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Too much drinking, and I don't mean holiday drinking

Posted Dec 29 2008 4:39pm
Ok, promise, this is my last word on my White Rock Lake Marathon.

I'm going to spend the next year trying to figure out why I cramped so bad, taking 27 minutes to finish the last 2.2 miles. Like I said in my marathon report, I wasn't out of breath, and I didn't feel real tired (comparatively speaking - running 26.2 miles is tiring!)

So, I went back over my Garmin sportstrack readout and found something interesting. I stopped for water at 18 aide stations. And I didn't just get a quick swig and take off, I took two cups most of the time and drank every drop. Yeah, it was windy and hot (high 60s, 80 percent humidity), but I never felt thirsty. I just drank because there was water, not because I felt like I needed it.

And the bad thing is this: In training during long runs, I drank at every water station, but those stations were spaced two miles apart. Obviously, having taken water 18 times during the marathon, I was stopping almost every mile.

I literally washed the electrolytes right out of my body.

I was cramping soooo bad because there was no sodium or potassium left in my body. It was all on my face.

And why did I drink so much? I just wasn't paying attention. I did what I did in training by drinking at every station, but didn't take into account how far the water stations were spaced apart. Again, I know it was hot, but I've run in that heat _ or worse _ before. I've even raced long distances in worse heat. It was at least 70 degrees when I ran a 1:38 half marathon on Nov.4 and I only stopped at two water stations then.

I also think I didn't help myself because I didn't stretch enough late in the marathon. But I think the culprit is I drank too much. I was over-hydrated, giving me no chance to have a cramp-free marathon.

I could just kick myself.

UPDATE: Billy and Derek asked me a good question in the comments section. What about my use of electrolytes during the run? How could I forget such an important detail. Here is how I tried to "stay salty," during the marathon.

"I took 9 hammer endurolyte tablets, including the last three just before
mile 19. Each endurolyte capsule had, among other things, 40 mg of sodium and 25
mg of potassium. So, I guess for the first two plus hours, I had 360 mg of
sodium and 225 mg of potassium.This doesnt seem like a lot, I know, but if you
throw in all the water I drank, it made things worse, I think. I dont do well
with gatorade or power aide and in fact, late in the race, I started taking
gatorade endurance (because i was out of endurolytes) and things just kept going
down hill."
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