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Hypothermia when its warm outside

Yet another Tough Mudder training session, this time in the rain with some Fall-like weather. There were only four of us as some folks decided that rain meant they could stay inside on the couch and snuggle with their wives while waiting for their breakfast casserole to bake . . . I'm not bitter, I swear. I wasn't cold or hungry or anything like that. :)

 Actually, I'm just kidding. Our training session today was rather refreshing. Unlike the previous weeks of overwhelming heat and humidity that forced me to wring out my clothing and my braid with regularity so that I wasn't weighed down by my sweat collection, today was nice. It started out about 70 degrees with a light rain. We added some miles and obstacles this week bringing our grand total up to 7 miles and 14 obstacles. It was pretty tiring, but we got through it in just under 2.5 hours even though we raised the wall and added in a belly crawl. By the time we were finished, it was 60 degrees and there was a steady rain. We were soaked, but felt good.


I was comfortable throughout the whole training session. Well, not comfortable, but neither too hot nor too cold. However, once it was over, I sat still for about 15 minutes to cool down and try to reassure my body I wasn't really trying to kill it. Within that short time period, I got very cold and began to shiver. By the time I realized I should get out of those wet clothes and into a warm shower, I was very very cold. It took 20 minutes of steam to remove the goose bumps and even afterwards, I put on an outfit that might be better suited for the ski lodge or similar snowy environments.

This rather unpleasant experience reminded me of a passage I read in the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines about heat and cold illnesses. It stated that one can get hypothermia even under mild conditions. I don't think I had hypothermia by any stretch of the imagination, but I did get chilled rather quickly and if I didn't have a hot shower nearby, it could have gotten worse.

My whole point in writing this post is that hypothermia is no joke. Its one of the main reasons folks end up dropping out of the Tough Mudder and needs to be taken seriously, no matter what your sport. Cold bodies lose coordination and even if you aren't cold enough to quit, you may be cold enough to get seriously injured.

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