Monday, September 13, 2010

Running in the Cornfields - The Final Chapter

Disclaimer: This is the last part of a three part story. If you haven't read the first two installments, I recommend you read them first (Part 1 and Part 2). This is the story of when my awesome run went bad. I'd hate for that to be your only reference to an otherwise great run!

Dad and I returned to the house and to my great delight my sister and two of my nephews were there visiting. 
My nephew Mike (I still like to call him Mikey even though he’s all grown up) is a tri-athlete. He is just a super-fit superman. I love hanging out with him because he can talk endurance sports for hours and not get bored. (Unless he is just being nice to his old aunt). 
Something I have noticed about athletes is they just don’t make big deals about big athletic feats. For instance, athletes may say, “Yeah, sorry I’m late. I climbed Mt. Everest this morning and my flight back to the US left late.”
“OMG! You climbed Mt. Everest???!!!! How do you do that??”
“Oh you could do it,” they say, “You just have to train for it.”
So when I walked in the house and Mike exclaimed, “Oh my God you WERE running in this heat? Geez, when they told me I was really worried about you.”
Did I mention Mike lives in Arizona?  He knows heat. So I was a little surprised he was concerned. 
I drank some electrolyte and took a shower. I heated up a microwave lunch and was pooped! So I laid down on the couch to rest.
Soon I felt a headache creeping up on me and all of a sudden everyone’s voices were getting so loud! My parents are hard of hearing so the family is used to talking loud. But it sounded like everyone was shouting and it was growing louder by the minute. 
So I dragged my body off the couch and laid down on my parents bed. I wanted to fall asleep so bad. But I couldn’t. I hate that! I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t fall asleep. 
My sister came in to tell me goodbye and I could barely see her. She was fuzzy and my head was in a full-fledged ache-mode. I hope I was making sense when I was responding to my sister but to be honest, I don’t remember much about it. 
When she left, I laid back down and I’m pretty sure I finally fell to sleep because I woke up to a SPLITTING head ache. It hurt so bad! I kept trying to get comfortable but I just couldn’t. 
I got up and I was so hot! I sat down in front of the air conditioning vent. Then I was too cold. Grabbed a blanket off the couch and had to arrange it just so until the temperature right. Then I could only focus on my head pain. I was writhing! 
Dad and Mom was starting to get worried. Dad asked if Advil would help. IB Profin is the only thing that works for my regular head aches. So Dad went out to get me some. I kept writhing on the floor. Mom was talking about taking me to the emergi-clinic. Then she mentioned, “They’ll send you to the hospital.” 
That freaked me out. I was in a lot of pain and on the one hand, would like to do anything to get the pain to stop. But the thought of going to the hospital upset me. 
“I don’t wanna go to the hospital!!!!!” I whined like a two year old. 
My head ache was unbearable so I grabbed an ice pack from the freezer and put it on my head. It made it hurt more! Dad came back with the IB Profin and immediate scolded me. 
“Honey! Don’t do that! That’s very bad for you!!”
I had forgotten that’s how my grandmother died. She had a headache, put an ice pack on her head and a blood vessel burst. Oops. 
Dad would only give me two tablets!!! I usually take three just for a regular headache! Why wouldn’t he give me six today??!!! 
We were debating going to the emergency clinic. (Which I equated to going to the hospital). They would close in about 20 minutes so we had to decide fast. I was getting more and more upset and agitated. I can’t remember who decided to call Kris. But I remember my dad talking to Kris for a minute and then handing me the phone. 
I remember crying and trying to tell Kris what was happening. He just asked one question: “What have you eaten today?”
Diiiiinnnnnggg Dooooong! The bell went off. 
I had had less than 750 calories all day and ran long distance in the heat and humidity. 
“Love, you’re bonking.”
I was bonking.
That explained everything. The head ache, agitation, not being able to regulate my body temp, befuddled thinking and being emotional. I HATE bonking!
I got off the phone and looked at my parents. 
“I need carbs and salt.”
“I have no glycogen in my blood. I need carbs and salt.”
“What do you want?”
“An apple and the salt shaker.”
While I ate my salted apple slices, my dad mixed another bottle of electrolytes. Ironically, it was apple-flavored. 
My parents watched me eat like they were watching an exhibit
at Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. I don’t think they believed an apple was going to make me better. 
I spent the next couple hours eating fruit and drinking fluids. An hour or two after that we were playing games at the kitchen table. 
Dad noted, “We were about to send you to the hospital. Now just a few hours later you’re back to normal.”
That’s when I gave my parents a brief lesson in endurance fueling and the dangers of massive calorie deficits. Before the lecture, my mom would exclaim, “You’re eating again???!!!” (And this was four hours after we ate breakfast).
I’d think, “I’m training for a marathon and I haven’t eaten for hours. Yea, I’m eating again!”
So after my little ‘lecture‘ she had a greater understanding and she started asking me, “Have you eaten everything you need to so far today??”
I can honestly say I didn’t take advantage and say things like, “Why now that you mention it, I haven’t reached  my ice cream or french fry quota Mom. Drive me to Dairy Queen. Stat!”   

No comments: