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    900 418 Terri Rylander

    “Can I pick up your foot?”  “What?” “Can I pick up your foot?”  “Why do you want to pick up my foot?” This was the confusing conversation we had as I was waking up after passing out for the first time ever.

    My training plan called for a 10 mile run today. And, as usual, I’d much prefer dirt and trails to hard, hot pavement. I also knew it might be a few degrees cooler getting up near the hills rather than to run in town. See, it’s an unusually hot week this week and the daily highs are expected to be near or more than 110 degrees.

    I made a plan to run my cross bajada 11 mile route at 6am. There’s over 1000 feet of climbing in the first 5 or so miles, so it’s a steady grind on the way up. Then the trail gets rocky and technical as it rolls across the bajada and turns back to a smooth, wide dirt road all the way back down.  Though I had planned to go solo, as I’d done a number times before, my running buddy Gary decided he’d join me.

    We met at 5:45am and drove out to the start of the route. “What’s your PR for this route?” he asked. “2:14,” I said.  “Are you going to beat that today?” he replied.  I told him maybe, not wanting to  sound anything more or less than open-minded.  You never know which runner you will show up as on any given day. Sometimes you feel unmotivated to run but end up running your best and other times you are psyched and get out there only to find your legs under full protest.

    We set out just after 6am running at a pretty good pace. The interspersed walk breaks were short, and about 4-5 minutes apart. For some reason, it always takes me about 2-3 miles to get fully warmed up and able to hold a steady run. This route’s climb and Gary’s pace made that even longer. He quickly pulled away. I briefly caught him just before mile 4 but he pulled away again.

    I was working hard and my stomach was not. Hard to say if it was the belly full of oatmeal or the full water bottle I downed before the start, but my stomach was not very happy. I kept sipping my water hoping that would help, but it didn’t.

    I always love the technical part of the trail but this time it was difficult. I was breathing hard and my gut was wrenched, like someone punched me. I took way more walk breaks than I would have liked to but kept it up. The smooth downhill was a welcome but brief relief and with about a mile to go, Gary, who had turned up a side road for extra miles, passed me and yelled, “PR baby!” I knew I was making good time and it would be close but I was really beginning to struggle. I just focused on making nearby milestones and soon the car was in sight.

    I finished in 2:18. Not a PR but a good time, nonetheless. You’d think that your body would breathe a sigh of relief not to be running anymore, only I now was having a hard time catching my breath. I walked around for about 3-4 minutes and started feeling even worse. I took a sip of my protein drink (always bring those for after long runs) and it didn’t sit well. Then my head started really spinning and I felt nauseous.  “I REALLY don’t feel well,” I told Gary. So, I sat down on the ledge of the back seat of the car. My head started tingling. I almost told him I feel like I’m gonna pass out. But, I didn’t want to sound melodramatic and really didn’t believe it would happen.

    Next thing I knew, he was asking me if he should pick up my feet. I couldn’t understand why he would ask that since I was sitting in the car. I opened my eyes and found myself sitting on the dirt!  “How did I get here?” I asked, confused. “You just slumped down and slid out of the car. Did you hear me ask if you were still with me?” Gary asked. “Um…no?” I replied. I guess he asked me a couple times. It really was a strange feeling–just like I went to sleep for a few minutes and woke up.

    I laid down in the backseat and put my feet up on the headrest. Immediately, I felt so much better.

    So, was it because I:

    • ran too hard?
    • ran too fast?
    • ran on a full belly?
    • ran when it was too hot?
    • got dehydrated?

    I’ll probably never know, but chalk that one up to yet another new experience.

    PS. This might explain it. Also read that your blood pressure can drop after intense exercise. The two might be related.

    When people are involved in high intensity exercise over at least several minutes, they require a LOT of blood flow to the working muscles. So the blood vessels in our muscles, especially the legs, dilate to accommodate all this increased blood. Now, our body depends on contraction of our leg muscles to push blood from the legs back up to the heart. During intense exercise our ability to maintain adequate blood pressure depends on this pumping of blood back to our heart by our legs. If you suddenly stop running, the blood return from your legs to your heart suddenly drops and so you don’t have enough blood to pump to your brain–plop, down you go.


