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Posts Tagged ‘cramps’

On Sunday, all three of us ran in the Medved Madness Trail Race… Joel and I, along with our friend Marc, ran it as a relay team (My So Called Legs… of course!) and Julia ran the kid race.

As the race was nearing, I kept watching the forecast. The weather for this race has not been that good to us over the past two years, especially last year. Rain and snow greeted me during my leg. I was also training for a half marathon, so I ended up running a little over 9 miles in that miserable weather (read all about it). I was really hoping for something nicer this year. The weather Gods finally took some pity on us and the weather was fantastic!!

Marc started the race for us. He really wanted to run the first leg, since he has not done that leg before and he also wanted to experience a mass start. He liked the rush of being in the pack.

I ran next. I could not remember the exact route for this leg, but I really enjoyed it. I love running in pine forests and I ended up spending a bunch of time in it. The route also went through a grassy field, but it was not too bad. Also, my leg was not very muddy at all, which I was happy about! Ha! I was a little worried about my knee though… I rode my bike on the Wednesday prior to the race and it was kind of bothering me… I had a burning sensation when pedaling hard or while I was pedaling standing up. But it ended up being ok for the race. I tried not to go too hard. I ended up with a 10:48 avg pace for the 4.25 mile route, so I was happy with it!

Joel’s run was amazing!! The kid race was at 10:45 of that morning, so we were unsure if Joel would finish before that. My friend Jess and I joked that we should tell Dan, who is her boyfriend and the organizer of the kid race, to stall the start until Joel finished. The time was getting closer, but all of a sudden I noticed Joel running towards the finish line with 10 minutes to spare! He ran the leg, which was the longest at 5.46 miles, at a 9:07 avg pace. Incredible!!!

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Julia was super excited to run the kid race. She was even more excited that she had an official race bib! The kid race was well attended too… last I heard was that 34 kids signed up. That’s amazing!!

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As soon as Dan yelled “Go!”, they were off. Julia went full force for a while. I decided to run along so I can capture some photos. Not far after the start, I could see that she was slowing down and that she kept rubbing her left side. She made the rookie mistake and went off too hard… she got a cramp. I kept encouraging her to keep going, but then she got upset. I grabbed her hand and reassured her that it was ok and that we can just walk for a bit. And then the mud section came. It was chaos… the kids did not really want to go through all that mud… neither did I, again! We made it through the section and I can tell that she was feeling better. We passed this little girl who was crying uncontrollably since she was full of mud and lost her shoe in the mud deepness. I felt super bad. I saw Joel cheering Julia on so I told him to keep cheering for her and that I was going to help the little girl.

I went to her and tried to calm her down. I grabbed her hand and we walked together the rest of the way. I told her that many of us ran through that mud too and some even lost their shoes. I am not sure that it made her feel any better since she could not stop crying. As we got closer to the finish, her dad met us and he thanked me for helping her.

I ended up not seeing Julia finish her race, but I felt better that the little girl was not alone in distress. After our amazing feast of chicken BBQ, pasta, coleslaw, salad, rolls, and beer (yes, we even got some free beer from The Lost Borough!!), I did capture a photo of Julia at the finish line.

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Both Joel and I told her that she did such a great job. She disagreed saying that she got a cramp. Joel explained to her the mistake that all runners make where they start off too hard and then they cramp or bonk. I think that she got it. We further told her that the most important part was that she had a good time and that she finished. Because is that not the reason why we run… to have some fun in the woods?!?

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Enjoying her prize… an ice cream sandwich!

Thank you Medved for once again putting on a great race and providing us with a delicious feast!!

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I have had some amazing rides lately. For the past 4 weeks, I have been beating my usual average speed and have been able to average as fast as 17.9 mph. So great!! But all good things must come to an end, apparently. On Saturday, I had the worst ride ever!!

During the ride on Saturday, I was super hot, super sweaty, and super dehydrated. My legs started to cramp… one leg at a time, starting from the shin and up my leg to my thigh, and again cycling through my legs. It was the worst feeling! I was trying very hard not to push the pedal down, because I could feel my leg cramping. But even as I was pulling the pedal up, the back of my leg was cramping. After a few cycles, tears started to roll down my cheeks. It was very painful.

I have not experienced this much pain in about 4 years. I was a novice rider then. I did not know much about nutrition and hydration. Plus, since I was a beginner, I always pushed myself in order to keep up with my friends. Not a good idea! I remember this one particular ride where the same scenario occurred… cramping cycling back and forth up and down my legs. It was so painful, that I was in tears then too. The unfortunate part was that I was pretty far from the ride start, so I had to keep going.

I greatly welcomed the rest stop on Saturday’s ride, which was at a gas station in the village of Bloomfield. I really needed some water and food. As we were hanging out, my friend Sara mentioned that she wanted to check out the bakery across the street from the gas station. As we entered the bakery, both of us looked at each other in awe. We found the most gigantic cookies that we both have ever seen. We have also found the largest scones that we both have ever seen. After a mere $3.50, we walked away with a gigantic peanut butter cookie and large blueberry scone.

The gigantic cookie!

The gigantic cookie!

I was sure that these would help my legs feel better. My legs felt fine for about 5 miles and the cramping started once again. The damage was already done. As I stopped to relieve my cramps, I was thinking about what I did the day before. I rode about 21 miles in an also hot day and for dinner I ate some broiled fish with French fries and drank a pint of beer. Not a very good way to prepare for a ride. I should have known better.

Nutrition and hydration are an important part of an athlete’s training. What you do and eat the day before can make a huge difference in the way you feel during a ride the next day. Also, if the ride is challenging, what you do and eat several days before the ride can make a huge difference. I hope that my legs will feel better for this weekend’s ride… a mere 100 miles. :)

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