Monday, March 5, 2012

In sickness and in health

I hardly ever get sick. In fact, I can't recall exactly the last time I came down with the flu, I just know it was awhile ago. A couple of months ago, everyone in my family came down with a stomach bug, but I emerged unscathed. Of course, I only mention this because this past weekend I did, in fact, get sick.

I woke up ridiculously early on a Saturday morning so I could get in a 20 miler. Nothing seemed all that amiss right after I woke up, but as I was eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I noticed my stomach felt a little off. I choked down the remainder of the oatmeal and parked myself on the recliner to watch Sportscenter for awhile, assuming things would settle down. After an hour or so, I didn't feel horrible, but I still didn't feel totally right either. I thought that if I went running, I would very likely end up puking, but I didn't really feel like puking right at that moment, so I decided the only way I was going to find out was if I actually did go running.

While I don't get sick often, this isn't the first time I've had this dilemma and, inevitably, the resulting run ends up going horribly and I ultimately end up slogging home after a mile or two cursing myself for being so damn stupid. About 1/4 mile into Saturday's run, I was fairly certain this was going to be another one of those runs. I definitely did feel like I was probably going to puke by that point, but stubbornly decided I was damn well going to forge ahead until I actually did throw up in some poor old lady's front yard. Amazingly, the feeling passed after a few good burps and while I didn't feel great, I also didn't feel so bad that I needed to abort the run. A persistent side stitch stayed with me for the first 5 or 6 miles, but eventually that went away and by the time I hit the 8 mile mark, I was actually feeling almost normal. While it wasn't my fastest 20 miler ever, it did end up being a 20 miler when all was said and done.

Right after I got done, I felt pretty much fine and even boasted on Facebook that I'd stared sickness right in the eye and emerged victorious. Jinx. It took a couple of hours, but eventually sickness won out and I found myself praying to the porcelain god. I am eternally amazed by how much liquid can fit in a human stomach. Judging by how much came out, I'm not sure a single drop of water I consumed during my run was actually absorbed by my body. After making my sacrificial deposit to said god, I felt much better, but I was then left with the dilemma of what to do for Sunday. I had just run 20 miles and then puked out pretty much all of the calories I had consumed for the day (or at least all of them that I hadn't burned off during the run). I had planned on going on an 18 mile snowshoe run (my first ever snowshoe run) with my friend Ryan and another guy on Sunday morning, but that didn't seem like all that great of an idea anymore.

Ultimately, I decided I would stick close to home and play it by ear. By Saturday night, I felt pretty much normal again, so in an attempt to make up for lost calories, I devoured an entire Tombstone pizza for dinner. You gotta do what you gotta do. It stayed down with no problems and when I awoke on Sunday I felt fine. So, back out onto the mean streets of Belle Fourche to attempt another 20. This run felt fine right from the beginning and I cranked out the full 20 with no problems. In fact, when I got done I certainly didn't feel like I'd just run 40 miles in the past 26 hours with a bout of puking in between. A good sign, I guess?

The only downside of the weekend (besides the whole puking thing) was that none of those 40 miles were on trails. Road miles are great and all, but not all that race specific for Bighorn. Hoping to remedy that this coming weekend.


mike_hinterberg said...

Facebook boasting is *never* a good idea, as it always returns to haunt the boaster...

"I actually did throw up in some poor old lady's front yard"
--> How did you know that it's owned by an old lady...*and* that she is poor? My mental imagery puts this lady out in her yard, hanging clothes on a clothesline, while some random guy stumbles past and pukes, mid-stride, in her yard, then keeps on going without so much as a "Hello." As if she didn't have enough troubles, being old...and poor...and now THIS!!!

Chris said...

For clarification, I didn't actually throw up in an old lady's yard (or anyone else's for that matter) although I was prepared to if it came to that. The puking didn't occur until a few hours after I got done running. But, given the average age of the Belle Fourche populace, chances are that if I had thrown up in anyone's front yard, it would've been an old lady's.