Full disclosure… I just had a scary moment after a run. Emmy and I went out for a trail run yesterday and while it was a great time and not overly painful, we weren’t able to get home right away after we finished so we could break our fast. Because of an issue that had to be cleared up (car troubles) we ended up not being able to eat until three hours after we ran. In my condition I should have listened to my body and broken my fast with whatever was available… but my ‘fasting ego’ got in the way. I thought I could just push through until I got home. Big mistake…
I had sweat out a ton of salt during the run and was dehydrated. I was hydrating like a champ while we were out but started to feel woozy and nauseous. What I hadn’t realized until it was too late was that I had taken the jar of pink himalayan salt that I normally keep in my car (just in case), out of my car. All this lined up to create a perfect storm of dizziness, confusion, fatigue, and lastly, severe nausea. As soon as we got home I told Emmy I didn’t feel well and really wanted to break my fast. She agreed that I looked terrible (thanks, love….) I started to eat a little bit but felt worse. I was in trouble. Thankfully, Emmy recognized that my salt levels were probably low and ran to get me a handful of salt. I gladly took it and a few minutes later I took another. After about 20-30 minutes I started to feel better and I have learned a very valuable lesson. The is lesson is beware of Hyponatremia:
I’ve exercised for longer periods of time in a fasted state before and have been perfectly fine. I worked out harder in worse temperatures and conditions and have also felt great. It was this perfect storm of events that kept me from being able to refeed/feast immediately after my workout and get my electrolyte/salt levels back up to normal is what caused the scare.
I’m a seasoned athlete and even I forget about the basics of proper training safety. If you are planning to exercise, make sure your post workout routine of recovery is set BEFORE you set out on your exercise plan. While we will always have days when something throws a monkey wrench into our plans, having a little extra cash on hand to buy a gatorade (in a pinch) or other recovery food, can go a long way to preventing serious health consequences. Since I have been fasting for the past few months and feel fine exercising in a fasted state, I was blind to the necessity of needing to refuel earlier than I ‘wanted to’. I cannot stress enough the importance of putting your daily fasting ego aside when your body sends you a massive hint (like dizziness, nausea, et al).
From now on, I promise to listen to my body when it is telling me,
“Stop your fast and eat, dummy!”