    The Road from Here to There is Not Always a Straight Line

    800 600 Terri Rylander

    So, I already broke my own commitment of going to the track every Wednesday morning. It started two weeks ago when I ran our club’s Tuesday night Pizza Hut run. It was a beautiful night and I was ready for a challenge and pushed hard for 4 miles. I came in at just over a 10 min/mile pace, which is awesome since the first 2 miles are very much uphill. Come Wednesday morning, I was too tired to consider going to the track and also figured that the fast run the night before counted towards speedwork.

    IMG_1194The rest of that week was spent getting ready to help host the Mesquite Senior Games Track & Field and our club’s Spring 5K. Though we did do a (relatively) short trail run on Thursday, that was it for the week.

    This is my second year participating and helping with Track & Field. The event was pushed out two weeks to help ensure better weather, and we had it. It was a beautiful day and the event went off perfectly. After having arrived at 6am to help set up, I participated in the discus, javelin, and softball throw. I learned how to do these just ahead of the event last year and practiced twice ahead of this year’s event. Even still, I had a great time and bettered my record in 2/3 of the events.

    100_5190That night, we put on the Mesquite Spring 5K. I think the 90-degree weather scared most people away. But the evening was beautiful with the sun having gone down behind the mesa and a gentle breeze blowing. The 19 runners took off and I biked out the photograph them.

    IMG_1241Enter the following week…After months of preparing for big events like these, it can be a bit of a let down. You realize all the things you put off in order to make them happen. In particular was my running schedule. I feel like I hardly ran at all in April. So, Monday afternoon, on the way home from Costco, I stopped for a 6 mile trail run on a trail(dirt road) I’d always wondered about. All alone, I ran/hiked up the trail nearly 1100 feet in just under 3 miles. Beautiful vistas at the top!  So inspired that I ran ALL the way down, 3 miles at a 9:40 pace!

    Tuesday morning I got up and was determined to log some more miles. It was going to be hot, so I set out early – on the road at 7am. The first few miles went fine. It’s a gradual uphill on the way to the dump, which is a 10 mile out and back.  There was no breeze that morning, so when the sun came up, it really started cooking. But, I kept swigging from my bottle and finally made it to the dump–the 5 mile point. Feeling tired but I knew it would be mostly downhill at that point, so turned around and headed back.

    Immediately, I didn’t feel good. I drank more water and kept going. Although net/net it’s downhill, there are a couple uphills. I ended up walking those. Then, as I got to about mile 8, I started feeling really bad. It was hot. I was hot and dizzy, almost delirious.  Began walking 100% and getting concerned I wouldn’t even make it back. I did but paid the price. I was nauseated all day long. After weighing myself, I’d lost over 5lbs in one morning. That’s 4% of my body weight. This is AFTER I drank 20 oz before the run and another 20 oz during the run! That unfortunate experience ruined any chance of this past Wednesday’s track workout.

    We did do a great LONG/HARD trail run on “Dirty Thursday” though. We’d heard about it last January. It’s the Beaver Dam TV Tower trail. 6.5 miles and 3000 feet up to the top of a mountain that houses dishes and towers.  Here’s the video:

    Sadly, we did not get much more running in last weekend. The trail run left my legs shredded!  We did go watch a friend do the St. George Half Ironman and that was cool and inspiring! HOWEVER, I did go to the track on Sunday morning. Did 4×400’s at 2 min or less each with a 200 in between. Best/fastest ever. Oh yeah…then biked for 35 miles. 😉

    So…back to planning….Still trying to figure out how to plan for the long Tahoe race, either 50K or 50M, around everything else I’m doing (Grand Canyon in 2 weeks, etc.) and still work on speed. I need to “straighten the line.” It’s a work in progress!