Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sweat and Water Aid

On Saturday, we decided late in the week to run from Harbor Island to Shelter Island and back for our last long training run for the LB 1/2 Marathon in two weeks. In planning out this run, I discovered that it's not easy to find a reasonable place for an 11 mile run that has the following criteria.
  • Water on the route
  • Mostly asphalt instead of concrete (kinder on the legs, knees, feet)
  • Relatively close to home
  • Relatively flat (for LB, there's really not much need for hill training, thus we've done NADA
The "water on the route" issue has been the most problematic recently but the HI to SI run seemed to have enough water fountains along the way to sustain us.
Walter and I met Mik at Harbor Island at 7am, about the same time as SDTC's fall "Whatever" training program was meeting there. This training group is nicknamed the "Whatever" group because unlike the RnR group which trains for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, or the Half Mad Grup which trains for the AFC 1/2 Marathon, there is not single fall race everyone trains for. Some people in the group are training for the Silver Strand 1/2 in November, some for Vegas in December, some for LA in October. You get the drift...chances are somebody in the group is even training for LB. I decided to not join the fall mostly because I knew that once LB was over, I was going to take it easy for awhile. Also, we (Mik, Elsie, Betty, Walter, me) decided that we would have our own training group for LB.

To be honest, I've been kinda surprised that we haven't run into them before. Most of the places we've run the past few weeks are typical SDTC routes.

I will also say that the last couple of weeks as it's gotten warmer, and as our runs have gotten longer, I have REALLY missed the water/aid station support. Drinking out of a water fountain is not ideal, and I don't like carrying water. Water belts bug me.

I wasn't sure what the relative humidity was yesterday morning at 7am*, but we had plenty of evidence that it was pretty high. Most of the evidence comes from Walter. He sweats. A LOT. So much so that it's been an ongoing topic of conversation for us...what he can wear to mitigate the effects of the torrents of water that stream from his pores during a run.

I sweat a fair amount when I run. Betty really sweats, but neither of us (sorry Betty) comes anywhere close to producing the amount of sweat that Walter can produce. It'd be downright impressive if it weren't so disgusting.

One of Walter's strategies has been to take his shirt off and run shirtless when he feels the sweat really starting to pour, yet before his shirt is already soaked.  Three weeks ago, the shirt stayed on about 3 miles. Last week, the shirt stayed on about 2 miles. On Saturday, about 1/2 mile into the run, he took of his shirt. I laughed and said "Already? Why'd you even bother?" Mik, who had already run the first loop and was headed back called out "that didn't last long."

It was a sign of things to come. 

Despite the humidity, the first three miles of the run felt pretty good. The SDTC super-fast runners passed us at about 2 miles and said "hi." (I wondered if they wonder where we've been, or if they even notice that we haven't been around...because of course I think everyone wonders about ME). About 3 miles into the run, we saw Irene and her husband at Spanish Landing. They were waiting for the RU group that they're training with this fall. I gave Irene a sweaty hug. I'm sure she appreciated it!

I stopped at one of the last water fountains in the park before we headed onto the surface streets to get to Shelter Island. Walter passed it up.

One of the things that's concerned me about Walter's excessive sweat is that he also doesn't want to drink water along the way. I suspect this comes from some Neanderthal water-polo sports training regiment he endured when he played in high school. You know the one in which young athletes are forced to "tough it out" and not drink water when training in order to "toughen up." (He denies this). I think he should drink more when we run. He doesn't. ((sigh)). I think this is a problem. He doesn't. Pretty much sounds like most of our marriage. 

Anyway, as we headed into Shelter island, about 3.5 miles in to our run, Walter said to me, "feel my shorts." I'm pretty sure I said something like, "What?" But being the good wife, I felt his shorts.

They were soaking out of a pool, bathing suit, soaking wet.


The funny thing is that he bought these running shorts a couple weeks ago. They're the dry-weave, sweat-wicking kind. He bought them to try to help with the sweat issue.

