I’m going to run a 10-mile race on Saturday. It’s intended to be a preparation run for the half marathon and, to be honest, my two training partners are really putting the pressure on, so I think I’ll just go with the flow and run the race. But, I’m not sure how I’ll feel during it because last night, I experienced part of what is so infamous about long distance running and I can’t say I loved it.
The three of us went on a nice, 8-mile long run yesterday evening. We left a little before 8 p.m., just as it was starting to get dark. It was the perfect temperature and the breeze was light and the conversation was good and my new shoes seemed to be doing the trick. I had been feeling okay all day and had experienced no problems the day before on my 5-mile solo run, so I trotted along the first 3 miles or so enjoying the company and the weather and the fact that my knee wasn’t throbbing — yet.
It was then that training partner Mark told the truth about his trek into the “woods” a few runs before. Apparently, it wasn’t his knee that caused him to stop running. It was, instead, his twisted and cramping abdomen. I laughed at the story jokingly saying that it would never happen to me. Little did I know what was to come.
By about mile 4, I could feel my stomach doing flips. Waves of nausea would overtake me, sending chills down my legs and my arms and then, it would go away and I’d feel fine. So, I didn’t say anything about it at first, I just kept going, running faster than my normal pace, trying to be “one of the guys.” But as we got further along in our mileage, my stomach started to get worse. With about 2 miles to go, I didn’t know if I could make it home, but there were no woods in sight, no Johnny on the Spots, so I had to keep going. I told them my stomach hurt and that my knee was starting to hurt, too. But, really, my stomach hurt so badly that any knee pain I was feeling was completely minimized. When we rounded the last corner toward my house, I could think of nothing else than the bathroom and the pain was so intense I may have let a few profane words slip out. It wasn’t pretty.
We got back to my house, I gave them water and thanked them for the run. I then immediately excused myself and told them I’d see them Wednesday. And that is when I was sicker than I have ever been in my life. Nice, huh? Then, I started to fear dehydration, so I chugged 30 ounces of water before hobbling into bed. Let’s just say, though I beat my usual 8-mile time by 5 minutes, the pain in the end made it all seem so irrelevant.
I hear that this is a problem long-distance runners frequently face and just learn to deal with. I’m just glad I made it home.