Monday, July 25, 2011

Humbled by Hydration

For me, blogging is about sharing stories, thoughts, adventures and lessons learned in an effort to entertain, enlighten and educate anyone out there who might be interested.

So, in order to save yourselves the trouble of going through this on your own, here are a few lessons learned from Saturday's run. 

Saturday's 22k was looming and the hot humid weather that was hanging around all last week was not showing any signs of letting up.  So I began my preparations on Thursday.  I drank and drank and drank water in an effort to stay as hydrated as possible.  On Friday, I alternated between drinking lots of water and sipping eload because I knew electrolyte balance was also going to be a factor. 

A few of us who decided to start the run at 6am rather than 7 in an effort to beat the heat.

I went to bed early and slept well. 

So far, so good.  I couldn't think of anything else I could do to prepare.  On a whim, I stepped on the scale before breakfast to check my pre-run weight.  167.0 pounds.

On Saturday morning, I went out with three water bottles on my belt instead of two.  I also brought 10 eload tablets with me, in addition to my regular diabetes paraphernalia.  My belt was really heavy but I didn't want to be caught out there unprepared.

It was hot when we started but not awful. 

I drank water regularly.  We had two fabulous support people en the route (Chris and Marge) who seemed to show up exactly when I needed them with ice cold water and a sympathetic smile.  I refilled my bottles often and, by the end of the run had finished at least nine of them (I lost count).  I also had 6 etabs.  

The run was hot and humid.  Thank goodness we went out early.  The first hour was ok, the second hour was really heating up and, by the last five k, I was done.  It was a slow crawl back to the store but I finished the run feeling pretty good - just really really hot. 

22k in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

I finished the run completely soaked.  Much more so than usual. My clothes were dripping wet and I actually wrung them out before getting into the car.  We headed home and, during my stretching routine, I drank a can of coconut water, a large glass of chocolate milk and a large glass of water. 

An hour later, I was ready to shower.  That's when it occurred to me that I had taken in a huge amount of water and other beverages and yet I had absolutely no need to pee.  Nothing. 

I stepped on the scale.  164 pounds. 

I lost three pounds during my run - even though I had had a full breakfast, drank non-stop during the run and had three large drinks when I got home. 

I was starting to feel like this...

I had two more glasses of water, hopped in the shower and then drank some more. 

Folks, the first time I peed was around 3pm.  It looked like apple juice. 

Thankfully, by Sunday morning, my weight was back to normal as was the colour of my urine.  But it took hours of drinking to get it there. 

I spoke with Chris and Janice - two running friends and marathon veterans.  I explained my problem.  They suggested salt tablets.  Apparently, salt tablets help with hydration, they help keep all your electrolytes balanced and Chris, a kindred spirit in the sweaty runner department, said that they make a huge difference for him in this kind of weather.

Anyone out there tried salt tablets?  Any thoughts?

And more importantly, any suggestions for how to stay hydrated in this heat?  I thought I was doing well but apparently still have a lot to learn.


  1. I know that I don't drink enough when I'm out running or riding. But I'm trying.

    The August issue of "Runner's World" has an article about running in the heat. Maybe it will help.

  2. You have written this at precisely the right time. I need help too!!!! I can't seem to carry enough water on me. I drink lots before and I still get insanely thirsty.
    Let me know what you find out!

  3. I'm barely able to drink any water while running as it upsets the stomach too much. Try salt packets, easily available at any food court. I take 1 pre run and every 15k or so. Works wonders for me. I don't think there is much you can do about being dehydrated post run but drink loads afterwards and by end of date I'm hydrated again.