Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It seems whenever I have a bad run, I have only myself to blame. I sabotage myself, whether it be by getting too little sleep, starting off too fast, not drinking enough water, pushing myself too hard, etc. Or-- as was today's sabotage method of choice-- trying to run on a full stomach.

I had a nice lunch outing today for Valentine's Day, dining on an all-you-can-eat pizza/pasta/salad buffet. I knew I had a five-mile run planned later in the day, but my head apparently failed to communicate to my stomach that I ought not to actually eat all I can eat. (All too often, I go into a restaurant feeling sick to my stomach because I'm so hungry, then leave the restaurant feeling sick to my stomach because I ate too much. It's a major flaw of mine, and honestly, I don't know how anybody can love me because of it.)

So, a mere three hours after pushing myself away from the Smorgasboard of Carbohydrate Heaven, I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door. Perhaps part of my sabotage was attempting to do a challenging hill route that I haven't run in several months. In any case, at mile 2.5, when I reached the top of the hill, I actually punched my stopwatch and stopped running to catch my breath. That was the first sign of my impending doom: I never stop running to catch my breath. Walk, maybe. But never stop completely.

After taking a couple minutes to recover, I started back down the hill, thinking the hard part was behind me. And then it kicked in. My all-you-can-eat lunch was making an unsolicited encore.

Feeling nauseous is never a comfortable feeling, especially when you're out in public. There's that internal struggle of dealing with the physical misery, but at the same time wanting to stay cool and composed. So, I kept running, albeit very slowly, trying desperately to take my mind off the churning in my stomach. But the harder I tried, the more I saw the gigantic bowl of spinach fettucini drenched in spicy sausage alfredo sauce plastered across the sky in front of me. Taunting me. Mocking me.

The last half mile felt eerily similar to the last 5K of my marathon. My legs were on auto-pilot, moving forward step-by-agonizing-step. But my head was in a blur, conscious only enough to stay out of the path of fast-moving vehicles.

I managed to finish the last 2.5 miles of the run by following this very scientific pattern: Run a little, stop, hold head between knees, walk, run a little more. Repeat.

I'm happy to report I never lost any of my lunch, but I think I may have left a few shreds of dignity and pride somewhere along the route.


Allen said...

I've had that problem too!

Daphna said...

I did that once, it was horrible indeed.

robison52 said...

Hey! It was VALENTINE'S DAY!!! If we can't splurge during that day than what's the purpose of running...BURP! Opps, excuse me.