Sometimes a person does things without thinking. Sometimes an idea that sounds pretty good can turn out pretty bad. Let me tell you about my 18 mile run last Saturday.
I need to get some calories into my body during these long runs to offset the huge amounts I burn, so I’ve been experimenting with different things to see what works and what upsets my stomach. So far, bananas, Honey Stinger energy gel, and pineapple juice have worked the best.
I took off from home on Saturday carrying two “Stingers,” a bottle of water, and my credit card, for purchasing a banana and more water somewhere along the way. It was cool, so I didn’t work up much of a sweat, and consequently, the water took me a long way. I wolfed down one of my stingers after mile five, and chased it down with about 8 oz of water. It seemed to settle fairly well, but after another two miles of running, I knew I needed to find a rest room, and fairly fast. I made it to the Valley Dairy by the Alerus Center in the nick of time and downed the rest of my water as I sprinted inside. The rest room was occupied, so I hopped around outside the door for what seemed like an hour, although I’m sure it was really only a couple of minutes.
I left the facilities feeling “rested” which was appropriate since it is called the “Rest Room.” I had nine miles completed and had nine left, and knew I wanted a banana to start of my second half. Valley Dairy was out of them! The cashier said she expected more in about an hour, but for now I was out of luck. I wanted more liquid, so I decided to get some “Gatorade,” and then head home (about 4 miles), eat a banana, and then head out for the remainder of my outing. There were 20 oz bottles in the cooler, but I was a little chilled so I opted for the warm 32 oz bottle instead. I purchased the lemon-lime flavored drink, and headed out the door.
After only a couple of gulps, I realized that I hadn’t had Gatorade since September, and it wasn’t agreeing with me on this particular day. Instead of throwing it in the nearest garbage can, I decided to carry it home to possibly drink later, after the run. After a few blocks, its two pounds began to feel more like five. I grasped the top of the bottle, and flipped the body onto my forearm, and carried it like a football. First my right arm, then my left, then back, then back again… I carried that two pound bottle four miles home, and deposited it into my fridge, where it is still sitting tonight.
While at home, I ate a banana, grabbed another water bottle, and headed back out for my last five miles. My stomach still didn’t feel the best, but I didn’t need to find another rest room, which was a plus!
It wasn’t until the next morning, when I tried to crawl out of bed that my shoulders, neck, and upper back screamed out to me in pain! They told me “You idiot! Next time throw the Gatorade away! We don’t want to carry the extra weight clear across Grand Forks ever again!” My legs felt fine after 18 miles, but my upper body was miserable due to carrying the extra weight for only four miles.
What seemed like a good idea at the time, turned out to be one that is causing me pain still today, three days later! Why? Because the Gatorade cost $1.60, and I felt wasteful throwing it away unfinished! My brain called the shots and my upper body is paying the price. Sometimes I really wonder if we runners are crazy! How else can you explain the obvious loss of all common sense every time we take to the streets?!