Monday, May 28, 2012

WOW...It's HOT

I grew up in the desert. Phoenix, Arizona to be specific. And if you've been to Phoenix in the summer you know what the metal part of your seat belt feels like after sitting in a parking lot all afternoon. Scalding. People have gotten nasty burns from things as bizarre as their steering wheel. You could scramble eggs on the asphalt is the saying. Though it's not all that sanitary so I don't recommend it.

Today felt like one of those days. Granted, East coast version of heat is generally significantly numerically lower than the West, but when you combine the're in for a front-tow ticket to Purgatory. Or, as I like to say, "Just another day in Hell."

Did I mention it's hot??? Anyway, hydrate people! Make sure you take in enough fluids and get some salts in you to replenish the sweat. Oddly, your body probably feels bloated and many are reluctant to eat/drink when it gets hotter. I don't know how important eating food is (more than usual that is) but I do think that drinking more H20 and some electrolytes can do more to stave off unwanted heat-related illnesses than you'd think.

The one time I sustained a mini heat-stroke was playing Junior College tennis in Glendale, Arizona. I had three matches that day. It was the state championships. My first match was a singles match against my arch-rival (he and I split the series that year).

He was a better player than me. Certainly more talented with better strokes. But my advantage was my tenacity and I would chase down balls and keep it in play long enough for him to hit it out of frustration. And also I'd stare him down and shout ferociously whenever I won a point. That helped.

Luckily for me, the girls and boys teams (Scottsdale Community College Artichokes...yep the fightin' Artichokes!) coalesced for the final set behind the fence and cheered on raucously after each successful point. It was one of the coolest feelings of my life. It came down to a tie-breaker and the court temperature had to be above 110. I had done track workouts in worse, so I was prepared. But dude I was playing against bonked hard. I think I beat him 7-1 or something in the break.

Winning was it's own form of punishment. It got me to the next round where I played against a kid who swept me during the regular season.

My game plan changed. My energy reserves were somewhat depleted (it was a quick turnaround). I ate only half a banana and a few sips of water in between.

But buoyed from my previous win, I took the first set 6-1. I serve and volleyed impeccably. I knew he was too good to allow it to happen twice....but I tried anyway. He hit some incredible passing shots and stole the next set 7-5. Drat. Final set, I was truly hurting. Temperatures creeped up even hotter. Coach pleaded with me to take a timeout to get some fluids but I wanted to plod on. Undeterred by my shoddy performance and anxious to turn it around.

Big mistake.

Got crushed the final set 6-1. Bleh. Shoulda drank some more fluids.

Had a two hour break and because I was dejected from my loss, I neglected to properly nutr...iate...whatever. You know what I mean.

I was playing with the reigning singles champion of the state, my teammate Kenneth. Kenneth was approximately twice as good as me. And we had beaten this team twice in the regular season. All we had to was stick to the fckin game plan. I.E...let Kenneth hit the ball as much as possible.

Of course the fuckers preyed on me and hit almost every ball to my side of the court. At one point Kenneth dove over just to get a piece of the action. It was pretty funny really.

We split the first two sets, but I was the weakest link on the court and we lost the match. Kenneth was pissed. It wasn't his fault. He coulda beaten those dudes by himself.

Now this is tangentially related to hydrating when it's hot only because afterward (later that night) I got the chills and was extremely dizzy. I met up with the gf and her family for dinner and spent the entire time in the bathroom vomiting/dry heaving. Heat stroke can be one of the worst feelings in the world. It's like when you have the flu or you're shwasted and can't do a thing about it but wait for it to pass (by puking).

So to curb this type of repugnant behavior...hydrate this summer. No need to force the foods...but at least get some salts/electrolytes in your system so you don't bonk...even more important for me now as an endurance athlete.


Anonymous said...

If you played for a team named the artichokes,( you must be making this up), great concept though, it's no wonder you choked.
It had nothing to do with hydrating because arti-chokes thrive on coastal conditions so what the hell- how did a Scottsdale school adopt such an uncharacteristic name? Surely if you went there you must know.oR DID YOU INVENT THE WHOLE STORY BECAUSE YOU BOUGHT STOCK IN A WATER COMP.?

Anonymous said...

Very important post..especially with the summer's heat upon us. There is much more internal damage that the heat can cause to our organs that we don't even see. So you are right about continuing to hydrate.Once your body feels thirsty, you are already dehydrating.

Anonymous said...

The spring of 2012 is due to be the hottest in 117 years, since 1895. Considering this past winter was the fourth-hottest on record (with an average temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit in the contiguous US states), March simply the hottest and April the third-hottest, that may come as no surprise

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