Looking for a transcendental experience? Run at night. in the dark, cool streets of Summerlin, rocking out to some 80s tunes, I think I saw God.
As it turns out, I was not having some spiritual exposure to a higher power. I was just a goofy runner in bright green compression socks, high on caffeine and rapidly overheating.
Hoo boy. I should put "ready" in quotes.
I followed the instructions to a tee. Light meal at 4:00pm. A banana and 8oz of water at 6:00pm. (Brian sat next to me on the couch, snacking on deep dish Pizza Hut pizza. Pepperoni. Oh, the torture). One Gu and a half-cup of coffee at 7:15. As I tied, double-tied, then triple-tied my laces (over and over and over again...long distance running seems to bring out my compulsions), I felt...great. Fantastic, in fact. I was going to rock this run. My head buzzed a little, but I thought it was just anticipation.
My normal pace is between 9:30 and 10:00 minutes. (slow, I know. You fast runners out there, just work with me, okay?) Anything over that usually means I'm going uphill. Anything faster means I'm going downhill or running away from a dog.
My first mile (uphill, nonetheless)?
But I felt great! High! Amazing! I rocked out to some new songs on the playlist and charged up hills, darted around sprinklers, and danced over curbs. I even texted a few friends. Texting while running - is there anything more hubris-tic?
By mile 6, my overuse of energy was starting to be felt. Mile 8 found me pulling from some reserves, but I reasoned that I was almost done. By mile 10, I was pretty much done, but I still had enough energy to text Brian and let him know I was on my way home. I cruised through miles 11-13 and coasted home. Done! Legs are tired, my tummy hurt a little bit, but I had finished! In a respectable 10:05 pace. 1,883 calories burned. Boo-ya.
My first indication that something was wrong happened when I caught sight of my face in the bathroom mirror. It was ghostly white. I chugged a glass of Gatorade and shook it off. After my shower, I dried my hair quickly and planned to grab a quick snack (not pizza) on the couch before going to bed.
Which is when the unfortunateness happened.
It was as though a giant creature just crawled into my abdomen. I could actually see movement in there, like an alien baby had just birthed itself. The cramping in my stomach was debilitating. I never got to the kitchen for a snack but decided to sit on the couch and wait it out for a bit. Sitting quickly turned into laying, and before I knew it, I was clutching a pillow and moaning. After an hour of writhing in the fetal position, I though I should move this party upstairs. Except when I attempted to traverse the first step, dizziness, heat, nausea, and blackness hit my head all at once. Considering passing out is one of my greatest fears in the world (and we have hard tile, people. Head injury anyone?) I dropped to my knees and immediately crawled back to the couch. And just in case you are wondering, Brian was watching me with a mixture of confusion and concern through all of this. I didn't know if I should drink water, throw up, or eat something. He just sat there, patting my leg, until I told him to stop because the motion was making me nauseous.
After another hour (it was creeping past midnight), I attempted the stairs again. Crawling, I made it. But when I put my toothbrush in my mouth (dental hygiene is always a concern, regardless of my mental/physical state), the blackness came yet again. All I remember is hearing Brian say "That's not going to happen tonight" as he set my toothbrush on the counter while I collapsed in the closet. Yet another hour passed before I limped into bed, exhausted and still not sure what was wrong with me.
The stomach cramping lasted until 3am. I managed to get several sips of water and a few crackers to stay down. By Sunday morning, the whole experience was like a bad dream. I felt tired but not exhausted. I ate several small meals throughout the day and everything stayed where it was supposed to.
After an analysis at boot camp this morning, the consensus was that the coffee messed with my digestive system (the Gu had caffeine in it, too - double whammy). Also, drying my hair after my shower heated, not cooled, my body and I quickly descended into runner's stomach cramping madness. Oh man, I do not want to experience any level of that again.
Reinier told me marathon training is all about learning about yourself and your limits. I think on Saturday night, I found mine. I may be grumpy but I'm not giving up. I'll figure out this running thing one day. Just hopefully by November 17.