Electrolytes

I ran the half marathon today.  The weather was beautiful.  I was actually too warm.  I wore yoga pants, a short-sleeved top with arm warmers plus a light jacket over top and gloves.  I was too hot within minutes.  After about 15 minutes I took off my gloves and put them in my pocket and that was much better.  I was able to run the whole race as I was but I kind of wish that I’d thought a little more about how warm it was before leaving.  Oh well.  The route was gorgeous.  Most of it was along the water.  Unfortunately I have a tendency to zone out while running and I don’t really pay much attention to the scenery.  I think about it occasionally and make sure that I take a quick look around but for the most part I like to just look ahead and run.  I was happy with my run.  Since I knew that I wasn’t likely to get a PR I didn’t put any pressure on myself for this race.  I actually set myself an extremely attainable goal.  The only goal that I set was to finish in under 2:30.  I think my slowest half was around 2:20 so I knew it wasn’t going to be difficult to reach my goal. Sometime between the 1st and 2nd kilometers my GPS briefly stopped working. This made all the distances off by almost 1/2 a kilometer. It wasn’t a big deal but it did make it more difficult to figure out how I was doing for time. At the 10k mark I estimated that I’d finish around 2:11. I actually sped up a bit at this point but then my stomach really started to bother me. It had been bothering me since the beginning of the race but it didn’t get worse until I increased the speed. It got bad enough that I had to walk for a couple of minutes. I was able to continue running at a slower speed until the last kilometer when I sped up again. I ended up with a finish time of 2:11:43.
Now that the half is done it’s going to be time to start training for the full! Why did I decide to run a full?! I’m really not looking forward to it at all. I’ve decided to take it easy for the next couple of weeks. I plan to do some short runs (with my new shoes, yay!) as well as some classes at the gym. My next long run will be 2 weeks from today. According to my training plan it is supposed to be 2hrs 40 min of running plus 20 min of walking. That seems like a big jump to me. I’m going to see how I feel. I don’t want to do too much and end up getting hurt.
After the race today we went out for lunch. We had dim sum. It was the first time that I’d ever had it. It was okay. I liked it but not enough that I care if I ever have it again. Over lunch it was suggested that maybe part of my muscle issues are due to the fact that I don’t replenish my electrolytes. I’ve been doing a little research tonight and they may be right. A proper electrolyte balance is needed for muscle coordination, heart function, fluid absorption and excretion, nerve function, and concentration. My problem is that I don’t want to put anything artificial into my body and all of the options that I know of that are commonly used have stuff in them that I don’t want to consume. I found some homemade sports drink recipes tonight and I think that I’ll give them a try. I’ve made a few minor adjustments so that they truly follow my beliefs. Here they are: 1 quart water, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 5 Tbsp honey or maple syrup OR 250ml pure fruit juice, 250ml water or green tea, pinch sea salt. Apparently if sodium is replenished too quickly it can cause gastrointestinal issues. I don’t need any more of those! I think that I’ll try one of these out on my next long run. Another option is coconut water. I don’t like the taste but I’m sure that I could force myself to drink it. 100ml of coconut water has 294mg potassium, 25mg sodium, 5mg natural sugar and 118mg chloride. It sounds like it’s a good option but my homemade drinks will be cheaper so I’ll start with them. I’m going to have to start carrying a second water bottle. I have one for my waist but I don’t like using it and haven’t used it in many years. Hopefully I’ll get used to it.

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