Thursday, September 26, 2013

Listening to Your Body During Training

I am a huge fan of listening to your body when it tells you that it's hungry or missing something. I try to eat when I'm hungry instead of focusing on calories or a schedule. I bring snacks to eat when I need them, no matter how frequent or infrequent that may be. One area where I'm lacking on listening to my body to my fullest potential is during training.

My last two long runs have been less than perfect. During my ten miler, I ran out of water at mile 8.5 and got the worst side stitch of my life for the next . During my eleven miler (yet to be blogged about), I   brought more water, but I didn't finish strong. I could feel another side stitch coming on and when I started my cool down walk to loosen my muscles, I immediately felt light headed and my legs went weak. I had to sit down for fear of passing out. I felt this sensation at the tail end of my cool down walk during after my 10-miler, and I made a note that I should bring Gatorade or Powerade to keep my electrolyte levels up during the longer miles of my run and to drink afterwards. Did I bring those drinks on my eleven mile run on Monday? No. I think this is the reason why I felt faint at the end of my run. My electrolyte levels were incredibly low.

Another time I didn't listen to my body? Yesterday morning. Yesterday, when I put on my shorts (ones that are usually falling down), they fit me a little better. I realized this was because I was bloated, my stomach was making weird noises, and I had to use the bathroom (The rest of this is going to be TMI, so skip over this paragraph if you're grossed out by bodily functions). I felt great until about 3 miles into my 5-mile run. I held it in until mile 4.5, where I earned my newest runner's badge of honor. There was an area with lots of trees near my route and well, I had to pull over because there were no porta-potties. And I was sick. I felt better after the run until I got home, but I was so embarrassed and so disgusted with myself. I know that other runners have done it, but still. It's always grosser when it's you. I spent the rest of the day dealing with stomach issues. I almost didn't want to include this, but you know what sh*t happens (gotta make a funny ;) )

I'm taking these experiences and using them as a way to train better. Thankfully, there will be Gatorade at aid stations during the Tower of Terror 10-Miler (which is 9 days away), so that should help with my electrolyte dilemmas. I'm keeping better track of what I eat the days leading up to a run to make sure that what happened yesterday does not happen again. Your body always knows whats best for you, and it's important to listen to it. I'm definitely going to start paying closer attention. I started this morning by sleeping in when my body was telling me it was exhausted, I didn't sleep well, and I have a 16 hour day today.

What's the grossest thing that has happened to you during a run? 
--Please make me feel better about getting sick in the woods
Do you use Gatorade on your long runs?