Monday, July 09, 2007

The data tells the tale

Yes, I was fully instrumented on Sunday when the meltdown occurred, just like Laika the Space Dog.
Here are our ambient conditions for race day, with the race starting at 7:05AM. On the way to the race I drove through several patches of fog so intense that I nearly had to stop. Notice the temperature and dew point going up in lockstep until 8:30? And hardly any breeze at all?

Here is the sad tale - heart rate in red, pace in blue. Heart rate climbing up past 175, despite my repeated and frequent attempts to bring it down, resulting in an ever-slower pace on the run course. That wouldn't have been a problem if I had been finished after the run - but there were still 45 miles to go in the event!


My heart rate while running during long-course events needs to look a lot more like this day, in the 150s and 160s. Going over 170 before the first mile was even finished was Bad News for Nancy.

Laika the Space Dog died from overheating and stress. Yes, that could have been me -- I think I could have put myself into some trouble if the weather had stayed the same and I had continued at a high effort level. My core temperature was probably rising throughout the run and with my surface-to-volume issues, I just don't dissipate heat as well as those skinnier folks.

Fortunately the humidity did start dropping just as soon as I stopped, but that temperature kept climbing. Only 2 women out of 46 starters (4%) had paces well above 10 min/mile on the first run leg of the duathlon. On the second run leg, 15 women of 43 finishers (35%) had paces above 10 min/mile. I'm surprised it wasn't more of them.

8 comments:

GeekGirl said...

Don't know if this is the same for everyone...but Baboo monitors his heartrate because if it starts to drift upward it means he's getting dehydrated...could that be the case in your situation as well??

Nancy Toby said...

Yes, that's one reason I was watching HR carefully too.

I'm sure I was starting to get dehydrated! I was still drinking as much as I could on the course - I can only chug so much at aid stations!!

toby said...

You definitely turned an unfortunate situation good by working the aid stations. Thank you!!! I also did the race on Sunday. Those cups of ICE/Gatorade made all the difference, and the volunteers were so great.

The heat and humidity were pretty tough. Though not as tough as the competition! Talk about greyhounds! Did mostly 7min miles for the first 5 on the run to try and save some energy, and was in second to last place. :)

The funniest part of the race was during the bike. I had some serious bike issues. (i.e., both pedals came off at mile 8). Then, after walking a mile or so to the aid station to get proper tools in order to fix the bike. The older man working the station reminded me. That's what happens with those crazy foreign bikes! Lesson learned, next time I'm dropping the Cervelo and riding my Huffy. :)

Nancy Toby said...

Ha! Thanks for stopping in and telling your tale!

Yeah, I'd say both pedals falling off is a fairly serious problem!! Push-bikes are much slower than pedal-bikes. ;-)

Shelley said...

Awwww poor puppy...you be careful out there girl!!!!!!

Jenny said...

It helps to know that everyone has their ups and downs - it keeps relative beginners like me from feeling like we're hopeless just because we have a bad day or bad week! So - even though it sucked for you, I appreciate hearing it because it helps me keep going! Yes, there's always next year!

rachel said...

Poor Laika!
That's a terrible way to die, and all alone in an unfamiliar and possibly frightening situation.

ps. glad you stopped!

ShirleyPerly said...

Sorry to hear the weather was so nasty. Definitely not worth risking a heat stroke. Hope you have better luck at your next race!