I ended my week with a bonk. I want to talk about it.
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I truly don’t believe I had bonked before this point. Sure, I’ve had some bad runs, but nothing where I nutritionally was unprepared. I have now experienced this terrible bonk I’ve heard so much about, and I’ve become a wiser runner.
Events leading up to the bonk:
1.) It’s been hot all week
I have been working and sleeping in less than ideal conditions for the past week. It’s just so hot and I get heat headaches now when I stand in front of the ovens at work for too long.
2.) I cannot hydrate myself
In addition to the heat, it is very hard to stay hydrated. I joke that I haven’t stopped sweating for two weeks…but it’s true. Spending my time in a constant state of sweat has made it not difficult, but impossible to stay hydrated. I do drink, not just water, but electrolyte beverages, iced coffee and tea and eat foods with a high water content. However, I have been unable to stay on top of my hydration.
3.) I did not plan my route well.
I woke up early to run in the cool morning (haha) and miscalculated the amount of mileage I would get before meeting up with friends. I was planning to do some myself and some with them. By the time I got to them I was 9 miles in. I drank and felt fine, but after a few miles with them I decided to turn and cut it short. I thought it would be a faster way to get home by doing this, but I should have just turned around.
4.) My foot was giving me problems.
On and off the past few weeks my right foot hurts. I can still run on it, but after about 10 miles it gets uncomfortable. Well, 14 miles in things were not looking up. This is when I turned a around…only to have 6 miles to go.
5.) I ran long the day before.
I was planning to race today (just for fun) so I ran 16 miles yesterday morning. Then worked on my feet all day. I felt great yesterday and still planned to race. This morning however I made the decision not to based on cost, time that I could spend working in other passions and my niggling foot. Sunday was my only day off and I wanted to work on other things. After races I am not that productive.
I felt fine the day before. I felt fine during the first part of my run. I chose to continue for these reasons.
I ended up doing the runner slog up a few hills until I made it to a Burger King three miles from home. It was in that Burger King stall that I put my head in my hands and thought about my life choices.
I felt like a fool.
Why did you run without water? Who do you think you are?
Why do you put hope in running? You might get injured from this!
Your running group thinks you’re a wimp.
You want to coach people to do this? What do you know?
All these things flew through my mind as I sat there. I didn’t know what else to do, but put my head down, drink a liter of Coke (thank you kind BK worker!) and slog my way home.
I made it. Tired legs, messed up gut, totally humbled by this experience.
I think, as regular runners, we think we know our bodies. Sure, someone else might need water or food, but I don’t. Someone else might need a break during a run, but I’m ok. We put ourselves on a pedestal because “if we’ve done it before we can do it again.”
Change means defeat.
Change means I am less than.
Change means I was wrong.
What I learned this day is that change means adaptability and learning how to deal with hard situations effectively.
I did not fail, I learned what my breaking point is. I learned how to do it better next time.
Next time I will not fail.Bonking taught me how to be a better #health coach. What has a bad experience taught you? #runchat @runningblogs Click To Tweet
How this experience will make me a better running and health coach:
1.) Not only is each client different, they are different in each moment.
I will learn what things motivate them and what goals are important each time we meet. I will be aware that these things may change and it is important to meet the client where they are at.
2.) Nutritional needs vary upon the situation and no food is off limits forever.
I will discuss my ideas about “eliminating certain foods” in a future post, but today showed me that when you need energy, any calories will do. I don’t drink Coke, I don’t really like it either. Today, it was the elixir of life. It got me home safe. I will remember that some foods are like that for people. A necessity part of their world. That’s ok.
3.) Planning is key to a good experience, no one is “above” mapping it out.
I thought I knew myself and my town well enough to guess a practical route. I was wrong. For each of my clients, I will never assume how a meeting will go or what mindset they will have on that day. I will be prepared and open to anything they bring to the table. I am not against doing specific research for their problem if I do not know the answer straight away. Part of what I look forward to in this profession is always being a student of wellness research and modifying my health ideas based on that.
Today I am linking up with Meg for a review of my most impactful run of the week. Be sure to show that mama some love!
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What is one experience you have that was a big eye opener?
What did you learn about yourself from it?