Wednesday, April 2, 2014

You're cramping my run

I am pretty sure everyone who runs or races has experienced the dreaded cramps that makes your toes curl and slows down your running to where all you can think about is that you will not be making it in the time that you intended to finish with to crush your previous PR.

The things that I will share in my blog is hindsight that I am hoping I've learned my lesson and will not repeat on my upcoming races.

I've researched about cramps and although there are articles out there that shares the possibility of cramps, there is no definite answer because it can be to undertraining, nutrition, weather or you are just blessed with the ability to have cramps cling to your calves.

Honolulu Marathon 2013
Before the Honolulu Marathon, I was training but not as much in the mileage as I should have to where I researched on what I can do to maintain fuel / hydration to bring me to the finish line. And thank goodness the Honolulu Marathon expo had great vendors there because I was introduced the brand zipfizz.

I almost bought there bottle too but my husband was with me, which later he shared he was surprised I didn't just purchase it because it was a deal (darn!).

Anyhow, I have to share that I liked it because it carried me through. From what I understand, you are to use this with your water and it helps you maintain every 4-6 hours. As I look back at the marathon, it was zipfizz along with the water/gatorade stations that helped sustain me along with me buying pretzels around  the 23 mile marker. The only thing I did not care for about zipfizz are their plastic containers. It's cumbersome (not that I wanted to carry 10 but still...)

Great Aloha Run 2014
2014 rolls around and the Great Aloha Run is waving at me quickly. That morning, I under prepared. I didn't tape up (KT my calves-mistake #1) nor did I bring all of my NUUN tablet drink because I only poured it in my two little bottles that were attached to my waist pack (mistake #2) while I carried watered down gatorade...WATERED DOWN GATORADE...

The experience I had with the Great Aloha Run was not funny at all because the timing was perfect until I hit mile 7. As soon as I slowed to take in sports beans and a drink, my toes curled on it's own. I thought it was my KT tape coming undone but it wasn't. It was my toes curling on its own because my body was already dehydrated (it was muggy and I was pissed because my husband ran ahead of me despite the fact that I told him to run ahead earlier in our run). What further aggravated me was the fact that mile 7 is all hill and I was afraid of tearing my calf muscle if I pushed myself faster than I should.

So, what should have taken 10-15 minutes for me to get to Aloha Stadium took me over an hour to where I didn't crush my previous PR and it left me in a foul mood because now I have to run the Great Aloha Run next year to redeem myself.

Spartan Race at Aloha Stadium
I didn't want a repeat of what happened at Aloha Stadium, so I carb-loaded and prepared my fuel/hydration for during and after the race. Let me just say that when you do obstacle racing, your body is working out way more than a regular run to where whatever you have stored in glycogen will deplete quickly if you do not fuel/hydrate well.

Well, I kept popping sports beans and drinking my zipfizz throughout the stadium but towards the run to the last spiral (down), my toes twitched and I was like, "Oh hell stinkin' NO". I managed to make it through the finish line but it floored me because throughout all this time while I'm running, my bladder was always full to where I would have to stop to use the bathroom. So, after the race, I'm still stumped on what happened to where I have come to the conclusion that it falls on me on how I trained and my nutrition intake:
  • I am not taking enough nutrients in my body
  • I am not training as I should be that would have minimized any injuries or setbacks if I did
I also posted on the Spartan Chick page as well as others giving me advice and the number one item people have been sharing is...mustard. Have you tried it? I haven't but I'm considering on having this in the pockets of my hydration pack to carry along during the Spartan Race.

Hindsight and planning for the future events
  • Revamp my nutrition intake and plan smarter
  • Revamp my training to endurance training that will take me out of my comfort zone
And I found another brand that I think I will try prior to the Spartan Race in August:
At least I can try this out prior to my half-marathon to see if my body takes well to this but I have a feeling that I am over-preparing in regards to these type of products when what I should be doing is focusing on training on strengthening those weak areas (calves).
Have you found something that works for you? Do share

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