A cautionary tale of dehydration

Do as I say, not as I do…

I do not drink enough water – especially for as much as I train and sweat. I know this. I’ve passed kidney stones that were the result of chronic dehydration. You’d think I would have learned my lesson then, but adequate hydration is something I still struggle with. What’s worse is I will sometimes gauge my hydration level by how much I’m sweating during a workout. The truth is, once you get to the point where you’re not sweating as much as normal, you’re pretty damn dehydrated.

The inspiration for this post comes from yesterday’s 10 mile run. More specifically, what ensued after it.

Now, it isn’t uncommon for me to have an upset stomach for a couple of hours after a longer run, but yesterday was special. And by special, I mean awful.

uh oh…

It started around the second mile. Had I been running alone, I probably would have aborted at that point – but I had two people with me. It got progressively worse throughout the run, but somehow I managed to finish. Afterwards, while I was stretching, I could feel my gut cramping. Bad. The drive home was torture, and I know this is way too much information, but at one point, I seriously began to question whether or not I would make it home in time. I drove home like a crazed woman and made it to the bathroom – just in time.

I was doubled over for several hours afterward. As I laid on the floor, trying to figure out what the culprit was, it dawned on me that I didn’t sweat much during the run. When I started thinking, I realized I had only drank some coffee that morning, and a few sips of water after we finished running. After a consult with Dr. Google, I found out that while stomach problems aren’t that unusual among distance athletes, the situation can be severely aggravated by dehydration.

So,  I got what I deserved. Do yourself a favor and go grab a glass of water. You do not want to experience gut rot. It sucks.

One comment

  1. After several bouts with abdominal distress followed by sonograms and consultation (diagnosis inconclusive), family physician asked casually: “How much water do you drink?” I contemplated that for a few moments before replying: “None” His advice: “Well, let’s try drinking plenty of water first before we go any further.”

    Of course I consumed some liquids but throughout the day I realized I had not been drinking water. From that day forward I always kept a full glass of water on my desk or a water bottle with me in the car, etc. and consciously reminded myself to drink water.

    That was a couple decades ago. Abdominal issues abated and never returned. I still keep water at my desk and carry a water bottle in my car. Think about it.