“Aw man, that sucks” is what we all think. “That would never happen to me.”
And then it does.
It was a perfect storm. I had accidentally fallen asleep on the couch waiting for my husband to get home from work so we could go get something to eat. I like to go and eat bar b q before a race, and this race was particularly important because I was pacing the 2 hour time. By myself.
By this time, I am too tired to even think about food. I was also training for a full marathon at the time and running long distances takes its toll by the end of the week. So, off to bed I went, thinking I was doing myself a favor by going to bed early.
Next thing I know Qbert is waking me up at 6 a.m. asking me what time I needed to be at the race. Oh no! I needed to be there in 30 minutes… and the race was 30 minutes away. Goodness. I had set my alarm for PM instead of AM and slept until I was woken up!
My husband so kindly fixes me something to eat while I get myself dressed and ready to go, but I am way too nervous to even think about eating. I WAS LATE! Rushing, rushing, I get to the race with more than enough time to stand around and wait… but I still hadn’t eaten.
As the race began, I felt sluggish and tired. Usually the adrenaline kicks in and you don’t really feel a thing, you just glide through with a smile on your face. I felt pretty good after a couple of miles and was right on target with our time. I had lost quite a few people on the hill, but was confident they would catch up with me on the way down.
Things started get steamy… I didn’t really notice how hot is was until I hit the shade in the last half of the race. It felt good to run through the cool, dark shade and then ugh! HOT!
The next thing I remember is my friend’s concerned face asking me how I felt… I had collapsed during the race and was completely incoherent mumbling something about my marathon. I don’t remember.
An ambulance was called and a long story short, I was diagnosed with “heat exhaustion”. After visiting my family physician (and receiving a scolding) I was informed that my collapse was due to not eating enough. My body simply didn’t have enough fuel to keep going… so it gave up.
This is not something I am proud of. In fact, I am embarrassed that it happened to me. I had been so careful to drink enough water and furl during the race, etc., but it was too little, too late.
Fueling and taking care of yourself is so important, especially during the hotter months of the year. The week of a race you should be eating enough to make sure your body has the fuel to get you through a race with some to spare. I have realized that my body needs fuel before and during a race and I seem to have found that out the hard way… but at least you can learn from my mistake.
Moral of the story… carb loading ain’t a myth! Do it and know that your body will thank you later!