Archive for May 1st, 2007

Poesie Quotidienne - Characters III

Santa Monica – Spotted: one fat, sleek, totally unperturbed bunny hopping lazily down the bike path that parallels the Pacific Ocean. Looking for all the world like the rest of us who were perambulating as an excuse to wallow in the late afternoon sunshine – except that we’re human and he’s a rabbit. Nothing but sand, sand, and the very busy Pacific Coast Highway for miles. Alarmed, I approached the bunny, wondering if I should stage an intervention, wondering how I was going to carry a bunny in my arms while running back to my car, three miles away. How did a bunny get out here in the first place? And how is he going to survive with nothing but sand and the occasional abandoned Frisbee to nibble on?

I was quite relieved when a smiling young man wandered over and told me that his pet was enjoying all the attention. Assured that he was neither starving, scared, nor rabid, I gave the bunny a scratch between the ears and continued on my way.

Santa Monica – Random, ephemeral, sand art etched into the beach. sandsun.JPG Lost amongst millions of footprints and hundreds of miles of coastline, soon to be erased by the wind, the tides, or the crazy beach trucks that come by every night to “groom” the sand. But we saw it.

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Running a ½ Marathon – An Optimists Guide for the Impatient and Ill-Prepared VI

Just finished another long run – ten miles – and have realized that the post-run wonkiness is not a fluke. The run felt great, and for about an hour and a half afterwards I felt totally normal. Then I was overcome by an increasingly urgent sense that being vertical in this world was no longer acceptable. So I installed myself in bed. I didn’t feel sick, exactly, but kind of like remaining not-sick required holding completely still. Even rolling my eyeballs to the side to make eye contact with Sam was an inappropriate amount of effort. Then, after an hour and a half, the wonkiness went away… and I was perfectly fine again.

An hour and a half of downtime after a long run doesn’t seem that unreasonable. But, my half-marathon is through the vineyards north of Santa Barbara, and it’s on Mother’s Day, and Sam’s mom will be here visiting us. There’s also a wine tasting party, along with tons of food and live music after the race is over. Clearly, I don’t want to miss out on any of it! Also, requiring an hour and a half of prone, no-eyeball-movement time is fine when I’m at home but I’m not sure how it will work out if I’m away, and already checked out of my hotel. Most importantly, I want Mother’s Day to be fun and stress-free…

I had dinner with some friends who run last night and I discovered that this post-run malady is technically referred to as “bonking” (Wikipedia has a fascinating etymology). It happens to endurance athletes when the body uses up all of its natural stores of glycogen; symptoms include general weakness, fatigue, hypoglycemia and sometimes hallucinations. Fun times! But, avoiding the bonk is apparently fairly easy: eating lots of carbohydrates the day or two before a long run (“carbo-loading”) to increase the body’s stores of glycogen, and most importantly, consuming carbohydrates during the run.

In theory, “bonking” doesn’t happen until the 15th mile, and I’m only up to 10. But, I don’t “bonk” while running, I “bonk” an hour and a half after I’ve stopped – I never drink anything while I’m running, and aside from a few sips of water, I don’t like to eat or drink for a couple of hours after a long run, which is apparently quite stupid. Also, I don’t eat many grain-based carbohydrates in general, so maybe my glycogen stores are a little lower to begin with. I guess I’m a prime candidate.

I have one more long run before the half-marathon so I get to test all this out next week. I’m normally a running technology luddite, and the thought of buying chemically enhanced drinks, powders and gels makes me cringe. But “bonking” in public, and in front of a bunch of runners who all know better makes me cringe even more.

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