Friday, April 6, 2007

Salt Shaker

I've learned quite a bit about this Ironman training over the last week or so. The following is a list of a few things I've learned are essential, and without them I'm not sure I could pull this training off:

Sleep - I explained that in my last post
Food - I hit a WALL if I don't have something in my stomach every couple of hours - it happens so fast, I just suddenly can't focus, get dizzy and nauseous & feel very sleepy. A couple hundred calories does the trick
Massage - I was not blessed with a natural talent or gift to be an athlete. I've got back issues, and hip issues, and I choose to be DEFIANT, like momo and fight through it all to say I CAN. The massage helps me get through some of the pain and muscle issues I have. They aren't soft, nice foo foo massages either. They hurt!
Wine - Do I really need to say any more?

Now, last, but certainly not least, I need SALT. I've been eating it like it's going out of style. I eat eggs every day & pour enough salt on them to feed a normal person's sodium requirements for the day. And, as soon as I eat them I always feel better.

Recently on our bike rides, I've been getting a headache about 90mins into the ride. Sometimes only an hour. It comes from no where. I immediately take a salt pill, and wa-la, no more headache. I've tried to calm it down with just Gatorade, but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

Today was my long run. I met momo & Natalie for a nice LONG 2:30 run. It wasn't my best run, but again, I'm happy to say I just ran further than I have gone since Nov' 2003. That's crazy. I was also thinking I just "started running" (post surgery) just under 2 years ago. I remember thinking I might not ever be able to do this stuff again. Look at me now :-) Anyway. The run was a nice pretty route through North Scottsdale, DC Ranch & back up to Grayhawk. Natalie did the first 7.5 miles with us, and right about the time to drop her off, I got that knee pain I mentioned from the relay.

It was SO painful. I couldn't figure it out. It didn't seem like my IT band, because when I stopped to stretch my hip out, it was fine. Momo showed me a good hip flexor stretch. I did it and WHOA did I feel that one. We started running again, and I had to stop a couple of more times to stretch it out. I was beginning to think I should have stopped with Nat. I started thinking we could end the run short, and I'd be ok with that. Then, somewhere around the 90min mark, the pain just went away. Gone... Funny, I even had it all planned out to call my PT Matt, to see if he could squeeze me in to help loosen the hip flexor. I still might need to do it. It's been bugging me for a while, it just hasn't effected my leg (I think leg length) until last weekend. He's the best, he will just pop my leg right out & get me straightened out. Matt, is my CURE ALL.

Momo led me through a route I've never gone before (at least on foot) for the next hour, which was pretty nice, not knowing how much further I had to go, After a little pit stop for a potty break, we ended back at her house at 2:29! I think was 14.1miles, so ~10:35/mile avg pace. (HR 156) Considering the week we had, and last weekends relay, I was MORE than happy with this. I hoped for 14.5, but I'll take 14.1.

Thanks Momo & Nat, I wouldn't have done so well without you both!

Now, back to my whole salt thing... When we stopped to walk the last block to momo's house, I had salt just streaming down my face into my eyes. OUCH! We got inside & I wiped it all off with water.... I could feel the gritty stuff all over my face & arms. Gross, I know. Then, when I got home, I was all itchy. I turned around to look in the mirror & could see salt chunks on my back! Ewwwww! I immediately jumped in the shower to get it off. Then, proceeded right to the kitchen to make my salty eggs. Immediate relief.

So, now I pose a question. Does anyone have any idea why I am loosing so much salt? It's not like I haven't exercised in the heat (it's not even HOT here yet?) like this before.. I've always used some salt with exercise, but never NEEDING it like this. Even my gels are the power gels with the extra sodium.

If anyone has any answers, please help!

So, I've decided if I believed in an afterlife, or thought I would come back as something/someone else, I would FOR SURE be a Salt Shaker ;-)

~Happy Friday


Benson said...

Your speaking my language. your last 2 posts resound so true with me. Sleep...good to listen to your body and give it what it needs. sleep is so resorative and should not be ignored. I think you've been training good and strong for the past few months and now your body is just asking for some additional recovery time via sack time. enjoy it.
Salt...I am a very prolific salt excreter (sweat). When I sweat, salt leaves my body like the sand in an hour-glass. I often drink V8 before and after training. If I don't, I get the cravings just like you and if there are any corn chips and salsa nearby, I woof them down. I find that if I quench the craving quickly or at least pre-emptive strike, all is well. Muscles need some of those salty minerals and eletrolytes to fire properly. I think you're fine being a salt shaker.

momo said...

you did great today and i'm glad i could be there to help get you past that 13.4 mile hump! :-)

IM Able said...

I'm a veritable salt lick when I get done with any session over 1-1/2 hours -- some people just naturally excrete more salt. Good news is that you know you are one, so you can adjust accordingly. Take salt tabs with your for the longer sessions and hydrate a BUNCH. But I'd be careful about going over board -- your body adjusts to spikes in sodium intake (beyond need) by retaining fluid and swelling. If you start getting those types of symptoms, maybe it's time to cut back.