished it.

Question is, will a baseball cap to run in serve to help keep the heat off my head or just act as a couple of pings of the microwave to super heat my head. I don't have the answer to that just yet but must Google it.

Mapping the run showed an impressive 7.43 mile route. Excuse me while I high five myself.

Bearing in mind the heat, I was very aware that I must stay hydrated and drank copious amounts. What I didn't do was eat, well not until the early afternoon as I was still completing my 'missions' and it wasn't until I was feeling a bit wan, early afternoon, that I ate, well scoffed a sandwich would be a better description. And mid afternoon the tell tale signs of migraine started to creep in. I'm well stocked with pain killers for such events and still wouldn't slow down and it continued into Sunday with the 'swimming through glue' and nausea that sometimes accompanies these blasted headaches. So lesson learned, eat and drink!

Thursday 18th July
We still have a heatwave. There is still plenty of rush hour traffic. I still have a half marathon to train for. Cold beers and BBQ appear much more inviting but in the absence of any invite to such an event the trainers were first choice. Following a hectic week, lack of sleep, yet again I hadn't mapped a route but out we trotted in the insane heat. Although it wasn't the six miles planned it was 4.3 miles and in this heat I'm still pleased with that.

Saturday 20th July
The heatwave continues, apparently we are at  level 3 - 'heatwave action' which almost sounds like a great name for an adult movie! The sun beating down on me pulling water out of me like the taxman pulling cash out of my salary.

In a bid to perhaps run a little cooler our escapade started at about 7.45 with our 8 mile route mapped out. Down to the seafront, up through the old town, around the park up, yadda, yadda, yadda. Some parts harder to run than others. Some parts in full sun, between the buildings, no shade, no wind. Some parts, long slow inclines, with no shade.

And then, eventually, we were at that point on the route, sanctuary.  The terrain was flat, followed by a slow decline to the end of the route. The surroundings were wooded, providing some longed for shade and we were homeward bound. And arrived, still standing, just. We just ran 8.3 miles in a heatwave.

And after this run, I drank loads of water, and I ate. Not a migraine in site just plenty of endorphins.

I can only hope that as I push myself to run in the heat, that come the Bournemouth half marathon it will be a piece of cake, as surely running in autumn will be like heaven compared to running in a heatwave.

And to avoid the electric blanket heating effect of my hair I think I've found the solution.

Here's to the predicted thunderstorms and noisey hair!

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