I'm not sure what it felt like to run in those things, but I'm thinking it couldn't have been comfortable. Walter agreed that it wasn't much fun (yes, we agreed about something. Don't be so surprised.)

So sweaty dudes out there...what do you do/wear/plan for when you run? Walter needs some advice and since I've never felt another guys soaking wet running shorts before, I've not yet had the opportunity to  ask about it.

We turned toward Shelter Island and I was feeling pretty good, but I think the wet shorts were getting the best of Walter. He decided to find an open liquor store to buy some water and wait for Mik and I to come back from Shelter Island (about 2 miles). I actually thought briefly about running to the place where the track club usually has a water station set up (about a block away) and beg (or just blend), but since I hadn't paid for the fall training program, my sense of right and wrong led me to the next water fountain.

For the most part, running on Shelter Island was a nice diversion. We don't run onto the island very often, but it's really quite pretty and even though it's only a few 100 feet from Harbor Island, the view is much different (more of Point Loma and less of Downtown San Diego).  It was pretty.

Point Loma fog in the distance. The fog was lifting over Shelter Island and I ended up being in the only sunny area that I could see.

The view of Downtown San Diego...still socked in by fog.
About the time I turned around, and started heading back off the island, I started to feel the effects of probably not enough water, the humidity, and my run-twice-a-week training schedule. I had a Gu, and it gave me a little boost, but not much. By the time I got back to the main road to go back to Harbor Island (Scott Street), I was seriously looking for Walter, the promised water, and I walked a bit. I could see him about 1/3 mile up the street (darn), but he was walking toward me (yay), so I started running and when he saw me running, he must have decided I was OK, so he too started walking AWAY FROM ME.

I almost cried.

I finally caught up with him and in my typical fashion griped about his walking away from me (we were almost at Harbor Island Drive by the time I caught him. Yes, the guy has water for me, and all I can do is bitch and complain. I'm sweet that way)**

And yes, I did thank him too.

Water revived me somewhat for the rest of the run. My right foot (PF) and calf started cramping about mile 8, so I stopped to stretch once and told Walter to go ahead and keep running (in other words...I'm bitchy right now, and it'd be better if you weren't around to see it). Unlike last week when I was willing to put in some extra distance as I headed back toward our car, I did NOT turn left once on HI to get over 10 miles. I'd hoped to get to 11 or 12 miles this morning, but w/o water and with the humidity, it just wasn't going to happen. Today, I'm OK with it. Yesterday, I was a little bummed.

Yesterday's stats
9.67 miles
1:50:51/11:27 pace

I have some mixed emotions about the race coming up. I know that I can run a 1/2 marathon, even if on very minimal training and I've certainly done more than the minimum, but I'd be lying if I said this was the MOST prepared I've ever been. Fall races are just tough to prepare for in my world. School starts and there are just too many distractions and responsibilities that seem to get in the way of really, truly, getting prepared.

That being said, we will go to LB, and Mik, Elsie and I will collect our California Dreamin' Series medals having finished the Surf City 1/2 Marathon, the SF 1/2 Marathon, and the LB 1/2 Marathon in one year AND Walter will run his first 1/2 marathon

As I sat on a bench after Saturday's run, I thought about my running life. Five years ago, I had never run farther than a mile in my life (that I know of anyway...I may have in high school or college at some point, but it would have been by accident). Now I've run eleven 1/2 marathons (LB will the the 12th). Lots of 5Ks and 10Ks and a marathon. Running has changed my life. I should never be bummed that I've only run 9.67 miles, but I do think that after LB, I am going to take a little break from the long run training for a bit and let my body heal.
* SD Union-Tribune reports that the relative humidity at 2am was 78% and and 3pm was 54%, so we'll assume that it was somewhere in the 70% range.

** Yes, I can be a terrible spouse, but I did find a way so that he could watch the Charger's Game online AND I just fixed a fabulous lunch for he and his dad DURING both the Chargers and the Padres games today, so I do have some good qualities too


  1. If you don't like wearing a hydration belt, you should try a handheld sometime. I quickly grew accustomed to mine. I'd bring it all the time if I had water stops for refilling available. But I don' my longer runs needs to be with a hydration belt.

