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The dangers of not listening to your body

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I had a really big scare yesterday. I scared everyone around me and I scared myself. I thought I was going to pass out and wake up in the ER. It was all because I didn't listen to my body or common sense. I had to work a 10 hour shift yesterday. I normally get in to work at 5am, so my only time for exercise is when I get off work. I normally run on a treadmill but I decided recently to add outdoor runs to my routine. It has been staying fairly cool in Utah lately so I have been able to run outdoors in the afternoon without any problems before. Yesterday the temperature hit 80. I still decided against common sense that I could handle a run in that temperature. I didn't bring any water with me. I thought it would be good enough that I drank 32 ounces before the run and had an apple.
I was 2 miles into my run and feeling fine when my stomach started cramping. I also started feeling thirsty. I decided to ignore these warnings and keep pushing. Around the 3.5 mile mark I knew I needed to stop at a restroom. I was experiencing an embarrassing problem that has happened to me a few times now. I was close to the gym that I normally work out and decided to run in and use the restroom and get some water in my system. I definitely had runner's diarrhea again. I'm so sick of that happening. It makes me wonder if I should give up my career as a runner. I did do some research though and it sounds like I need to make some modifications in my diet that could prevent this from happening. I will do this first before I throw in the towel.
After my emergency break and rehydration I decided to continue running. I had less then 2 miles left to get home. I was only running a 5.5 mile run to help train me for a 10K I just signed up for. I made it home but I was exhausted. I downed another 32 ounces of water and ate part of a protein bar. I thought that would be good enough.
My family decided to go to our local amusement park. We just got season passes for the 2012 season and wanted to stop by for an hour and watch my kiddies go on some rides. When we got to the park I was feeling tired and a little weak. I had not eaten dinner yet, we were going to wait until we left the park. I felt the need to rest on a bench while my hubby took the kids on some rides. My stomach started cramping up again and I had to run to the bathroom. After that I kept feeling weaker. What I should have done was ask somebody to buy me something to eat and then just rest. I didn't do that, I just trudged along with everyone. I was sitting on another bench when my stomach was cramping so bad I couldn't tell if I was nauseous or it was diahrrea. I got up to run to the bathroom again and my head started pounding. I was having visual disturbances and I couldn't hear very well. I knew at that point that I might very well be passing out. The world was getting darker. My mom had to help me out of the park. My hubby said that when I finally got in the car that I was so pale that my lips were white. I immediately downed some water and ate some cookies just to give me some calories. I knew that my electrolytes must be imbalanced so I had my hubby run into a store and buy me a Gatorade. With some rest and some fuel in my body I started feeling better.
This was such a wake up call to me. I'm so mad at myself that I pushed myself this hard. I have gotten in really good shape over the last month, the best shape of my life, but I still need to listen. I need to realize that I'm not a superhero. This experience really worries me though. I have ran in 3 5k races and will be running in one this next Saturday. I'm kind of scared to run now. My goal was to do a 10K and then someday do a half marathon, but if this stuff keeps happening to me I might have to give up. I really developed a love for running but I wonder if my body is saying something different. I'm seriously considering seeing a doctor before the 10K run next month and making sure that I am okay, or what I can do so I don't kill myself. I have heard the saying that you never regret a workout and that was true until yesterday. I really regret what I put myself through. I'm kind of terrified now to put on those running shoes.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    well said
    2194 days ago
    I am one of those people who can't stomach long distances in the heat. If it's above 75 on any given day, I either run early in the morning or in the evening after the temperature has dropped off. If I run in the heat, I usually end up with similar symptoms to yours and an incredibly slow pace. My best runs occur between 30 and 50 degrees.
    If I were you I would check in with a doctor and describe the scenario just to make sure there isn't an underlying health concern, but I doubt they will tell you to stop running. It is disheartening to feel less than stellar after a run like that, but with different preparation, you shouldn't get to that point again.
    There's a reason why most 1/2 and full marathons are run in the early spring and late fall! Most of us are at least a little susceptible to problems when it gets hot out.
    On top of that, I feel like I'm always being thrown some kind of running curve ball that makes me question whether or not I'm cut out for the sport, but then I end up overcoming them/learning from them, and I'm still out there a few times a week. Sometimes it's not pretty, but I'm still doing it. If your heart is in it, give yourself a chance and check in to see what the doctor has to say.
    Good luck!
    2194 days ago
    It sounds like you could have managed things a little better like taking water with you and eating more than just an apple. I had the lightheadedness happen to me when I started P90X and figured out I needed to add one more serving of complex carbs each day to help fuel my workouts. I would definitely talk to your doctor and try some tweaks in your schedule first. I really think you just need a little change in your nutrition and hydration. Good luck!
    2194 days ago
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