I read an article a few months ago in Runner's World magazine called "Running On Empty." I didn't like the sound of it nor did I like the idea of it. I am a true believer that one must fuel their body if they expect it to perform. Well, today I was pretty much running on empty and not on purpose.
Holly and I decided to sleep in and go to the gym once we got our kidlets off to the old school house. I woke up and was quite a hungry so I had my breakfast. An hour and a half later as I was heading out the door I thought to myself "maybe I should grab a banana or something small to get me through my workout." Nah, after all it had only been an hour and half.
We got to the gym and did a killer chest, triceps, back and biceps workout which took us about an hour and a half. Then we headed outside for a lovely Fall run. I was sooooo looking forward to today's run because we weren't going to freeze to death, like in the early morning hours, and because it is supposed to SNOW here tomorrow. I have come a long way as far as running in the cold but running in the snow still scares me a little. After all, I'm quite klutzy as of late!!!
We decided we would hit less traffic if we started UP HILL. It is a very long hill and quite steep. I thought perhaps I might die. Finally after 1.5 miles of running straight uphill we hit a downhill...YAY!! I was feeling okay and just enjoying the weather. It was super windy which didn't bother me at first because 1. it was pushing us and 2. it was blowing the leaves off the trees which looked awesome. It was raining leaves and I loved it.
I was starting to feel a bit sluggish at about mile 4 where we hit Mama Jex's work. We stopped to chat, get a drink and use the facilities ;) They have closed up all of the bathrooms around town for the winter months which means we have to plan ahead a bit for our pit stops.
Did I mention that it was quite hot outside? It was 70 degrees which really is perfect but we have become accustomed to running in sub 40 degree weather so it felt pretty hot. We hit "Butthole Hill" as it has come to be known and I thought I might die...again!
We had a flat stretch, thank the heavens, before another big hill. We both decided to walk the stupid hill and it still felt hard, WTHeck ;) Once we hit the top of the hill we had a nice downhill, the only problem was that by this point the wind had really picked up and was pushing against us. I never knew that running downhill could be so blasted hard. I was starving and so thirsty by this point, about mile 6. I ran with my "sippy cup" but had sucked it all down. I kept thinking about the article I had read, I knew I didn't like it for a reason!
I kept reminding myself that I was grateful to be running outside and that it was the perfect day for a lovely 9 mile run! After another hill we finally hit the best part of our route which is down the first hill that we ran up. Again, the wind made it hard to go very fast. I was trying to talk positively to myself, we were almost there. Holly said, "We can do anything for 10 minutes right?" Of course we could. We kept chugging along and I was starting to feel really weird.
We FINALLY got to the gym, 9 miles done and done! I truly loved every miserable second of this run. That sounds a bit strange but I really did love it.
When we got in the car I realized that it had been 5 hours since my last "feeding!" Hello, I usually eat every 3-4 hours and that's when I'm not killing myself at the gym and running all over the town.
I got home and sucked down my delicious smoothie...perhaps a little to fast! I was fighting not throwing it up and felt HORRIBLE! I was very weak and shaky, it took everything I had just to stand in the shower for a few minutes.
After a few hours I finally feel better but holy crap I will NEVER do that again. I'm sure I sound like a crazy person but 5 hours without food is a long time for me. I also know that a lot of people wake up and workout on an empty stomach but that is NOT for me. I know that if I want my body to do all that I ask of it that I had better fuel it.
I want to know what you think about running on empty Do you do it or have you ever tried it?