Sometimes I forget to take my own advice. And my world comes crashing it. My Sunday started out like all other Sunday mornings. My sneakers were laced up. I was standing in front of the bakery where my Sunday run group meets year round in all kinds of weather. This particular Sunday happened to be a cloudy, not-so-typical-suffocatingly-August-hot weather. It was good running weather.
There was a good crew present, some of the regulars and some newer folks. Water belts were adjusted on waists. Last minute pit stops were happening and dynamic stretches were unfolding as we made small talk.
I had my earphones ready to go and my playlist all cued up. Sadly, my running buddies were out of town (and one's broken) so I was on my own this morning. All morning long I had the 8 mile run on repeat, over and over in my mind, mentally preparing myself up to run it alone.
8 miles. To the golf course.
8 miles. 4 miles out and 4 miles back. I could do this run in my sleep.
Our herd of runners moved like cattle and we were off. I quickly settled into a great, steady rhythm and my legs were just striding out, one foot in front of the other, like clockwork.
I've been here before and it's a beautiful place to be.
The place where my body and mind seemingly disconnect and the movements become automatic. The charming Seacoast NH homes fly by me (okay, maybe I'm not going that fast but they fall away quickly.) I lean in and out of the curves of the road that hug the bays, tributaries and inlets.
The salt air adds lift to my run and I'm feeling alive. The miles peel away, as do my thoughts.
The golf course is up ahead and I feel as if I've only just begun my run. Can I already be at the 4 mile turnaround? I keep going, checking in with my lungs and legs to see how they are holding up.
My body is feeling alive and strong, really strong and craving more road. Mentally I commit to reaching the 5 mile turn around.
When I hit 5 miles, I quickly refuel, hydrate and I'm off again, this time heading back into town.
10 miles came and went like that, with a snap of the fingers. What great cheap, free therapy! My mind is clear, my body is strong and I feel so alive and engaged in life.
Yup, totally, clearly, absolutely 100% on a runner's high.
As a nutrition coach for runners, I know precisely how important it is to consume both carbs and protein within 30 minutes of a long, intense run or workout. My protein shake would take care of that.
Not only did I need to refuel my energy tanks, but I also need to give my body the tools to do muscle repair and growth. That 30 minute post workout window is a crucial time to get something into your body.
But it doesn't stop there.
Then I started thinking of what I was going to eat for a second breakfast when I got home. English muffin with egg and avocado, some apple and peanut butter. My mouth was watering already.
After some stretching, a cool down and putting my legs up in the air, I hopped into my car and headed home.
A shower and second breakfast were the first order of business.
Second breakfast? Before I grabbed breakfast, I thought of an email I had to write. Then I wanted to keep stretching a bit. Then the ten miles started to catch up with me and I was a bit sleepy. So I decided just to chill out for a little while. I did have lunch plans and needed to rest a wee little bit.
8:30am became 9am. 9am became 10am. 10am became 11am and I still hadn't eaten second breakfast.
My blood sugars were super low and my runner's high was long since gone. Now, I was turning into a bit of a cranky pants. I was irritable and snappy. My world, instead of being this wonderful place to hang out and be, became narrow and dark.
All I wanted to do was take a nap. Under a blanket. For the rest of the afternoon.
But I had lunch plans and could NOT show up as the delusional woman who was overtaken by the hangry monster.
Somehow, some part of my brain realized that I needed food. ASAP.
I fought the urge to go horizontal and stumbled my way into the kitchen. I made that egg, english muffin and avocado. I ate an apple with peanut butter. I drank water.
And within 10-12 minutes, I was feeling normal again.
With every single one of my clients, we talk about pre and post run food, how to refuel + when to refuel. Yet I had fallen victim to something that happens to a lot of runners when they return from their running escapades - falling back into the life you just escaped for 30, 60 or 90+ minutes.
I got caught up in something silly like an email. And I spent that crucial refueling window post run on the internet.
It caught up with me and bit me in the pants. In general I don't let situations like this happen, yet every once in a blue moon, they do.
To me it just underscores the importance of refueling post run.
If this once off scenario that played out for me, is a regular occurrence for you, we should talk. While I made the mistake of not eating more after a long run, it's the first time it's happened in years.
If you don't refuel properly after a run, it affects your long term training and running performance.
Do you crash and burn after a workout? Are you more than exhausted? Do you struggle to shake the Hangry Monster from your back? Tell me more about it HERE.