Lesson learnt

Hello summer! What a beautifully sunny weekend. Great for sitting and relaxing, having a BBQ and just chilling. Not so good for a 16.6 mile run – but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Friday night was a work night out at La Tasca. As my dad works at my company and lives near to me I offered to drive him in and take him to the restaurant so he could drink as I’m not a big drinker. In retrospect I wish I had been able to have more than my one sangria because it was such a relaxed and fun evening and everyone was getting rather jolly.

IMG_2717 My good friend, Bhuvana and I

Saying that though, I’m glad I didn’t as I woke up more fresh than I would have done had I been drinking. Though I ate so much food it was unreal. We had tapas ordered for 21 people, but only 15 people made it in the end and the order still stood. Plate after plate just kept coming out: meatballs, potatoes, chicken, paella, calamari, salad, prawns…The problem with tapas (perhaps not a problem I suppose!) is that you really have no idea how much you’re eating as you keep taking little bits of everything. And then the churros for pudding…needless to say I woke up feeling adequately fuelled, albeit a bit tired, for parkrun on Saturday!

After setting up, I warmed up with a few guys from my club and I felt sluggish and de-motivated. I wasn’t sure what to aim for but I didn’t want to just plod round. One of the guys, Rich, said they were aiming for 23-22 minutes so I asked if I could run with him.

Netley Abbey parkrun August

It was nice to run with someone and just switch off and run at a certain pace without trying to go crazy. Towards the final mile Rich started to drop off behind me but he told me to keep maintaining the same pace so he could try and hang on to me rather than me slow down.

In the end I finished 21:42 and he finished 21:54 with a new course PB. He was really chuffed and very grateful. I said likewise, it was nice to have a purpose to my run without feeling I had to smash myself to pieces. It felt very gratifying as well to help someone out 🙂

Urgh then the rest of the day was spent sorting out house stuff. I made a somewhat small start in clearing stuff from under the bed and cupboards and being really quite brutal in the stuff I was binning or giving away to charity. The effort and annoyance of packing is far greater than the want for another pair of high heeled shoes that I rarely wear. I made a good stab at sorting before heading off to my parents to spend the night there.

We watched a film called Four Lions which was hilarious and I highly recommend. If you’re easily offended by black comedy then this wouldn’t be a film for you – IMDB’s synopsis: “Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror”. Very tongue in cheek and satirical.  

Sunday’s long run was planned to be about 16 miles, though the route I was taking was slightly different to normal so I knew it might go over that a bit. I walked Alfie first to loosen my legs and gage the temperature. Already it was feeling warm so I decided to go with a sports bra and shorts combo. I headed out and felt nice and fresh, though straight away I knew it was going to be a hot one.

I’d planned my route to climb a hill at the start as I wanted a bit of variation as the routes around my parents are generally quite flat. There’s also a nice two mile stretch of off-road trail running as well. Basically, anything to help with the impending Cheddar Gorge marathon (I’m almost certain it will be the marathon now). I had planned to go for a run around Queen Elizabeth Country Park for my long run as it’s so hilly and off-road but I just wasn’t sure if I could find 16 miles to run there. Maybe for my final long run this Sunday…not sure. Think I’ve missed the boat.

image See what I mean? I’m trying not to worry too much that my training hasn’t been great in terms of hilly long runs.

Anyway I got to about seven miles and found I was quite thirsty (yes I know, surprise surprise genius). It wasn’t so bad and I thought I’d be fine. I did start imagining different ways of getting water though…stopping in a cafe or finding a tap along the seafront promenade. By mile 11 I knew I needed water soon. I knew I couldn’t last the whole run without any.

It’s funny because the weather was so different to last weekend’s run in the constant rain. I remember having to run through a huge puddle, whereas this week that puddle had dried up [I’m pretty sure if it had been there I’d have done a Cersei from Game of Thrones and got down and drunk the damn thing]. Instead I rang my dad while I was running and asked if he could deliver me some water. Bless him he was more than happy to come to my rescue and asked where I was. My brain was so fuzzy now that I really struggled to tell him where to come meet me. It was a painful process and he had to go step by step as to where I was and where I was going.

Thankfully he found me and Tour de France style handed me a bottle mid-run. I was so grateful! I had to be careful not to guzzle it all at once (you can really make yourself sick if you do this) but to sip it slowly as I went. Eventually I had drunk enough and found carrying the bottle to be annoying so binned it. I was only three miles from home now and was fine to get back.


