I haven’t blogged in a while – lots going on, including finalizing my second book (a Companion Playbook to my first book). Also getting some speaking gigs, taking care of “Honey Do” projects and – surprise! – the ubiquitous Iron Training!
I’ve had an Open Water swim and LOVELY bike ride with Iron Mel, a “dropping my drawers” incident in a flip-turn at the JCC (watched by a bunch of kibbutzing old men in long swim shorts and kippot – just too funny), some “You Know Your Iron When” stuff…but right now what’s on my mind is my BONK yesterday.
BONK! (OK I find it COMPLETELY hilarious that on this link to the word “Bonk” on dictionary.com, there is a paid link for Power Bars. Yeah that should have warned me…)
Yesterday was actually a rest day – I did Sunday’s workout yesterday, because Sunday (Father’s Day) was a serious Honey Do day for me at home, then we went over to Mom and Dad’s for a BBQ . . . no time for a 14 mile/2 hour run (14 miles or 2 hours, whichever is less). So yesterday, I did this run – from my house to Buckeye Point in China Camp, and back.
I had a lot of stuff to do yesterday, too, and so I actually didn’t get running until about 4:00 p.m. I had a few things on my agenda – to see whether I could actually run on just water and GU/salt tabs as a lot of my teammates do (quick answer: NO), to practice good form, to try to run at “around” my Easy/Long pace (about 12 minutes/mile). It’s tough, because I don’t have a Garmin, so unless I go out and map each mile and look for a milepost, I have to sort of “feel” how I’m doing.
I started from home, actually using my GU Brew mix, with a GU Bullet and Thermalytes. It wasn’t all that warm, a pretty nice temperature actually. I felt pretty good. HOWEVER, somehow I had it in my mind I was supposed to do EIGHTEEN miles, which, at my pace, would be just under FOUR hours. Don’t ask how I got this in my head. I have no idea.
I got from home to the JCC (about 4.5 miles) and was trying to pay attention to keeping my shoulders back and chest more open (I have a tendency to ‘cave in’ that H keeps trying to fix when we run together). I stopped in, filled my bottle with water (to try my “running on just water/GU/Thermalytes” tactic), had a pit stop, and back out I went. The best part was the (70 year old) guard asked me what I was up to, and when I told him I was running out to China Camp and back, he said “Are you on a college track team?” When I told him I was a few decades past that, he made me take my sunglasses off and he said “You look GREAT! I hope you don’t mind my saying so.” HECK no, bring it on! Of course I was wearing my running skirt and my tall injinji Compression socks (so, knee-high white socks) – I probably looked like some schoolgirl fantasy. I mean, if you took your contacts out. And had a glass of wine or two. And were about 200 feet away.
My plan was to turn around at Buckeye Point, which has water and a restroom. I ran along, and was feeling OK – though I was using up the water a lot faster than I thought I should, so I tried to “conserve” some. I’m always a bit wary that there will be a “problem” wherever I have planned to get water (however, I didn’t have a backup). I also started feeling a little sick in my stomach. At this point I “remembered” from when I used to work out (that was 20 years ago, mind you) that the REASON that I always added something to my water was that my stomach doesn’t handle straight water all that well. Even out gardening, etc. – water makes me feel a little sick. Did I have a “backup pack” of GU Brew to dump into it, just in case? Um, no…
I get to Buckeye Point in the time that I had set to get there – 2 hours. Remember, I had somehow gotten it in my head that I was to run FOUR hours or 18 miles. I think that I was thrown off because some of the Facebook postings of Team members had said they had run 16 or 17 miles – whatever – anyway that’s what was in my head.
There was a couple camping at Buckeye Point – and she said that the Restroom AND the Water were locked “for some reason.” The big bruiser husband was snoring away on top of a picnic table, the wife was standing and rocking/cradling their sleeping child (she was tiny – it was sort of funny, the kid was nearly as big as she was, and it was just a small boy). I whispered to her did she have any water, and she pointed down to her feet to a Coleman, and said I could check in there. She didn’t speak much English (she was Thai). I opened the cooler, and there were 3 beers and a big fish. I shook my head, and she made a face like she was sorry.
Not as sorry as I was…
So, back I went. I had been “nursing” the water on the way out to Buckeye Point, “just in case” there wasn’t water there – but I really hadn’t EXPECTED not to get water. So now I had 1/4 bottle of water to get back out of the Park. I stopped on the way at a few guys putting up their mountain bikes, etc. – no one had water.
By the time I reached the climb on the road out of the Park, I realized I was Not Doing Well. I started feeling a little dizzy, and just “odd.” I had my phone, and knew that I could call H to pick me up, but I also in a way wanted to feel how this was going to go, so I would have the “experience” and work through it. Though I had had an awful time in Sedona at the 1/2 Iron, that was due to too much protein and getting dehydrated by diarrhea in the run – a different ballgame to this.
