They say long runs are when you should experiment during your training to see what works well for your body and what doesn’t. I’ll chalk today’s run up as an err ummm “experiment” and one that will not be repeated- oi!
I attended a work dinner last night so I knew coming into this week that I would not be eating how I would normally eat prior to a long run and I knew that I would not be hydrating properly (rather, I knew I’d be DEhydrating with wine… my vice!). I did NOT anticipate lack of sleep to be part of the mix too…
It was one of those dinners where the wait staff was walking around the room with a bottle of wine so your glass was never less than half empty. Here’s problem #1. I have no idea how much I drank… I DO know, it was too much 🙂 (disclaimer here, too much for a 16 mile run early the next day, not too much to drive). On top of that, halfway through dinner, a colleague, who I consider my mentor came up to me during dinner and said we were going to catch up during post dinner drinks. Well, I couldn’t say no to that! Problem #2. I got home at midnight and my alarm was set for 4:30am.
I hit snooze a few times when the alarm buzzed, just 4 hours after I had gone to bed. Once I finally got up, I could hear my tummy rumbling and it was NOT from hunger. I felt light headed. I looked into the mirror and my bloodshot eyes stared back at me. I thought, there is NO way I can run 16 miles this morning. I text my friend Kate W. who I was meeting for the run. Another one of Kate’s friends, Molly, was running 12 of the 16 with us, so I knew that if I bailed, Kate would have company for most of the run. Kate text me back that we would take it slow, stop often, and reminded me the route provided for many potty stops. Again, I only had an overwhelming desire to crawl back into my bed. I stared back into those bloodshot eyes for a few minutes and weighed my options. Suck it up and run with good company to help motivate me this morning or run solo tomorrow morning… I decided sucking it up and running this morning with help was the lesser evil.
I used the car ride to Grays Lake to pump myself up. By the time I got there, I was committed… although very nervous about my tummy! I had taken the prescription my doctor gave me and was hoping it would do its job! We started off on a 4.5 mile loop and the conversation kept my mind off what my body was most certainly going through running on empty. My tummy held quite surprisingly until we were close to finishing the first loop- which was perfect because that was our first potty stop! We continued on into Water Works Park for 3 loops totaling 8 miles. Around mile 7 I started to fade. We made another pit stop to take gels (I use Honey Stinger Gold gels) and get some water. Around mile 8 I started to feel dizzy and “not so good.” At mile 9 some puke creeped up. At mile 9.1 that puke creeped back down. Needless to say, I was struggling. I stopped talking at this point and just listened. I wanted this run to end and we were in the middle of the second loop, so I knew there was no end in sight- literally! I asked if we could take a breather and we stopped at mile 10 to stretch. I stopped and drew in some deep breaths and decided to take another gel and some Hammer Endurolyte tabs. We got our legs moving again and at mile 11 I felt those tabs I swallowed trying to make their way back up. I took some more water and thankfully they stayed down. We reached our cars at mile 12.5 and took another water break. Molly was finished with her long run and Kate and I had only 3.5 more to go. I felt ok and for the first time, knew that I was actually going to finish this run. Kate and I got going again, both feeling a little creaky getting our legs moving after the water stop. At mile 15 I smelled something unpleasant and realized it was me. It was time to finish this run! That last mile, I checked my garmin every tenth of a mile checking how much farther we had to go until finally, it buzzed- we were done!
Ironically enough, Kate was having one the best runs she’s ever had! For her, those 12 miles were easy and it wasn’t taking any effort to keep moving. I was so thankful to be running beside her and soaking up her positive and happy attitude! She really pulled me through those last few miles and motivated me to finish. This is one run I will chalk up for the experience. As I drove home, exhaustion hit me. Now, I’ve showered (no longer basking in my stinky-ness) and I’m watching coverage of the Olympic track trials. Quick side note: These athletes are INCREDIBLE!
What I’ve learned from today’s “experiment” is that I do not run well on 4 hours of sleep and wine. Wine does not provide me with the proper carbs to fuel my body through a long run. I think I’ll stick with my rather “lame” Friday nights of staying in, no alcohol, and going to bed at a “senior” hour (before the 10:00 news 🙂 ).