Today I went to collect miles to put in my miles bank.  I was going for 15 miles.  I had time to get to the trails today, which is a perfect place for me to earn my miles run.

When I was out running, I saw a family going for a walk.  The dad was in the front of the pack.  He turned around to see his middle child sprinting towards him.  His youngest was behind, trying his hardest to catch his brother and reach his father.  The poor young one fell – and all of his physical pain from the fall and the emotional pain of having not reached his goal came pouring out of his eyes and throat.  I felt his pain.

Somewhere around mile 8 today I began to get woozy.  I had that “brain just left my body” feeling.  My stomach hurt, top left to right.  I began to feel nauseous.  My mouth was dry.  I was dreaming of water dripping from a hose, a water jug, a pool….I was super tired.  What the HECK????

I’M DEHYDRATED!!!

I knew right away what was happening.  It wasn’t super hot out today.  Was really rather nice.  But the exertion, the humidity – every ounce of water I had had up to that point was out.  Some other signs of dehydration in runners can be found here.

I’m not always the smartest runner.  (Case in point, I didn’t REALLY stretch for years).  So it should be no surprise to hear another “not the shiniest star in the sky” moment.

IT’S SUMMER TIME!  The heat will find me.  It will take the water from me, unlike a winter run.  I run pretty far away from my water source.  I don’t carry it with me.  I don’t (always) have a water waiting for me at each end of the long trail.  Today, I was over 4 miles away from my water source.

So it happened.  I reached a point where I had to walk.  I had bring my temperature down.  I had to be sure I wasn’t going to faint.  I had to make things right in tummy world.

And I had to watch all the runners out there, carrying their water, looking like cool cats.  While I trudged through an achy dehydrated body trying to regain some element of composure.  It didn’t help that I was ready to cry.  I wanted to run that bad.  The lump formed in my throat – I was so frustrated to have to stop!  But I knew if I cried I would just be losing more precious fluid in a non helpful way, so I swallowed that lump back down.

It was shortly after my (brief) walk I saw the boy fall.  I wanted to run to him, pick him up and tell him “I feel your pain and frustration!”  Although his parents went to his aid, and probably had more pertinent and poignant things to say like, “I’m so sorry you fell, are you okay?  Here, have some WATER.”

I eventually got back to my water source, a large bottle by my car.  I drank it down.  I was so tired, I couldn’t do much more than just sit in the car for awhile.  I got home, I drank more, I rested more.

What could I have done to prevent dehydrating?

Well, you know, drank more water – YESTERDAY

Yesterday I knew I was going to be going for a long one today.  I am a water girl, through and through.  But I wasn’t completely focused on hydration.  Making that a higher priority before a big run would’ve helped.  I drank 2 large glasses of water this morning.  But alas, it was gone.  I needed more!

Water before I leave

Yes, I drank water before I left.  Not right before.  This morning when I got up…..I know…..BOOO Robyn!  Think!

Carry water with me

I rode horses for years.  And you can always tell if you are riding a horse that just hit the water station.  You can hear the water in their stomach “glug, swish, glug” with every trot.  I can listen to the water bottle do the same thing.  If it really gets on my nerves, listening to the bottle, carrying the bottle, there are plenty of belts, straps, thing a ma doos – like these.  Some of the small bottles have enough water in them – as if someone was handing me a cup during a race.  Just enough to feed my body until the next water station.  Right with me!

So, I ended up with an ugly 12 miles today.  Boy, those were ugly miles.  But a HUGE lesson.  When I am on my treadmill, I sweat a lot.  But I can stop and get a quick drink no problem.  When I go out for a run, I will be sure to HYDRATE!

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