Monday, February 22, 2010

16 miler and "doing the salt"

Despite a rocky start to our 16 miler on Saturday... it turned out to be a really good run. You know, one of those runs that boosts your confidence a little and makes you believe you can actually do this stuff.

It all started with me pulling out my camelbak that goes around my waist. I'm sick of doing loops and so we were heading pretty far away from home. So that meant either stashing gatorade or packing it along. Anyway... I pulled out the camelbak and was getting ready to dump my gatorade in it and noticed some mold growing in the tube. Yuck. Get the bleach out. Clean it. Fill it up. Put it on. Run around the house like a mad woman making the last minute bathroom stop and getting my gloves and hat all the while checking out the window for Heather. This is about the point where my littlest one asks me why I'm dripping on the floor. My seal is not working. I take it off trying to figure out what's wrong and backtrack myself mopping as I go throughout the house. Frustration is setting in as now I don't know what I'm doing for hydration. I get a phone call about this time from Heather saying that she's running behind because she found mold in her camelbak. I guess it's been quite a while since we've used them. I grabbed my husband's camelbak that goes on your back and tried to transfer the gatorade unsuccessfully. Guess that meant we were stopping at 7-11 on our way out of town.
Once we finally got going we had to stop to fill up my backpack and take a final potty break at 7-11. We kept the pace nice and even and the miles just started passing by.
I am really grateful for a running partner. It means I'm not nervous being out in the middle of no where. It means conversation that ranges in topic from standing on the bathtub to get a better view of our legs, how often we shave our legs, the funny things our kids said or did during the week, movies we've seen or want to see, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses (we're reading the same really interesting books on the topic) and anything else that might come up in 16 miles. The only time conversation is lacking is when there are hills and I can't talk.
Speaking of hills and what they do to me... I have been struggling with some calf issues for about 8 months. There are periods where they are really bad and I have to get them worked on and then there are others where they just feel tight all the time. Then there are those occasions where I cramp during a marathon or long run. None of it is really pleasant, but I think I may have found something that works for me. While during some research (googling) I came across this article. It talks about an appropriate salt intake for runners who cramp. While I don't like to admit it, I am a sweaty, sweat sweatso. I am always dripping with sweat and quite often have a dry salty deposit left on my face and arms. I am just a salty sweater. So for the last couple of months I have been "doing the salt" before and midway during my runs. Saturday I forgot to take it until about mile 10 and began feeling the cramps coming back on. As soon as I took the salt, almost instantly, the cramping went away and I was good to finish. You know how they say that you crave what your body needs? Well I have always craved salty things more than sweets. Maybe I just need more salt. And just so that you're not worried about me, I have very low blood pressure and am trying to eat better all around so I don't believe this endangers my health. And I don't think it's for everyone. But it makes sense to me and seems to be helping.
On another side note, I drank a chocolate Ensure part way through the run and it didn't bother my stomach at all. I took about 4 swigs about 8 miles in and then 2 or 3 swigs every couple of miles until it was gone. And I must admit that chocolate milk tastes so much better than those gels.
Have you ever tried anything different on your longs runs? Do share!


Michael said...

Jen, What do you mean "doing the salt"? Are you taking salt pills? I bought some last year to help alleviate nausea after about 20 miles. I seat like a fiend too.

Calf issues. I can so relate!


Hannah said...

Way to go on your 16 miles! That still seems so incredibly far to me (and it is!) - so it is helpful to read that others do it. And survive. :)

I'm going to check out the article. I sweat a lot, too. And get all sticky and crusty from the salty sweat. No cramping issues, so far, thank goodness. Always good to have the info so I know what I'm up against!

Cracking up at the standing on the bathtub to get a better view of your legs. I just did that today. Ha!

Again - glad you had a great run despite the initial hiccups. You rock!

Wendy said...

Good job! Yes, it's so nice to have a running partner, especially on long runs. I like chocolate milk after long runs, but I usually use gu and water during the run.