I've been running for over ten years but some lessons you have to learn more than once apparently. Or at least I do. It was a couple of weekends ago and I had one of the rare occasions of having to be at work early Saturday morning. We were having a Warehouse Dash for a client, which wasn't like real work...it was fun. Anyway, I only had a bagel for breakfast being that I just wasn't hungry that morning. Following the Dash we had pizza in our break room. Due to hitching a ride home with a co-worker, I cut my pizza break short and went home with intentions of making another snack.
Long story short, the snack fell through. However a three hour nap took place instead. After the nap it was pushing 5pm and I wanted to get my scheduled 15 miler in before it got dark. So, with hardly any food in me I took off on my run.
The run was going great! I took off from my Wrigleyville apartment, looped around the museum campus downtown and was feeling good going back. Then it happened. Around 12 miles in I started abruptly hitting a physical brick wall. I stopped for a brief water break and thought "Drew, just finish it. Three miles to go, don't be a hero. Just jog in." That worked for a while. Still in a mental fog, I glanced down at my GPS and was still hitting 6:25 mile pace. Not smart.
I stumbled back into my apartment, got on the phone so someone would know if I blacked out walking to the corner store to buy Gatorade. After downing 64 ounces of it in about 5 minutes, I made a HUGE dinner and took down every bite, only to wake up feeling hung over the next day.
So lesson learned. Some of you may be running to lose weight. I'm training for a marathon. Even some race trainers try to trim down race weight so there's less to carry around. However, you still need calories to have energy to burn. If you want to run - especially far - you've gotta eat! It's almost better to at least eat a small snack of crackers or something light before running than risk running on empty. It's better to feel a little nauseated from a bit of food than to deplete your body like that. Trust me - I know.
On a side note, averaging 6:28/mile for 15, I did my second best 15 miler of my life. Not bad for no energy!