Endgame – Day 10/10 – Heatwave and the Placebo Effect

Heatwave and the Placebo Effect sounds like a great name for an emo band, don’t you think?

Alas, this update is a bit mixed. First of all, yesterday, I picked myself up some new kit. The Nike+ Sportswatch GPS, which was on sale at a running shop in Manchester for one day only. It had a third off, which made it affordable, and a must-have purchase before the big race. This would be an upgrade to my current kit as it means that I would now have GPS mapping of my routes, as well as live pace data from my foot-pod, without having to carry around my iPhone. All good. And hopefully a placebo effect in bettering my running times.

Alas, this wasn’t the case today, for my last run.

I’d been theorising and wondering about everything that could effect my run, from injury to torrential rain, but the man upstairs realised I hadn’t planned for one thing, sending a big ol’ heatwave my way in ready for the weekend. 27 degree heat without a cloud in the sky, and it was going to linger across the UK until well past the weekend. Wonderful.

I decided that I needed to get out and clock in a run for two reasons – 1) to calibrate my watch, and 2) to calibrate my expectations of running in Mediterranean conditions.

After about 6km, I collapsed into the house in a heap. Looking in the mirror, my face was a deep beetroot colour, my forehead and neck very nearly suffering from sunburn. My body was literally pouring with sweat. The drinks bottle I was carrying – ice cold when I took it out, was lukewarm after the first kilometre, and fully consumed after 3km.

This wasn’t at all good. I’d run those 6km in about 40 minutes. Though the time wasn’t a disaster, the state of my body and mind after 60% of Sunday’s run left me a tiny bit nervous.

Even with the placebo effect of a cool new watch, I was a wreck. However, I’d learnt I needed to do two things (at least) on Sunday:

1. Wear a cap

2. Wear sunscreen

As for the lack of water in my bottle, I was planning  a bold move – not bothering to carry one. My theory being that if I don’t have anything on me, then my brain will tell my body to cope. Hopefully it works.

Not the best way to end my 10 day boot camp, but when have I ever been surprised with the way things go in my life…


Milk was a Bad Choice

As always, I come crashing down to Earth in a spectacular heap.

Today, much like the last few days, has been unseasonably warm, as I’m sure we are all fully well aware. Something like 28 degrees today, according to my car thermometer. Add to that the fact that I was out on the road for most of the day, I managed to get to the gym somewhat a little worse for wear this afternoon.

Woman had me working hard at the start of Week 8, but that being said, I don’t blame her cruel tutelage for once. The fact was, in retrospect today, I was dehydrated. Being out on the road all day, barely managing to get a cup of iced latte during lunch, my body really wasn’t match fit. Particularly for a more intense run.

Week 8 Day 1 asked me to run for 5 minutes, and walk for 1 minute, ten times. With warm ups and cool downs each side, the requirement was 69 minutes. After 47 minutes, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so depleted. I hit the cool down button on the treadmill after 7 of the 10 runs, and that was all I had. Rocky soundtrack or not.

During the cool down walk, my legs were on fire. I mean, seriously, they have never felt so warm. They weren’t warm to the touch, but the muscles and the ligaments seemed to be seriously throbbing. It wasn’t painful, it was just weird being the first time I think I’ve asked so much of my legs.

Walking back from the gym in the same afternoon sun, I was grateful that I’d pushed myself in a nice air conditioned gym, and not out on the roads.

Today might have really been my first proper lesson in hydration. I’ve read about hydration being important in magazines etc, but I always considered my water bottle to be more  a dry mouth and thirst quencher. Perhaps during my runs it is, but getting fluids into yourself the day before is now quite clearly very important. I plan to up my intake tomorrow and prove the difference on my Sunday morning run – the full 69 minutes this time.


Sarah read my blog post earlier today, regarding my desire to have a “Running Man” outfit.

Perhaps everybody is getting ahead of themselves somewhat, but we ended up talking about me actually wearing a superhero costume when I do my race next year.

After initially laughing awkwardly (and imagining in my head just how much sweat that costume would end up absorbing in the course of an hour’s running), I thought about Sarah’s suggestion of “being” Batman.

After zoning out again, and imagining actually being Batman for real, I remember we were talking about a run around London in the May heat (hopefully), and I argued the point that I would only want to wear a costume belonging to a hero who actually runs in real life. Batman, after all, either drives a vehicle or glides from rooftops.

Sarah did then remind of the 1960s, and she had me over a barrel for there on out.

There aren’t as many “running heroes” as you think.

But, instead of make my own suggestions right here and now, I’ll leave you instead to ponder this for me. Who should I dress up as when I complete my quest?

Update 13/08/11:

Before she corrects me – Sarah also pointed out that the 1990’s Batman films also contained running. But I (sort of) rebutted that, by saying that Batman et al were only running in a special area of the Batcave, set up to review chaffing of outfits, before actually going outside into Gotham and *not running*.

It seems like a very expensive tunnel to build, only to test costumes. But it looks like Bruce Wayne may had made some income from it later, renting it out to The X Factor for their montage clips.



I’ve now set myself up a twitter feed for this blog – @Run_FatGaz_Run – which I’ll be using to upload the updates from my runnings Apps, as well as whining if I twist my ankle or something. There is a current feed on the right hand side of this blog which provides a quick link to the account – enjoy.