Aug 21, 2012

double digit training runs and TMI

oh man

it's time to get real TMI

you've been warned.

this is pertaining to long distance running and stress put on the body

read at your own risk.

saturday morning i set out to complete a half marathon as per my schedule.

the temps were perfect in the 60's low 70's throughout, but the sun was beating down since i left the house around 9.

i ate a cliff mojo trail bar, and packed a handheld waterbottle filled with low cal gatorade and some energy jelly beans.

i had planned a 6.5 mile trip out which would take me to a convenient store i've run by in the past.  i would stop, refill my water bottle and add a nuun tab, eat my beans, and head back.

so i thought.

i started off strong, i decided not to tire myself out too quickly and walked the last .05 of each mile to give myself a mini breather, sip of water, and confidence boost - and it was working.  the 5k mark came and went, i was headed strong towards my 6k mark/turnaround. 

i saw a house on the side of the road with a tomato stand set up, i sprinted downhill, and then this huge climb out of nowhere.

i had forgot about this half mile long stretch of steep hill.  i run on windy back roads - out of partial fear of being ran over, partial wanting to just give up and walk UP the hill, and also influenced by my waning water supply...i walked the hill.  and i had to get over into the grassy shoulder - which was almost nonexistent - to avoid cars. 

once on top of the hill i was at the part of my path i seemed to remember when planning my run - flatness!  it was nice, but it was very sunny out, the sweat was drying on my face, and i probably only had enough water to wash down my jelly beans. 

i ran towards the church on the corner and knew a sharp turn to my right the convenience store would be waiting.

i saw a post office vehicle sitting in the parking lot.  i saw some other people turning around in the parking lot.  my excitedness for cold water started to dwindle when i saw "for sale" posted in the window.

NOOOOO.  i ran towards the building.  walked around it to see if it was indeed closed.  it was.  i even tested out a cobweb covered water spout on the side of the building.  nothing.  i went ahead and ate my jelly beans and washed them down with the warm water hanging out in my handheld.

no big deal, i'll go back to the church and fill up.  i was probably somewhere around 4.8 miles.  i needed to run at least 6.5 before heading back.  i jogged to the church and decided i could run down a small unfamiliar road 1.5 miles and turn around to get close to my halfway point and maybe possibly run in to a small store.

wrong.  i was mentally freaking out about not having water and the sun beating down on me.  this country road was just that.  i wasn't sure where i was, and all i could see were fields. and houses set far from the road.

i turned around at 5.5 and decided i could make up the mileage around my neighborhood.  back to the church i went.

and that's when i saw this

i WAS running on empty.  it was saturday and i had high hopes someone would be at the church working.

doors were locked.  i didn't get any free fill-ups of the water kind.  but i definitely had a nice chuckle.

new plan.  i would run towards the house selling tomatoes.  they wouldn't be alarmed to have me strolling up their drive and hopefully they wouldn't mind if i asked for water.  i mean...i was a good 4-5 miles from the house and there was no way i could do it without water in the sun.

made it to the tomato house, they were very kind and had a cooler of ice water outside with them.  i filled up my bottle, dropped in a nuun tab and took off.

one sip of water and i felt brand new.  i drank some more water, and realized i was thirstier than i thought.  i ran another mile, before feeling a bit winded and walked.  i looked at my water bottle and i had already drank over half of it.  i was VERY thirsty.  my ankles started to feel a bit stiff.  after stopping a few times to along my run to try for water i realized i had been out longer than i had planned.

panic set in a bit.  my stomach started growling.  a cliff bar is not enough to fuel for a long run.  i tried to jog/walk, but eventually i got to my 2 mile away from home mark, and i wasn't feeling it anymore.  after a couple more jogging attempts, i settled on walking the mileage home.  my ankles hurt bad.  i was hungry and my water was almost gone again for the second time.

i also started to feel this weird feeling in my pelvic region i've felt before.

i didn't finish 13.1 miles, but i covered 11.5

****warning****  nothing graphic...just probably gross.

once i got home my suspicions were correct.

i went to the bathroom and peed, and wiped away blood.

it's very alarming to see, but i've noticed it on two other occasions.

once when i was first training for my first half marathon - i ran a 12 miler training run, and later in the day felt weak when i discovered the blood.  and the second time during and after my second half marathon.

the first time, my training was very strict.  i got up every morning at the butt crack of dawn.  i was eating a vegan diet and wasn't drinking any alcohol.  i had decided to go out on a friday night.  i indulged in 2 martinis.  i still went to bed at a decent hour, but the next morning in time for the 12 miler i felt a little hungover, i ate and drank a bit, set out, and realized running with a hangover in the heat is not good.

the second time i experienced this i was undertrained and just wanted to finish.  i hadn't put the time in or fueled correctly leading up to the mileage.

after consulting the google doctors:

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can result from a number of causes, including exercise. Most common in long distance runners, it can occur after any type of prolonged, intense physical activity. In most causes, it is no cause for concern but you should consult with a doctor when experiencing it for the first time to rule out other possible underlying causes.

The exact cause of exercised-induced hematuria remains unclear but might result from various scenarios. Trauma to the bladder walls during exercise can cause bruising and bleeding. Exercise might also interfere with the process of filtering the urine from the bloodstream, allowing red blood cells to mix with it. During intense exercise, the body can redirect blood flow away from the kidney, causing red blood cells to leak into the urine though why this happens has not been determined explains Dr. Carol L. Otis of SportsDoctor. Lastly ,the release of hemoglobin, the protein that gives red blood cells their color, into the urine due to damage to the cells during exercise might also cause hematuria. Exercise physiologist Andrew Bosch explains this last cause would probably only result in someone who has fragile red blood cells.

i was less worried.  

but from experience, i knew that the times i experienced this there must be something different i was doing.  i've run these distances before without any problems.

and my theory is that i start out or get dehydrated
the same article also states:
 No surefire way exists to prevent bloody urine after exercise but certain measures might help. Bosch says that the trauma to the bladder walls might intensify when empty. He recommends that you do not fully void your bladder before exercise to prevent the walls from jarring against each other. Stay well-hydrated during exercise as well as on a continuous basis -- dehydration will cause a greater degree of blood being shunted from the kidney as well as the subsequent bleeding explains Otis. If you continue to experience blood in the urine when exercising, do not become too distressed -- as long as you have ruled out other causes, it should not cause any damage.

i'm not still bleeding.  i noticed blood throughout the evening on saturday, but on sunday all i noticed was dried up blood - brown ickyness mixed in with pee.  and as of sunday evening it was all gone.

the lesson is that - mileage is serious business.  i know some people can probably go out and run all day long without taking the proper precautions.  but i would assume for most of us this just isn't the case.  i can't expect to wake up on saturday and run double digits without preparing all week for it.  staying hydrated through the whole week and not just on saturday is key.

i have a camelbak which is extremely uncomfortable in the heat.  so, i went out yesterday and bought a running fanny pack contraption with a full sized water bottle that nests in it.  that way i have both a handheld and a backup.

i'm also taking greater care to hydrate all week.

marathon training is definitely taking a lot more planning outside of just running itself.  

i have 15 miles this weekend, and i want to prepare for success this time around :)

1 comment:

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