Monday, May 16, 2011

On trying not to pass out in the middle of the street

And now for something totally different...a bad workout.

It has been a while since I had one of these, and it hit me hard. Now that I am comfortably sprawled out on the couch, let me try to figure out what went wrong.

After getting home and doing my Audrey duties (cuddling, feeding, walking), I laced up my sneakers and headed out. Apparently New York is masquerading as Seattle this week, so I stepped outside into a fine, constant mist. A little chilly and not doing the hair any favors, but I was ready for it.

I knew I needed to finish up my walk/run with some errands, so I decided to stay close and do some "laps" up and down the long stretches through the brownstone neighborhoods. Straight, flat, not too crowded...perfect. I could cover some distance without actually going too far away from home, and I would be able to take care of a few things before heading back.

Along my route: a retro soda shop in modern Brooklyn; photo taken using my
modern iPod with an app that makes things look old. In my low
blood sugar state, this seemed highly amusing.

After the first few minutes, I settled into a rhythm. I felt OK, but not fantastic. I WANTED to be out there getting my heart rate up, but my legs weren't doing what my brain was telling them to. I then noticed that I was getting passed by people on the sidewalks. Now, New Yorkers do definitely move fast, but I was still annoyed. Why couldn't I kick it into high gear?

At the turnaround point, I was more than ready to head back. But at a certain point, I started to feel a little A little weak. A little shaky. No gas left in the tank, running on fumes. Not good.

I slowed down, took breaks to admire interesting architecture (at least that's what I was pretending to do -- just stopping in the street looked weird), and tried to push towards home. Felt like I would never get there! I realized that I was dealing with a low blood sugar situation and needed some food, so I stopped and bought way more than I could possibly eat. And then I came home and CRASHED.

Here's what I know: I do not want to repeat this again.

Here's what I think: blood sugar crash due to poor choice/timing of afternoon snack.

I love you, Clif -- I'm sure we'll kiss and make up soon
I ate a Clif bar around 4pm, and I think this was a mistake. Good ingredients, but a little too much sugar (for me). I do best when I'm keeping my blood sugar steady, and I think this bar caused a bit of a spike and then a crash at just the wrong time. I should have eaten this right before my workout, or picked something else. Peanut butter on celery sticks takes a little more prep, but I know it won't leave me wanting to lay down in the road halfway through a workout.

It's hard when your brain is ready, but your body isn't. There's nothing like the rush of endorphins after a good workout -- but a bad workout leaves a lasting impression, too.

My inner dialogue was a bit negative during this little episode ("...and you want to run a marathon??"), but I am trying to stay positive and remember that I have done the work and seen the results before (a few years back, I was logging 40+ miles a week easily. Ah, the good old days!).

Any advice here is welcome! Do you have bad workouts? If so, why do you think it happens and what do you do about it?


  1. I have definitely had those runs where it seems like one more step is impossible! There are so many factors... sleep, eats, time of day, things that happened last week that you have all but forgotten about and that somehow catch up...

    I would just take note but don't give it too much weight unless this keeps happening. Our bodies are so different every day. I never truly believed this until yoga.

    One bad run is nothing... and it will happen again. And you can TOTALLY run a marathon! :)

  2. It was humbling, but a good lesson. As I've been working up to marathon training, I've been ready for those sessions that are mentally challenging...but this wasn't something I could work out in my head.

    It is good to hear I am not alone :) And that's an interesting comment about yoga -- I think I need to add some sort of regular yoga practice in my routine. I'm good at the workouts that are hard on my body, but I need some that are gentle, too.

    And thanks for the encouragement! You are a very smart cookie, so if you say I can do it...then it must be so ;)

  3. I just introduced tempo running into my life and my body hates me, my mind hates me, my dog hates me (she cant run that fast). I dont know why I do it..well actually I know why :) Being a long distance runnner I am usd to slow and steady and I think Im all that. But a change to my routine and Im in pain. bah!

  4. Good for you! That's amazing, I know I'm going to need to work up to that (right now I'm just working on "keep running, don't stop"). I guess this is how we grow, how we improve...find the boundaries, and then keep pushing through them!

    And thanks so much for stopping by! I just peeked at your blog and did a total spit-take reading your life lessons post. Love it! I'm going to go back and check it out...after I remove my beverage from my computer area ;)