Sunday, June 26, 2011

A little blood never hurt anyone...

A phrase which has probably been heard by most post-pubescent females and possibly uttered by a good number of males, around a certain time of the month. Maybe that's a little gross...sorry, this whole post might be gross.

Friday consisted of about a 30 mile bike ride followed up by a 10 minute run. I spent the rest of the day drinking Gatorade and water the rest of the day thinking I was hydrated enough for a run the next day. During my Saturday Long Run, which I've now moved back to Saturdays since I've fed the triathlon beast inside me, I had an unexpected surprise...The run started off a little weird considering the low temperature and humidity. I was sweating more than normal after the first mile, normally I wouldn't be sweating at all even though it was mostly uphill. By the 5th mile it felt like I had jot got out of a pool and there was sweat dripping from my hat. Normally it would take around 9 or 10 miles before I reached that point. Before the run I didn't think it would get to that point since it was 12 miles and a very cool morning.

I figured something was wrong at the first water stop when "it" was very dark yellow and seemed to be condensed when it hit the water. I drank about 20 oz of water and ran up a bunch of hills and back to the water stop. (The way our long runs work is, someone volunteers to set up a water/gatorade stop somewhere along the run. In this case everyone hit it twice since it was an out and back run and the water stop wasn't at the turn around) I'm guessing I drank 20 oz more, considering it was a 12 oz cup and it wasn't quite filled all the way...I had two. This is on top of at least half of the Gatorade in my camelbak. Here's the surprise...

While stopping to relieve myself, after the 7th mile right after the water stop on the way back...there was blood in my urine. Actually, I think it was just blood. I was immediately terrified and thought I was going to have make a trip to the ER. I had no idea what to do since I'm on the slower side of my running group and everyone at my pace decided to run 10 instead of 12. It was 8:30 am and the g/f, a nurse and the only person I could think of to call, was at work. I tried to get a hold of her anyway...good thing I decided to bring my phone. She didn't respond so I googled "blood in urine while running." The first hit was a sports doctor blog, which talked about how "Most often the blood comes from the bladder. The jarring of an empty bladder during running causes bruises and bleeding from the bladder wall" and can also be caused by your kidneys. Hmm...kidney failure due to dehydration...enough to make me stop running. I slowly ran to the first path I could take to get to a metro (subway) station and headed home. Oddly, it felt like I was having trouble "holding it in." I managed to drip sweat everywhere on the way home, I still didn't understand why I was bleeding but still sweating.

I bought more fluids and drank them as fast as I could. I decided I would give it a day to see if it stopped before I head to the Doc. Feeling a little more at ease, I made my normal post long run trip to Panera for a jalapeno&cheddar bagel's been awhile. In the bathroom there it was blood, then brown, then dark yellow, seems to be getting better. Within 30 minutes of getting home I had to go badly and it was pretty clear...we'll see if it stays that way.

Later, I think I may have realized what happened. After every long run there is ALWAYS salt on my face, there wasn't any salt that day. I've never done a long bike ride and a long run the next day. My guess is that the bike ride screwed up my sodium and potassium and I didn't take in enough to cover me for the run the next day. This could be the reason my body was dumping sweat so early, it didn't have a way to retain a lot of water. Or maybe I was getting hot while running since sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself, or I was dehydrated from the start of the run. Who knows…I should probably take some sort of biology class that deals with this stuff.

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