Ok, that title is a little deceptive because the 11 miles itself weren’t terrible. It was what came after the 11 miles. Let me start at the beginning.
Yesterday was our last long run of our training plan. Although the plan calls for a 12 mile run, we decided a few weeks ago we didn’t want to do that, so we changed it from running 9, 10, 11, and 12 to running 9, 8, 10, and 11 the last few weeks.
So this was it. 11 miles and next stop, half marathon.
The run started out great. We were giving each other thumbs up the whole time and we even high fived each other when we made it to our friends’ newly purchased house 5.5 miles out. We were chatting a bit and generally loving life. After we made it to their house, we turned around and started the 5.5 miles back, which were still going really well.
Until we got to the 8 mile mark. I hit a wall, hardcore. Luckily, I had read a few chapters of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running yesterday morning, so I still had some inspiration in my head from that.
One thing I kept repeating to myself was something he says in the book — “I’ve come too far to walk.” I did not run 8 miles just to walk the last three. Not happening. So I pressed on.
Around this time, James (seriously, he must be my soulmate) could tell I needed encouragement; he said he couldn’t see it on my face, but that he knew. So he kept saying “good job” to me as we ran. This helped me push through for another mile or so.
Then when we hit 9.76, I was done. I was gassed out and wasn’t sure if I could walk home if I stopped, let alone continue running. So I told James I didn’t think I could make it. And he said “I know you can.” Well, obviously, with that kind of support, I had to try!
So, I pushed through. I repeated another one of Haruki Murakami’s mantras from the book — just focus on the next 3 yards in front of you. Don’t look all the way down to the end of the street where you have to end up, but just look at the next 3 yards. This definitely DEFINITELY helped me. Instead of thinking about how much more I had to go, I focused on the little victories of covering 3 yards at a time.
Finally, it was over. We finished the entire thing in 1:58. Not great, but considering I wanted to give up three miles before, definitely an accomplishment.
But then it went from bad to worse. As soon as I stopped running, I realized how light-headed and hungry I was. Stupidly, I didn’t eat nearly enough or drink enough water before we went out for the run.
I thought I was going to pass out when we got back to the apartment, so I immediately chugged some water and ate a yogurt. I still felt terrible, so I ate a can of mandarin oranges and a bagel thin with peanut butter. Well, that was all a terrible idea, because then I got sick, which meant I had no food or calories in my body. This led to even more light-headedness, nausea, and chills. Needless to say, I felt like I had the flu.
Finally, after talking to my parents, I figured out the appropriate thing to do. I sipped water and some green tea, and James went to the grocery store for some gatorade. It took me almost two hours to drink 20 ounces of gatorade because I was afraid to push it.
This guy also kept me company on the couch all evening.
I also had a few sweet potato fries and half of a veggie sandwich a few hours later, but that was it. Needless to say, I didn’t wake up feeling so great today, so all day I’ve been trying to eat as much as possible to get my body back to normal.
I started with “chai oatmeal” which I made with vanilla almond milk, a teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground ginger, half a teaspoon of ground cloves, and a tablespoon of honey.
It doesn’t look pretty, but it was really soothing for my stomach. Then I got a whole wheat bagel with honey walnnut cream cheese and started a bottle of gatorade, which I finally finished around 3 p.m.
For lunch I got all this goodness:
Half a grilled asparagus and tomato sandwich, amazing potato soup, fruit (with very little melon — perfect), and a cookie. But unfortuneately, yesterday killed my stomach, so I can’t eat that much, so I couldn’t finish the soup, sandwich, or fruit. I didn’t even touch my cookie for 2 hours (that’s when you know there is trouble).
Then I had some more oatmeal once I got home (with vanilla almond milk, peanut butter, and honey — no pic, one oatmeal pic per post is enough).
I’m starting to almost feel normal now, but I’m not completely there. However, I’m glad this happened this week instead of two weeks from now at the race.
James and I came up with our plan of how to prevent this during the half. First, I have to eat something substantial before the race. I don’t know what it is yet, but I will be eating. Second, we have to have a Gu mid-race. James offered one to me yesterday while we were running, but at the time I didn’t need it. I wasn’t thinking of what it would do for me in the long run, so I’m definitely not turning that down during the race.
We are also drinking water at every water station and having a second Gu as soon as we finish. We are also equipping my mom and dad with a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade for each of us for when we finish.
So, I promised you some advice, and unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way. If the same thing happens to you:
1. Drink fluids! Juice, pop, or gatorade are all good to get some electrolytes in you without your body having to work to get the fluid out of foods. The liquid plus calories will help hydrate you and replenish you.
2. Drink water in between sips of the other fluids. You need the other fluids for electrolytes, but you need water!
3. Do not chug! Sip! Small sips of water and other fluids will be easier on your stomach.
4. Don’t stuff yourself right away. Don’t be like me and eat everything in sight to try to cure your light-headedness. You will just make yourself sick. The key (after getting your liquids) is to eat in small bites to not shock your stomach.
5. Relax. Lay down, sit down, or do whatever is necessary to bring your heart rate down. You don’t want your heart rate to be working in overdrive while you are also trying to get food and liquids into your system. Calm down! Even if you think you will, you won’t die.
I feel ridiculous for my body reacting that way, but if you don’t prepare it for that kind of exertion, what else do you expect? I also promised myself that I would blog about the good, the bad, and the ugly of training, so I definitely couldn’t hide this one from you guys.
How bout some good then? Yesterday’s run taught me how to be mentally strong and overcome my desire to give up. Although yesterday’s ending wasn’t what I would have wanted, it doesn’t make me think I can’t do this. Especially with James’s encouragement (and my parents holding our snacks)!
I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some How I Met Your Mother, Dancing with the Stars, and the rest of my book.
Have a wonderful night!