Disclaimer: I'm about to say something a bit nasty, but I'm sure most can relate.
After going to the bathroom and seeing the color of my urine, I realized why I was so exhausted. I was not properly hydrated.* Where did I go wrong? I've been thinking about this since that day. It's now Monday night and this run was on Saturday morning. Obsessive much? Yes, I am!
*Dehydration causes fatigue because if your body doesn't have enough fluid, it draws fluid from your bloodstream, making your blood thicker. When your blood is thicker, it puts more strain on your heart resulting in fatigue.
I know I hydrated properly the evening before...and the morning of. So, I must have failed properly hydrating myself DURING my run. I have to admit that I usually drink more water than I did this past week. Our friends from Patriot's Landing in DuPont are always out there (rain or shine) on the 3 mile route handing us bottled water. They truly are awesome and put a smile on my face every week. I usually take a bottle and sip on it during the course of the run. I haven't yet mastered the art of running and drinking at the same time, so I usually have to stop to drink. Lately, I've taken a bottle and have practiced drinking on the run. I'm slowly mastering the skill. (Sounds silly, I know). Back to the point. This week, I didn't take a bottle with me because I didn't feel like carrying it. It was cold, windy, and raining. No thank you, I couldn't be bothered with carrying that bottle for miles. BIG MISTAKE!
I did have a small cup of water at the other water stops and had a cliff bar as well. So, I'm sure my issue was not having enough carbs. Side note: I finally have learned how to eat and run at the same time...I know! Silly. But on long runs, it's essential. For those training for the ultra marathon (the 12 miler), I stashed some water and gatorade along our route. Unfortunately, when we arrived at that point, my cooler was gone. Someone took it. Not sure if someone wanted the cooler, the contents, or took it by accident to store for Wear Blue. At first I don't think any of us minded much, but when we headed back to the park, that water was really missed. In reality we went almost 1 hour without hydrating while running. NO GOOD.
I don't think I felt it much during the run because it was extremely cold, windy, and raining. I just wanted it to be over. You don't really feel yourself sweating and I guess the rain prevents you from feeling dry (even dry mouth). However, it was a great learning experience. No matter what the weather, how much you sweat, or how you feel at the moment, you must hydrate.
This is why long runs when training for endurance events are so important. You learn what works and what doesn't work. What you should and shouldn't do/wear. What you feel comfortable with or in and what you don't.
So, I leave you with 2 important things you should know as a runner.
- Importance of Hydration
- Importance of Long runs