I survived the weekend… but barely. Apparently there is such a thing as drinking too much water. And I experienced just what that is like on Saturday after the race. See, it was super humid, and although it was overcast for the race, as soon as it was over the sun was shining something fierce. Plus, it was probably 85 degrees by 9 a.m. I think I would have been fine after the race if I just had some water, a banana, and was able to head home for a cold shower, some Gatorade, and some food. But, we lost one of our friends… and we had her money, ID, phone and metrocard. So, I spent an extra hour and a half in the sun that I was not expecting. All told, between 6:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., I consumed about 120 ounces of water. (120 ounces = just shy of a gallon.) And I sweat quite profusely in the climate controlled gym… you can only imagine what it was like in 85% humidity, 85 degree weather. I was literally covered in salt.
Sweating profusely + overconsumption of water = NOT FUN.
Upon doing some scientific research (i.e., Google), we discovered that I probably had some mild water poisoning. (We being Adam, as I was practically passed out on his bed.) It sounds crazy to think someone can drink too much water, but if you sweat a lot (and I did, believe me), you lose a lot of salt, which can mess up the sodium levels in your blood… and adding water, but not electrolytes or even just plain old salt, actually makes it worse not better, because even though you are rehydrated, your sodium levels get even more out of whack. My symptoms were headache (throbbing every time I moved, only exacerbated by drinking water), nausea, and light-headedness. Once I got some Gatorade in me (which was kind of hard at first, because the drinking initially made my head pound), ate a couple pretzels and had some cheese, I felt much better. It was still kind of scary though, because I had never felt like that before. I’ve been overheated and been sick from the heat before, but this was definitely different… especially since it hit full on a few hours after the race actually finished (and I was actually in air conditioning), but before I ate or drank anything other than water.
So yeah, lesson learned. Be more prepared, drink more wisely, and water isn’t always the answer to dehydration.