I walked up the uphill out of the park, and then actually “ran” (trudge-jogged) on the downhill. I was still using the GU and the Thermalytes with small sips, trying to get “something” to make me feel better. But obviously, what I needed was fluid.
I remembered suddenly that not only had I put a $10 bill in my pocket upon leaving (my Run Angel was DEFINITELY looking over me), but that there was a 7-11 about 1/2 way between the end of the Park and the JCC. I just kept focusing on the fact that I was going to get there, and get something, anything, that would rehydrate me.
At a really low point, when I really thought I was kinda “done for,” I saw a penny on the road – Teammate Liz says that when she sees pennies, she knows that her brother is with her – so I asked him to help me. I have to find out his name – I just kept saying thank you to “Liz’s Brother” for the help. I kept talking to him (he is not someone I know, but he is one of our Honorees in LLS – he sadly passed away from cancer, far too young). It helped me out. I was so glad to have him with me.
I thought the 7-11 was around a bend, and then…it wasn’t. I felt really defeated. I actually was whimpering. Then I saw another penny. This one was really shiny, face up. It was almost saying “LOOK AT ME.” I had this feeling that Liz’s brother was telling me that the 7-11 WAS coming, it would be okay. I wasn’t so sure, but I put my trust in him.
I finally got to the 7-11 two turns later, and was feeling pretty surreal by this point. I was trying not to whimper as there were people around. I was all set to get something like Snapple (which uses sugar, not fructose or HFCS) and add some salt to it – but wonder of wonders, they had the new Gatorade “Perform” which doesn’t have fructose or HFCS – and it was 1/2 off! So I bought 2, count’em 2, 32 oz. bottles (for $2.00 total), and as there was a long line, I cracked one open right there in the store waiting for my turn behind all the lottery-pickers and chaw-buyers and giggling middle-school-girl-Slushie-flirters, and sipped away. By the time I got outside, I was about 1/2 way through the first bottle.
I added the 2nd bottle to my empty water bottle (it’s a 32 oz. bottle), and then walked away, still sipping the 1st. Knowing me, I was more than a little perturbed that I didn’t have to use the Restroom at the 7-11, THAT is when I REALLY knew I was dehydrated!
Well, all I can say is, Gatorade = Miracle Cure. I was about 1/2 way between the 7-11 and the JCC (where I was going to stop if I didn’t feel any better, and call H to pick me up), and I felt WAY better. So I ran from there to the highway underpass without stopping, then as I turned onto Lincoln from there, walked up the uphill (which is rather long), but then ran down the downhill. I told myself that I would run to Mission, then see how I was doing.
I got to Mission, and more than anything else, my feet were hurting. I could also feel that I had a blister going on the side of my big toe (though I was wearing my Injinji socks). I decided to walk up a block or two, and turn onto Fifth.
I was feeling a LOT better (and not sloshy – I was about 40 oz. into the Gatorade by this time but no slosh). That’s when I remembered Uncle Chris my Run Angel. I asked Uncle Chris to get me home. I explained to him that I would run until I got to a stoplight, and it was up to him to turn the lights red so that I could rest.
OK, so when the FOURTH light in a row turned green JUST as I was approaching it, I started talking to Uncle Chris out loud. “NOT FUNNY, CHRIS, NOT FUNNY!” I’m lucky no one was on the sidewalk with me – that’s why Team Workouts are so much better, it’s no fun getting Athletic Tourettes alone.
On the SIXTH light I finally got a red, and then walked into Sun Valley. I told myself I would run from J Street to “the stopsign” (going up Racquet Club) or 4 hours – whichever came first. I saw Sun Valley Market, and was going to stop there – but I didn’t. At that point, I had been out 3:58. I only had 2 more minutes to go – but when I rounded the curve, there was the Stopsign. I was whimpering a wee bit (there were folks walking dogs ahead – didn’t want to scare them), but I knew I needed to go all the way to the Stopsign. So I did.
The slow, slow, SLOW walk up Racquet Club to River Oaks to Moody to home took about 15 minutes (usually, about 8). I got home, and turns out H hadn’t gone to the gym after all – so he was there. I walked in and I’m sure I looked like a train wreck. He got me up to the shower, and then made me dinner and sat me on the couch and massaged my feet and legs. My hero.
Yes, so, I know, lots of “I should NOT haves…” in this story (for example, I SHOULD NOT HAVE run out into a desolate wilderness area without being 100% sure the water was on that I would need to make it back out). Lots of “I SHOULD haves” too (for example, I SHOULD have had a little baggie of drink; I SHOULD have looked at the schedule to check the distance/time). But the one thing I know is that I survived, and that I can “come back” if I feel truly awful. This is a good learning for me – because, besides the Sedona “runs” issue, I have never even come CLOSE to this feeling.
Now, I will NEVER EVER do it AGAIN! That’s ENOUGH!
Time to go Swim and Bike Hills. Yeah, so Iron.