Everything in life should be done within normal ranges. Apparently also the consumption of water has its limits. I lost my conscience many hours after my first marathon run because of over-hydration and I live to tell the story.
Here is the full story divided into 5 chapters that will be published on a daily basis. They include my background in running, preparations for the marathon, race day, the collapse, a day and half that I don’t remember, the long hospitalization, the ongoing recovery and a few conclusions.
Small note: I’ve neglected this personal blog in the past year or more. This story certainly brings pumps life into the blog. Hopefully I’ll write more. Life in Barcelona supplies quite a few stories (though much less dramatic). I also plan on writing a full Hebrew version, and perhaps a short Spanish one.
My love for running began way back in the 90s, when I was in high school. I used to go to the gym and/or run throughout my adult life. About 5 years ago, I participated for the first time in an official race, a 5K night run in Tel Aviv.
The excitement of racing got me to take things a bit more seriously and I began running more often, quickly moving to 10K runs. At some point I picked up a serious training program on the web, that involved running 6 times a week. The local gym in Tel Aviv was too close, and most of the runs were performed there – apart from the longest ~17K runs.
When I moved to Barcelona in March 2011, running on the promenade was a great way to discover the city and see the wide variety of people roaming the streets, but I stuck with short and sporadic runs.
The big change was in August, when I accidentally discovered Meetup, and the Barcelona and the Barcelona Casual Road Runners group. This great collection of people runs 10K twice a week, in a very casual and pleasant atmosphere. Everybody from the organizer to the latest newcomer are great and positive people.
My first official 10K run in the city was a popular race named Cursa de la Mercé. Given the race is so crowded, we took it with a very casual atmosphere indeed: with costumes of sheep. Great fun!
Montserrat on Foot
A bigger challenge came in the middle of November: a run called Pujada a Montserrat: a 30K run from the suburban town of Terrassa to the historical and touristic site of Montserrat. It consisted of around 21 kilometers of a flat and downhill stride, and then around 9 kilometers of a running along the twisted road leading to the site.
This was the longest distance I ever ran until that point, and the last part was a tough uphill struggle. I combined running and walking in the final part, but I was very excited to reach the finish line.
I ate a few energy bars I brought from home and some water along the way. At the end, there was a nice table full of snacks and drinks. I remember the organizer of the running group encouraging me to grab some peanuts, mentioning it’s important for my electrolytes. I ate the peanuts as well as anything I could put my hands on, as I was very hungry and thirsty.
I’m mentioned this seemingly subtle note just to show I had awareness to the importance of salt and electrolytes, though neglecting it at the critical moment.
I felt tired after the run, like every long run. Also my muscles ached, but that’s normal. All in all, I was feeling good, not suffering any knee or back pain and very happy to have competed this hard run along the beautiful landscape.
The next chapter will be published tomorrow and details the preparations for the race.
All the chapters:
- Running Background
- Preparing for the Marathon
- Race Day – From Euphoria to ER
- Losing it and Getting Back
- Thanks and Conclusions