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The Foam Incident

August 9, 2012

So, as many of you saw a few weekends ago on my FB page, I had a little bit of a situation while completing an 11-mile training run for the Wild Half on 8/26.  This is what happened:

On Sunday morning, I attempted to run 11 miles in high heat and humidity and ended up extremely dehydrated… near the point of heat exhaustion.  I sweat so much during the run and was so dehydrated I couldn’t even sweat anymore… and that little foam excretion was one of several results of that. I ran with 4 bottles (28 oz) of pedialyte and drank 1/2 bottle of Gatorade beforehand, but it apparently was not enough.

Lesson learned, right?  Drink more fluids and you’re gonna be FINE. It’s all good.
No… it’s NOT good.  
Now, I’m going to tell you what REALLY happened.  It’s not pretty… I’m not proud of it… but what happened to me didn’t happen due to one morning of not drinking enough Gatorade before I ran.
On Wednesday, I was approximately 10 lbs over my previous weigh-in.  I had a terrible week of eating and not working out since my successful 10-mile run the Sunday prior and THIS was the result.  So, I decided to be very strict in both diet AND exercise to get my weight back to a manageable level by weigh-ins on Saturday.  A couple of hard workouts on Thursday and Friday, along with protein shakes, bars, and other weight control food items to eat.  Saturday morning, I had a hard workout – 30 minute interval training indoors and a 30 minute bootcamp in heat/ high humidity.  I was beat… I got dizzy at the end but knew that I would still weigh-in after working REALLY hard and breaking into a MAJOR sweat.  Weigh-in was successful, down 1.6 lbs.
** EDITORS NOTE – In case this point slipped past you – I LOST 11 POUNDS IN 76 HOURS. **
After weigh-ins, I did usual Saturday stuff, then enjoyed a couple glasses of wine over dinner and a nightcap Saturday night.  On Sunday morning, I attempted to run 11 miles in high heat and humidity and ended up extremely dehydrated… near the point of heat exhaustion.  I sweat so much during the run and was so dehydrated I couldn’t even sweat anymore… and that little foam excretion was one of several results of that.  I ran with 4 bottles (28 oz) of pedialyte and drank 1/2 bottle of Gatorade beforehand, but it apparently was not enough.

As you can see… the story is A LOT different when you really step back and evaluate a situation. Some people say I think too much… process too much… but, sometimes, my ridiculous thought process yields a result.  Now, there were a lot of theories as to what happened:
1)  Soap – not so ridiculous when you realize excessive sweat and clothes not fully rinsed in the washer has yielded this in the past:
2)  Zombie Transformation – y’all think I joke when I talk about this… 
3)  Salt – the most likely reason as we were out and about, but the least entertaining (to be honest)
Let’s recap, shall we?  To prepare for an 11-mile run on Sunday, I :
* Starved myself since Wednesday,
* Dehydrated myself since Wednesday, 
* Worked out to the point of dizzyness on Saturday, and
*  Drank alcohol (which dehydrates) on Saturday night. 
This is clearly NOT the smartest thing you could ever do to prepare for a run such as this.  That being said, I want to make sure EVERYONE that reads/ cares/ works out etc. realizes one VERY important thing from all of this – this situation wasn’t because of ‘one bad day’… if you’re planning something “extreme” like an 11-mile run, you need to prepare for it accordingly.  This situation – MY situation – could have been drastically worse.  Enough to the point that I was actually very hesitant to get back out and run again… it scared me that much.
SO LISTEN GAHDAMMIT – please Please PLEASE be careful, listen to your bodies, and do NOT push yourself like a mad man/ woman.  The majority of us have MUCH more to be concerned with than lowering our pace time or losing a few pounds on the scale, so remember those things when you feel like you may be pushing yourself too hard.
Lastly… there are a few people I need to thank.  First, thank you to my friends Nancy and Martin who were with me that day and made sure I made it back to the house safely.  I also want to thank my friends and readers for all the suggestions, but specifically to Heather and Melissa – the two people who, when I posted this on FB trying to figure out what happened, supplied the most valuable information that helped me really figure it out – ladies, I seriously can’t thank you enough.  And finally, thank you to Jennifer for keeping me well fed and hydrated the rest of day on Sunday, all while keeping the “dude, what the f**k were you thinking?!?!” comments to a minimum šŸ™‚ – when you tell me ‘I got you’, I know you mean it.
This was not a funny incident.  This was serious shit.  I skipped my weigh-in last week… I rested my body… I’m trying to re-focus on “being healthy”, not “losing weight” so I’m eating smart, working out smart and gonna attack my future long runs well prepared.
One bad day didn’t ruin my run… a bunch of them did.  And I’m determined not to let that happen again.

(UPDATE – Since the writing of this post, I completed a ‘foam-free’ 12-mile run, my last long run prior to the half marathon on 8/26… proper preparation yields positive results!)

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