One of the challenges of training for fall races of any distance above 10K (6.23 miles) is the need to put in a number of miles weeks before the races in order to taper (shorter easier recovery runs) prior to the race(s). This, however, means that a number of running miles are conducted under a high heat load even with running early in the morning. Yes, the temperature may be cooler. But the humidity (dew points) are much higher and the ability to have my sweat cool me through evaporation becomes challenging under those cooler morning conditions. It is not unusual after runs of greater than 5K (3.1 miles) to have sweat dripping off the brim of my cap or from the bottom of my shorts, and my short completely soaked. Given enough time and distance, the combination of moisture and the technical fabric used in most running shirts works to rub my nipples like sandpaper with similar effects, too.
Why? Why do this? Well, because I like to run and compete in these races and when properly trained, I am often in the top three racers in my age group (note: I am not properly trained at the moment but am gradually working back to my performance level from just a couple of years ago). And one of the necessary steps to be competitive is to put in the mileage in various workouts to gradually improve the performance over time. Hopefully, a fall race will be run under cooler conditions than the training which means the runs during racing are "easier" because the heat load is decreased. Still, right now, I like to get out and run before the maximum heat of the day. If I was running near my best performance, I would be training during the peak heat of the day in most cases.
As part of several COVID-19 studies, I have volunteered my various health statistics to the studies to track any symptoms I might develop. Things like my weight, heart rate data (particularly resting heart rate), number of steps, running and walking tracking, calorie expenditure and intake are all part of the studies. In addition, several studies are also tracking body temperature and so I have two Kinsa thermometers dedicated to temperature tracking for these studies; one for oral temperatures and one for rectal.
One of the trade offs of running in summer heat is the rate of heat dissipation and heat generation. There is a formula I use to "slow down" during training runs so that I don't overheat and my heart rate doesn't soar. If I'm running during the morning, I also run on an empty stomach. There is a reason for this, that I won't elaborate on here, but that doesn't mean that I don't take enough liquids before hitting the day's training. Still, I am mindful of when I am "running on empty" in the heat and when to cut my run short. Such it was this past weekend, when a planned 10 mile run turned into a 6.5 mile run. I got just beyond the 3.0 mile mark when I had to decide whether to turn up a trail I had never run bust plotted on my training course map (which would take me about 2 miles further out that I would have to return from at the end of the trail). Even though much of the run was in the shade, the air temperature was quickly rising to 90°F with a heat index near 100°F. I still had most of my bottle of thawing Gatorade but decided that "today is not the day to trailblaze." So, I continued my loop towards home.
The good news was I was well-hydrated. In anticipation of this mid-distance run in high heat, I had given myself several enemas the night before . These were designed to empty me out prior to the run so that finding a place to empty my rectum and colon wasn't an issue. In addition, I didn't use any salt or baking soda and allowed my body to take up a portion of the water used in these 4-liter enemas. Still, even with this preparation, I was careful not to allow my heart rate to run up beyond 170 beats per minute. When I returned home, the sweat was continuously dripping off the brim of my cap and from the leg edges of my running shorts.
I came inside my house, went into the garage and stripped out of my wet clothes and hing them up to drip dry. Also stripped out of my wet socks and my soon to be soggy shoes. After a quick drink of water, I took my very warm and sweaty body upstairs to my bathroom to cool off and eventually shower. I decided to see what my core temperature was using my rectal thermometer. It registered 101.2°F. On Kinsa, this temperature registered as a "fever" though I had no intention of reporting it.
Although the A/C was running, I decided what was called for was a nice "cooling" enema. I chose cool water which is what the summertime water temperature is here and filled the bag with 4 liters of water. I thought about using one of my double balloon nozzles but stuck with my larger silicone nozzles to introduce the cool water to my rectum and colon. I sat upright on my toilet for this. Even though I had cleaned out the night before and knew there was "space" for a quick instillation of water, I allowed it to flow in slowly gradually filling my rectum, overflowing into my Sigmoid colon, and then gradually filling my descending colon. I could feel the cool water reach the top of my descending colon and spill over into my transverse colon. As more and more of my colon filled, I was being "cooled" by the cool water flowing in. I could tell that there was a temperature difference from one end of my colon to the other (being cooler in my rectum) but it wasn't such a stark temperature contrast that would make holding this enema very difficult.
Eventually, the bag drained and I leaned back to enjoy the fullness. After about 20 minutes, I chose to release the enema within me. It flowed out smoothly in long, continuous discharges. I was surprised that there was very little retention in my colon (perhaps the water absorption was taking up whatever would normally be left). Once released, I stepped into the shower to clean up and enjoy the rest of my day.
I was hungry but not ravenous and had a light lunch in the glow of a very satisfying run and enema.