Thursday, June 21, 2012

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

Everyone has heard the saying, "If you can't stand the heat, try, try again!" What?! Did I mess that up? Well I'm going with it.

Unless you live under a rock somewhere other than the East Coast, then you know the entire eastern seaboard has been under severe heat advisories and, in some cases, heat warnings during these first two days of summer. A reasonable person would heed these warnings and stay in their plush, air conditioned home.

That's me on Tuesday. I sweat. A lot.

However, nobody has ever accused me of being terribly reasonable, and, as a CrossFitter, I find it my duty to push my limits.

Well I found out what my limits were yesterday regarding the 100+ degree heat indices and I was a little disappointed in myself. But disappointment does not come without its lessons learned. And what kind of a blogger would I be if I did not share this wealth of knowledge in disappointment with my readers so you don't have to share the same disappointment.

Despite the extreme heat and my history of heat exhaustion, I decided to push through with my WOD at my regularly scheduled 5 pm class yesterday. I was feeling great after my warm-up. There was a breeze on the run and I was feeling confident. I did a few warm-up cleans to prepare for the WOD (The Chief), and found myself lifting my heaviest weight yet. The 78# cleans were a breeze once I worked out some technique issues. But I digress...

3...2...1... GO!

I pushed through my first two rounds of the WOD feeling strong, but going into the third heat (you like that pun?) I began to feel dizzy and even a little bit faint. I muscled through the cleans, nearly failing on the third, and struggled through my push-ups. It was the squats where I lost it.

Lesson 1: DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES: During my fourth squat, I closed my eyes for only a moment and was overwhelmed by the loss of one of my senses. My head was reeling trying to recover from the dehydration and from the loss of balance from closing my eyes.

Lesson 2: KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO: I still had nearly a minute left in my round after those squats but knew there was no point in pushing through. I made the decision to add that remaining 53 seconds to my minute of rest. This seemed like a brilliant idea and would have made my recovery much better if only...

Lesson 3: DO NOT SIT IN THE MIDDLE OF A WOD: Sitting down in the middle of the WOD is pretty much the equivalent of jumping on the bus that picks up stragglers when you aren't keeping pace at a race. It says, "I GIVE UP!" Your body, despite your best efforts to convince it, will not come back from that. I am convinced that if I had not sat down, I could have gotten through at least one more round, but at what cost?

Lesson 4: LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY: After the failed workout, and my subsequent return to what is considered normalcy by my standards, my trainer reminded me that everyone has their off days and that I had already done more than other people had done just by showing up. Take that, cherry pickers! Jk. It was encouraging in light of the fact that I was really kicking myself at this point. But had I pushed myself too far yesterday, and made myself sick, would I be as amped up to get back in the gym today or would I head home after work to curl up with my dog and hide under the covers in my bedroom with the AC cranking??

Hmm, I definitely see the appeal of the second option...
Getting back into the gym today will hopefully help me build up a tolerance for the heat, although it did come on rather quickly. I may push back to the 7pm class until this heat wave breaks. I am still undecided on that final point, but I have a few hours to make up my mind.

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