Matt and I ran the Sicklaloppet, second year in a row, yesterday afternoon. I was fairly nervous, but less so than last year, which felt like my first real running race. The run felt easier this year; my time was about 30 seconds slower (58:45), but I felt more in control.
Until the dehydration set in later that afternoon. Ugh.
This year, I guess I still stressed myself out quite a bit, despite feeling better prepared. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom beforehand (or in line for the bathroom). My bottom line is that I never, ever want to have to stop and poop in the woods in the middle of a race.
So, I emptied myself out but then failed to drink enough liquids before starting the race. By yesterday evening, despite drinking tea and an “isotonic sports drink,” I had a fever of 101.5 F. (That’s about 38 or 39 C. I may have freaked out the advice nurse on the phone, I think — she had to ask me the scale of my thermometer, as I had completely forgotten it was in Farenheit!)
I blame the sürströmming. Well, that and the shots of aquavit (40% alcohol) that we drank with the sürströmming (sour herring, which is basically rotting fish in a can) on Friday evening. The traditional alcohol, I suspect, serves to cover its foul smell (and taste, though the Swedes with us were really enjoying the taste — I was enjoying the potatoes, cheese, créme fraîche and other delicious items under and around the herring). We spent a lot of time talking about the joys of rotten food in places where you don’t necessarily have refrigeration. I forgot to pay attention to the amount of alcohol I was imbibing that was probably pickling my liver and drying me out.
That won’t happen again. And I’m going to start hydrating days before I run a race — if I ever run another one!
I was even pondering if I’ll ever run again. But the weather today was so fine and fall-like, I was tempted to go for a trot to see if I could get rid of the muscle cramps in my legs. However, my gastrointestinal tract is STILL cramping today (my fever is gone — yay, acetaminaphen! yay!). Considering I really wasn’t standing up so straight, I decided against it.
So I’m sitting here on the couch instead. (New couch! Yay!) Maybe I’ll go running tomorrow…