On Saturday, I met my blogger friend Monica for a special two-hour spin class at my gym.
I was psyched. I love intense workouts, I love a challenge, and most of all, I love doing these things alongside friends who share these passions.
(thanks to Monica for the picture!)
(That is literally the only picture I have of the two of us from that day. Whoops.)
Unfortunately, I did not properly prepare. I managed to make myself very sick this weekend. And, honestly, it was all my fault (I think).
Allow me to explain where I think I went wrong.
Mistake number one: Over-confidence.
I work out at very high intensities fairly often, so I didn’t really think twice about taking on this challenge. However, I’d never before done more than an hour of spinning at once (usually not even that), so I was (more than) doubling the amount I usually do. This is especially notable when I take into account that I can actually count the number of times I’ve attended a spinning class on my ten fingers. I’m definitely not invincible, so it was pretty stupid of me to act as though I was.
(Also, I’m not going to lie, it still kind of hurts to sit.)
Mistake number two: Lack of sodium intake.
I’d barely had any salt in the preceding 24 hours. Lunch and dinner on Friday were one (huge) salad split into two meals and snack had been an apple, tea and a cheese stick. That really was not enough food for the day before an intense workout.
Mistake number three: Not Carbo-loading.
As a temporary dietary restriction, I’m not really eating carbs at the moment and thus, following my plan, didn’t eat any that morning. However, I didn’t consider how that would affect my workout. I normally don’t even eat before workouts since most of mine begin at 6:30am, but this class started much later, at 11am. To give myself time to digest, I had a yogurt bowl at 8:30am. Into the mix: 0% Greek yogurt, blackberries, pomegranate seeds, coconut and peanut butter.
Not even half a banana to speak of. That’s just embarrassing.
Mistake number four: not fueling or re-fueling with electrolytes or sugar.
Monica was smart enough to listen to her body and realize when she needed some coconut water. I, stupidly, did not. Not only had I not had a substantial amount of sugar to work with that morning, but I also did not bring any fuel in terms of electrolytes, either.
Here’s what I think happened: I believe had a build up of lactic acid from the length and intensity of the workout without the proper fuel.
I did try to curb this, after the fact. I suggested to Monica that she and I walk to a nearby Starbucks and pick up some iced teas and bananas. This was before I even felt sick, as I was fine for as long as I was still moving. As soon as I stopped moving, however, nausea set in pretty intensely. I had to ask Monica to wait for my iced tea so I could go outside and get some air.
I managed to (slowly) eat my banana and drink a bit of the tea, but I think by then it might have just been too late. I had to cut our time short and head home, where I promptly got sick. It was so awful that I was convinced, at the time, that I had a stomach bug.
However, about two hours later, I was starving. That, of course, is not normal during a stomach bug. Mark was kind enough to pick up some stomach bug supplies (Gatorade, SmartWaters, Saltines, chicken soup & ginger ale), which ended up being my saving grace. In just minutes (seriously), I downed half a bottle of Gatorade and ate an entire sleeve of Saltines. Suddenly, I felt loads better. Between the salt, the carbs, the sugar and the electrolytes, my body started to get back to normal.
Though I spent the rest of the day exhausted and with a terrible headache, I was, altogether, fine. By that night, I was able to eat a big meal of eggs, toast and ginger ale.
That’s an old photo. I had the toast x2.
I woke up absolutely fine on Sunday. In other words, I’m pretty sure I did this all to myself.
The lesson here, of course, is to a) be smart and b) not so rigidly stick to a diet that you end up hurting yourself. I didn’t think my actions through and now realize that of course my body need carbs before such a workout. But, you know, hindsight is 20/20.
So, don’t make the same mistakes!
For the record, despite my stupidity, I had a great time and had a blast hanging out with Monica. I just wish I’d been smarter about it and could have had more time with her!
I’m also interested to hear if you have alternate theories as to what happened (my conclusion just came from Googling the symptoms and possible causes).
Also, do you have any similar stories? Have you made similar mistakes? Share so we can all learn from each other!