Confession: I am stubborn.
Because I am stubborn, I learn things the hard way.
My last long run was an obvious example of that.
The good thing about learning the hard way is the lesson tends to stick with me.
What happened? (Find the full story on my weekly vlog)
I ate a bigger than normal lunch knowing that I was going to be running through my usual afternoon snack through until dinner. I burned off all the sugar in body and didn’t replace it quickly enough through my Sharkies. This caused me to sweat. The sweating exacerbated the fact that I was not drinking water and I became dehydrated. So at that point, I was hypoglycemic, dehydrated and drenched in sweat (not that I could feel that). When I finally stopped at mile 12, I was hypoglycemic, dehydrated, and hypothermic (thanks to the sweat).
What did I learn?
- I cannot run for two hours without water. (I don’t go two hours without water when I’m just hanging out. Why did I think I could go two hours without water when running?)
- I need to pay attention to fuel.
- I have to listen to both my mind and my body.
How have I changed?
I bought a hydration belt.
I’m a minimalist when running so I completely rejected the idea of a hydration belt. I subsequently convinced myself that I didn’t need to hydrate when running (and therefore didn’t need a hydration belt). Wrong.
I can learn to run with a hydration belt. I learned to run, didn’t I? I just have to put my mind to it. It’s not an option.
I went to REI and loaded up on fuel. I basically bought one of everything since I have no idea what I’m going to like. I put them in my running bag so that way I am prepared whenever I want to run.
Would taking in more calories have made a difference during my LR disaster? I don’t know. I can’t afford to find out the hard way again, though.
I like to completely shut off during a run, especially a long run. I run with a Garmin now but I hardly look at it because I want to allow my body to set the tone.
Sometimes though my body doesn’t realize what my goal is. When my goal is to run 14 miles maintaining my 10K pace is not realistic. I need to allow myself to listen to my body, but I also need to learn when my mind has to step in.
There is no easy way to learn where the line is. It’s all trial and error. I am going to force myself to experiment.
While my LR was definitely disastrous, I am thankful for it. I got a huge kick in the ass to wake up and treat my body better without too much serious damage.
Have you had any eye-opening experiences?