Saturday I was really, really excited about the 16 miles that was scheduled. I had magic pills from the doctor and I was looking forward to seeing if they would work. The first 4-5 miles were nice and cool. I managed to not get on the wrong path (or to make a detour through the Lincoln Park Zoo) and was able to run! Run without needing to track down a port-o-let!
And then... and then... I had to run over a walkway crossing Lake Shore Drive. On the other side was a 5 mile stretch of shadeless path. The temperature was in the mid-80's and it was muggy! I got slower and slower. The heat began making me dizzy and when I drank, I became nauseous. I was drinking and taking in Gu but what I found out later was the Gu did not have enough electrolytes or sodium. My poor coach, I feel bad that he ran the last 1/3 of the course with me. I kept getting dizzy and sick. I was fortunate enough to be on a trail where there were plenty of water stops. And I'd put a $20 in my fuel belt in case of emergencies. We stopped to find some salt and I bought a Gatoraid. Nothing so bad as having to lick salt out of your hand just to make it to the finish (there could be but I don't go on backpacking trips to find out).
The salt helped a bit. My coach talked to me about dehydration and its opposite, hyponatremia. I'd been drinking enough water while running but I did not have enough salt in me. And I just wanted to cry. I was so excited about not enduring my usual dreaded running problem and here I had another problem. I just wanted to quicken my pace!
My coach and I made it back to our finish point without calling for a car pickup but it took a long time. I had to keep stopping due to dizziness and nausea. And my calves were cramping enough that I was limping the last 4 miles.
So Saturday's lesson is: take salt packets along for the run! I also picked up some Powerbar gels with 8% sodium (my Gu had 2%) and a Kool Tie to take along for those pesky long runs. And even after all the problems from the run (I also had a HUGE blister on my foot from my new running shoes) I wasn't terribly out of sorts on Sunday. That I feel good the day after a long run makes me happy. I remember when 4 miles would kill me. I may not be fast but I am healthier and more fit (although I still have a ways to go). I may never even get to the point where I love running but I do love having race shirts! They're proof for me that I can participate.
This coming Saturday is 12 miles and I have also signed up for the Nike+ 10k Human Race on Sunday. I was told I could skip Saturday's run (it's a cutback week) and do the race on Sunday. The race concept intrigues me. 25 cities are participating with an organized run and anyone can participate on their own by doing the 10k while wearing their Nike+ gear and submitting the results online. And not to be a gung-ho supporter of Nike+ but it is really nice to see those miles add up with the gear.
As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!
Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!