Sunday, July 15, 2012

Running out gas during a run

Running out of energy during a run is never pretty. There is no gauge to display how much fuel is left in the tank. All I knew was that the engine was starting to sputter and then suddenly there was no gas left.

Let me back up and start the story from the beginning.

This all started on Friday. I made plans for running the street light 5k so I could get some up tempo work in before going to "Beat the Heat" 5k next weekend. The street light 5k is a 7:30 PM start which means for me that I needed to watch what I eat and when I eat. To translate it means I probably didn't eat enough calories on Friday. But I like my tummy to feel empty when I am racing.

So I raced on Friday. It's after 10 PM when I return home. I hadn't eaten anything and had only drank my 20 oz of Nuun. Knowing that I was meeting Ben and Megan for a run at Ann Spring early the next morning, I took in just a little something and went to bed.

The next morning, I dumped in a little water before heading out.

I took a gel with me. Thinking I would need it, but then I didn't take it with me during the run.

For the 45 minutes everything was fine. I was feeling good and enjoying our run on some trails that I hadn't seen in a while. We made a stop at the Leroy Springs Complex and I took in some nice cool water. However, I was starting to feel really tired. We had only been running barely over an hour. I shouldn't be feeling this way.

The time slower crawled to 1:15. I knew we were headed back to the cars now. I thought I could hold on. At 1:30, I was sweating profusely. I mean I was soaked with sweat dripping off of every inch of me. My shoes were squeaking from the sweat. 1:45 and I was literally falling apart.

At the time, mentally, I was not putting two and two together. The only thought that resonated through my head was how out of shape I was. When we pulled up at Lake Hagler, my Garmin said just over 2 hours. Ben and Megan had waited on me. I just stopped at the point and put my hands on my knees. I knew at that moment that I was finished. 2 hours had been my goal for the day so there was no need to run any more miles. Ben pointed me toward the short cut back to the cars and while he and Megan did a couple more miles. Well, he did a couple of more miles. Megan probably ran for another hour.

Only later in the day once I put some real food on my stomach and starting thinking about it did the picture really become clear. I was clearly deficient when it comes to calories consumed.

This may sound funny but once my body gets into one of these states, the mind falls prey to negative thinking. I wish it didn't but it does. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have known that I had just run 16 miles on Tuesday without any issue.

Also, I should have planned better and taken my Gel with me which would have at least offset some of the effects.

Now, it is all water under the bridge and I have another experience to use. An experience that will help me plan better for the next time and avoid dreaded "bonk" during future runs.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner



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