(Average 8:05min/miles)

The run was hard work. As I was running towards the end I was trying to work out why it was hard. My lungs and heart felt fine, my breathing relaxed, my legs not niggling or aching…it was just generally an overwhelming sense of tiredness and feeling drained. The dehydration and heat clearly had not helped.


I felt completely out of it when I got in. I had a pint of water and then just sat in a bit of a daze. I was covered in salt crystals as well, which never normally happens for me!

Though I felt quite sick I knew I needed to eat something soon as I had a friend’s BBQ at 1.30pm that I was going to and didn’t want to turn up ravenous because I hadn’t eaten after the run (with BBQs you can never tell how long the food will be and I didn’t want to be that person moaning about being hungry).


Another inexpensive dress from H&M

After porridge and a cup of coffee, I showered and got ready. I took my big 750ml bottle of nuun to take with me to the BBQ which I dutifully drank.

The food was delicious (I had kangaroo burgers, a venison and redcurrant burger and a huge turkey skewer…and maybe some chicken skewers as well) but we were sat in the sun and it was just so hot. I put suntan lotion on and tried to stick in the shade.


I had a tasty slice of coconut and cherry cake and a bit of Eton mess but started to get a horrible headache. I took some tablets and kept drinking. I knew something was up because I didn’t go back for seconds of the cake. I realised that since my run, despite drinking all I’d had, I had only been to the loo twice and it was now 5pm. For me (the girl with a bladder the size of a walnut who goes hourly) this was crazy! The headache just got worse and I realised I needed to go home. I said my goodbyes to my friends and headed back.

I got home and despite my plans of finishing my housework and unpacking my overnight bag, I just had to sit down on the sofa. My head was pounding and I could literally do nothing. In the end I closed my eyes and managed to fall asleep. After 20 minutes I woke up and felt like a new person. The headache was gone and I felt refreshed. I drank another 750ml bottle of nuun while I did my jobs and felt so much better.

This really scared me. I was so stupid to not take anything with me on the run. For Cheddar Gorge I need to be sensible. It could be very warm and sunny and there are only two aid stations (for the marathon you do those aid stations twice, so four in total) and I’m going to be out there for well over four hours, well over four and a half looking at the latest results! I’m definitely going to wear my hydration belt and top it up at the drink stations and my dad should be somewhere at half way(ish) to hand me another bottle too. No mistakes this time. In a way I’m glad this happened as it’s made me plan a bit more sensibly for hydrating during the run.

How was your weekend?

Have you ever learnt something from a tough run/workout?

How do you make sure you stay hydrated?

15 Replies to “Lesson learnt”

  1. I LOVE tapas! My favourite type of meal. Lots and lots of variety.
    Well done on helping Rich achieve a new course PB at parkrun. I’ve very much gotten in the habit of running with friends to help them round lately – taking the pressure off my times and enjoying a different side of running.
    I would never have coped with a run that long without taking any fluid on board. If I know I’m going to be running for more than 90 minutes, I’ll take my bottle along to carry with me on the route. This weekend running at the race over Friday and Saturday (which were both ridiculously hot days!) I drank my entire 750ml bottle of water and nuun tab on each 10 mile lap. I also gulped back several mouthfuls of chocolate milk at the end of each lap, and a cup of plain water alongside this before heading out again. Glad a sleep helped to sort you out.
    Mary recently posted…If I had been running the 40m this would be the full race report! 😛My Profile

  2. I need to take water for anything over 6 miles, and if it’s much longer or a very hot day then I’ll have some coconut water or electrolytes mixed in to my hydration pack. I carry it for all long runs/races, as I’d rather have my own stuff than be reliant on aid stations. I try to just have a sip every 15 mins, although I tend to drink to thirst during races.
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Ultra RecoveryMy Profile

  3. I’ve been waking up feeling really dehydrated in this heat. I don’t think that I’m drinking enough water in the evening. Tapas is one of my favourite style of foods. I love the sharing element of it and having a little taste of all of my favourite foods.
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…I HEART JULY 2015My Profile

      1. also ….. Dyson products are the ugliest contraptions in the history of design … !!! … its such a shame there was no ‘aesthetics’ person at Dyson when they came up wth that first dual cyclone business. it will be laughed at as an eyesore in years to come.

  4. Hello! I don’t run well in the heat at all and often end runs covered in salt but I hate drinking as I run and only tend to do that in hot races. I get headaches like that but I think it is down to not eating soon after finishing. How lovely of your dad to come and rescue you with water.
    I also loved a post long run nap and I don’t like them normally. Nice work in your parkrun too – fab that you helped out someone else.
    Maria recently posted…White chocolate bakingMy Profile

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