  2. I used the handheld. It does get warm quickly, so I had to freeze the water the night before.

    Got nothing for Walter, except use lots and lots of Body Glide.

  3. Ditto to what Lisa said. I've gotten used to the Amphipod hand held. I got mine at Movin' Shoes in PB and they sell out quickly. Not sure about the sweating issue, but I'll ask. Maybe that's a track club question?

    It was fun seeing you guys run by! I was already sweaty and I didn't even run (or walk) yet!!!

  4. It was really humid yesterday. I bet it was even more humid down at the bay. I bet you could have used some sport drink. When it is that humid, I cramp up quite a bit unless I drink something with electrolytes.

    I am not a huge fan of my belt, but I need to carry the water. I don't like drinking fountains at all. I do like my handheld, but it doesn't hold enough for my long runs. I have the insulated Amphipod bottle.

    I really like running on Shelter Island...your pictures brought back some memories.

    I hope I get to see you at LB. I think you are going to do just fine.

  5. I solve hydration on a run an old school method - I stash a water bottle in some bushes along the route or even behind a mailbox post or the like. Don't judge, IT WORKS!

  6. It truly is a pain to carry water, but I have to or I get really down and out-especially having to take a diuretic I need to replenish.
    I'm not sure how to help the hubs and his "sweat" problem, I was glad to NOT have read at what mile marker Betty took her shirt off!
    You'll be fine in your 1/2 mary-you're experienced! Screw the time and have some fun!

  7. Ok girlie don't be too hard on yourself! We were there we did a long run in horrible condiitions and finished awesome as it was. So there! I turned around at the Shelter Island pier cuz I jus couldn't make the torture of sweat in the eyes any longer then it was going to be. And by the way, Walter's water was wonderful! It is all the beauty of being a runner and we all deep down thrive on it.

  8. Wow, I feel so much better after reading this post. FOR TWO SOLID days, I came home with soaking shorts; wet like they had been hosed down! They were rubbing and killing me on the way home this morning. A few other people looked sweaty but I was drenched and I'm never like that. I feel for Walter...hugs to him(sweaty and *friendly* embrace inserted here).
    OK, so just enjoy LB, I'll be looking for you guys with my COW BELLS and spastic self. I can't wait. I guess Glenn is putting a dinner together so we can't miss it!!
    Have a cooler week,

  9. Has Walter tried running compression shorts? Or, what about triathlete compression shorts? It won't mitigate the sweat, but triathletes do run in them when they are wet from the swim.

    Also, I have a friend show swears by this hand-held water bottle that has a strap that makes running with it pretty easy. It's designed for running.

    Or, come up North - there's lots of water and rest rooms between T.P. State Beach all the way up to Leucadia. You could probably go as far as 15 miles by going out and back.

  10. Sheesh, girl, put down the bat! Everyone has bad runs and 70-ish% humidity for us wimpy California folk is miserable.

    That said, if I do not drink enough I feel like shit running and once that happens I can not get it back. I think that had a lot more to do with how you felt than your training.

    Take care of you. Sometimes a bit of a break is exactly what is needed.

  11. I know Walter's problem. I wear a tech shirt to wick sweat, but by the time I'm done with a run in humid weather I look like I just came out of a pool. I make sure I have a change of clothes, and more importantly a change of shoes or post run

    I drank almost 90 oz of water on my run Sunday....

  12. I disagree with RBR. Don't take care of YOU. Take care of YOUR HUSBAND, WOMAN!11!

    Hahahahahahahaha! And put on a burka, for god's sake!

    Sorry, I can't help with the wet shorts issue cos I don't have that problem.

    Snot build-up I can help with. Just use the ol' snot-rocket technique.

    And when you do one? Say: "Out, damned snot!"

    Cos Lady Mac would be pleased with that.