Did I learn anything from this experience????
Well, yes, but that doesn't mean I'm going to apply what I learned.
I ran 15 miles yesterday. And honestly, I'm feeling great thirty-something hours later. I'm glad my body is still willing to handle all this running. I ran with my blackberry,(the phone has my playlist and makes it convenient to call for help if I get injured or an unexpected torrential downpour begins when I'm miles from home)headphones, $3, my Garmin 305, and a 16 oz bottle of water.
Boys and girls, what's missing? (I'll give you a hint- it starts with "F" and rhymes with duel.)
I am a bit reluctant to admit that I discovered that loops (yes, loops, as in around and around in big big circles) are easier on me than out-and-back when it comes to a long run. That bothers me, for some reason, but it's the truth. So this 15 miles was captured in an unorthodox loop on the boardwalk where I usually run. Weather was IDEAL for such treachery. The Asbury Park end of this loop was a bit clogged with zombies but I managed to weave through them and not get too irritated because it seems most non-residents have no concept of the fact that they don't own the entire width of the boardwalk and ought to make at least a little space for others to get around them when they're strolling along.
So this run didn't really challenge me until mile 11. I knew that I should have brought a source of electrolytes along, but I decided that if I could run ten miles with just water on a hot day, that fifteen on a mild day would be fine. Additionally, since the low sodium scare that followed my second marathon, I have made a carrying $3-$5 in cash a required part of my running gear. I didn't count, but if you include my .28 mile walk to the boardwalk from my home, I believe I pass about 6 different places that sell gatorade on this route. I pass all of them at least twice- some of them more, so I had at least eighteen different opportunities to buy gatorade during this run. But no. I just drank water. And refilled my empty bottle in Belmar.
I felt weak at mile 11. Confused. And then, I became unjustifiably weepy. (though I didn't really weep, I just thought I might if I wasn't trying to push through a run.) I wonder if other runners ever experience this- it's not because the run is hard or painful or anything that makes sense. That's what's so baffling about the unexpected... uhhh... sadness, for lack of better term. I get sad. Then I kind of get freaked out over the unexpected, unprocessed sudden onset of the emotion. I remember feeling this exact feeling during my 2nd marathon and being unable to find the reason for the sadness.
Unlike the 2nd marathon, I did not finish the run then go straight into an ambulance BUT I struggled during the entire walk home (which is just over .25 miles) and I kept reading the street signs because I wasn't sure how far from home I was. (Weird, because I walk the same street every time I head to the boardwalk.) Something was happening. I got home and felt sick, but had to pee really bad, so I assumed I was not severely dehydrated. After cooling down and taking a shower, I got really nauseous. I got in bed and hoped it would subside. Every time I drank more water it turned my stomach, but I never got physically sick and I couldn't imagine eating food while feeling like this.
So I re-learn the lesson. Hopefully for the last time. The end result of runs like this might be more defeating than skipping a scheduled run. They provoke fear and hesitation and self doubt. They make me question my body's ability to complete the marathon distance. Who needs that?