Long before I was inspired to be a runner I never really drank, water that is. To be honest I cannot even tell you why. I’ve been running now for almost three years and my hydration habits are horrible. Research shows that an average male weighing 200 pounds needs 70 ounces of water per day to replace just every day water loss. That does not include any extra effort or exercise. I can tell you this I don’t think I’ve drank 70 ounces of water on a hot summer day. Throw in my running routine and my potential date with disaster.
I have a rule, its my own and I think it needs some modification to say the least. If I was running or racing anything less than a half marathon distance I would not drink water during. I never liked the “Sloshing” feeling. After my run or race I might have a 16/20 ounce bottle of water and that is pretty much it, then it was beer me! Like I’ve stated I really have not been a water drinker. During the New York City marathon I carried no water but did make it through a few water stops along the course.
Over the past year I have been battling muscle injuries in my lower half, hip flexors, gluteus & calfs. I attribute a lot of this to my change in running shoes. I went from a stability shoe “i.e.. Brooks Adrenaline” to a more minimal drop neutral shoe as in the Brooks Pure Flow. I’m a big boned guy who hits the pavement hard when I run so I believe that lack of stability did some damage. It also didn’t help that I rarely took a day off over the past two years and I ran 99% of my runs hardcore with barely a slow run. Yes I over worked myself and I am paying the price. Fall 2013 through winter 2014 I was running 200+ miles a month in bitter cold temperatures before I fell to my injuries. My last race the 2014 Binghamton Bridge Run half marathon I was in so much pain I think I was crying crossing the finish line.
Recently and I mean in just the past few days I’ve been looking at how I am truly feeling. Muscles constantly tired, achy and sore. It hit me like a freight train, hey dummy something else is going on here. I thought to myself I wonder if my lack of hydration is play an integral part of my issues? Some online research, conversations with my wife, friends and trainers pointed me in the direction of hydration as a huge culprit. Over the past several days I have been working very hard at hydrating myself and as of today I feel pretty darn good. My muscles don’t ache and I feel quite considerably less sore than I have in a long time. This revelation of hydration came to me after my long run this past Sunday and don’t ask me why. Is it the end all cure all, no but its a start in the right direction.
Over the last 20 years my nutrition had been terrible. This is why I weighed over 300 pounds before making some life changes. I never met a drive thru I didn’t like or a foot long sub that was too big, pass me a 55 gallon drum of soda with a side of fries.
In 2012 I ditched the Whopper with cheese so to speak for a more thoughtful and healthier lifestyle and it changed my life forever. I won’t bore you with the details but a 3 ounce serving is VERY small. I’ve never been really good with nutrition and how could I be. I work for the railroad and we were on call 24/7 365 with only a 2 hour notice to come to work. We’d work 12, 13, 14 hours a day rest for 10 hours and right back at it. We were zombies and I remember packing enough food to make sure I could stay awake for those long hours. Sometimes that wasn’t enough and we’d find a Mickey D’s or a diner. That poor nutritional lifestyle finally caught up with me and I needed to make a change.
As I mentioned I’ve never been really good with my nutrition but I have managed to keep my weight off with good choices and exercise. Lately though I have had this idea wrestling around my head that since I’m a runner I can eat whatever I want, WRONG! I’ve let things slide as of late, eating way to much candy “Damn you Chocolate & Peanut Butter”, pizza, burgers, beer, etc. I love my family to death but I know when we all are together its going to be days of eating like crap, hey we’re Italians and we like to eat. It takes my body a full week, yes 7 days to recover from an eat-a-thon. I’ve gained several pounds over the last 9-10 months using this “I’m a runner mentality” and its time for me to get back on track.
Its ok to enjoy that burger, pizza, beer and so forth but I am now making it a once in a while deal rather than more routine as it has been.
I’d like to ask you this, do any of you struggle with hydration or nutrition? If so I would love to hear about it.