Run 623: The “Why did I run?” run

Run 623
Average pace: 6:08/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 3:55 pm
Distance: 5.04 km
Time: 30:57
Weather: Sunny, hot
Temp: 30ºC
Humidity: 36%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 155
Weight: 164.8 pounds
Total distance to date: 4695 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (50 km)

I did not plan to run today, but I ended up running, even though it was kind of nutty to do so. Let me explain.

On Friday I planned to run, but slept in and then deferred to Saturday, as I did not want to run later Friday when it would be too hot. Remember the “too hot” part.

Later Friday I developed a pain in my abdomen reminiscent of “men of your age” infections of yore. Saturday morning, instead of running, I went to my favorite nearby walk-in clinic. Except they wouldn’t see me until noon, so I went back at noon. The diagnosis was vague and uncertain, though I had sugar in my urine, so the diabetes alarm was raised once again (this has happened throughout my entire life–so far each actual test has come back negative). The doctor gave me a bunch of other tests to take, similar to the ones my own doctor wanted me to take, but which I had been putting off, because I’ve been kind of lazy during vacation. She also suggested I drink lots of water and drink Metamucil, to prevent blockage/infection, though I assured her I was pretty regular already.

Sunday morning (today) Jeff drove me to a LifeLabs that was open on the weekend and they took more pee and also blood. The blood removal was the most efficient I’ve ever seen. It was kind of eerie.

After this, we went out for breakfast at IHOP (mmm, blueberry pancakes), then came home. I opted out of going to the Pride parade because the thought of sitting/standing ion place for hours on end did not seem enticing. Jeff ended up going off (unplanned) to watch it on his own.

It was very hot today. By mid-afternoon it was up to 30ºC. I decided if I couldn’t run, I’d at least walk, so I put on my running clothes (they are much more comfortable for warm weather) and set off to walk to the lake and back (around 8 km total). When I got to the lake, I decided to keep going, so I did that. When I got to Still Creek, I contemplated doing a run to finish off the loop around the lake. Remember, now:

  • it’s 30ºC
  • I had blood taken just hours earlier
  • I have abdominal pain

There was no good reason to run. None. But I had already missed two potential run days and didn’t want to miss another, so I made an agreement with myself to only run for as long as it was comfortable. If there was any pain/aches/fainting, etc. I would stop. And so I sent off doing what was essentially the reverse of my usual 5K clockwise circuit.

The first km was relatively zippy, considering the heat, coming in at 5:28/km. This changed and by the third km I was firmly in “Why am I doing this?” territory, with my pace way down to 6:39. I rallied and came back to 6:12 before wrapping up with 6:23 for the final stretch. This was one of those runs where I really wanted it to end.

Despite how I felt, I was fairly confident once I made it past the halfway mark that I would be able to finish. Fortunately, the Avalon trail was in shade at this time of day, probably the only thing that kept me going to the finish.

My mouth was very dry. Like, it was the Sahara in my mouth. To paraphrase America, the heat was hot. The humidity was high enough to make the air feel like a furnace, but not high enough to keep my mouth moist.

And yet the most interesting stat from the run was my BPM–a mere 155. This means that both my mind and body were being sensible. As I slowed, I did not push to maintain an unsustainable pace. I fell back into a slower, but steady pace and kept to that. I didn’t over-exert. I was smart! This is one of the few times I checked my BPM mid-run, too. If it had been crazy-high, I would have stopped, but it was pretty steady in the 150s throughout.

And the abdominal pain, though still there, is now a much more muted kind of ache, so it didn’t present an issue. Really, the only issue was the weather itself. And my decision to run in it. :P

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