The 2016 Davis Lucky Run was my first half marathon of the year and fifth consecutive time running this course. The race started off great. Kept my pace slow and spotted a running buddy, Mohawk Man, very early in the race. We chatted the entire course while maintaining a slow pace. At mile 6 he introduced me to Christa, one of his running buddies. We would pretty much finish the race together. Except, that I did not finish with them. With maybe a quarter of a mile left in the race, I took a turn and instantly my calf cramped. I stretched them both and tried to run again, but it simply was not going to happen without injury. I walked to the finish.
There is a lot more to running a half marathon than what goes on the day of the race. First and foremost is the training. I simply did not properly train for the race. One of the golden rules to running is not to add something new to your routine before a race. Instead of having my traditional pizza (you really should eat pasta) the night before the race, I found my self at Red Lobster eating Lobster Scampi Linguini. We got home late, which means we were running on little sleep. I normally eat a banana the morning before a race, but I skipped it. However, I did still eat a bagel. Despite all the changes, I felt good at the start of the race.
With a few miles left in the race and after drinking some of the Gatorade or whatever drink was provided, I started to feel nauseous. My calves were talking to me, but I thought I would be fine. I should have listened to my body.
After the race, I would find myself violently vomiting. Mostly liquid. Not a good sign. I could not eat and even water was not calming my stomach. As if the vomiting was not bad enough, my calves began to cramp causing me to scream in pain. At first is was the left calf, then the right. I ate some crackers and french fries to raise my salt levels. Then I napped on the car ride home.
When we got home I did start to feel better. I was able to get some food down without getting sick. At this writing, I am still a bit nauseous.
What Did I Learn?
I learned that I cannot simply just go and run a half marathon anymore. I need to train and stick to my routine. I need to be smarter about nutrition before, during, and after a race. I need to listen to my body.