In search of the ‘lost’ runner

Oh crap! Where’s Vanessa?

Have you seen this runner?

About 11 km into yesterday’s run, my brain set off into panic mode. I’d seen Vanessa at the start of the run, I had even said hi to her as she exited her car, but at 11 km, she was was nowhere to be found. My head was spinning. Did we forget her at the washroom stop? Did she get lost in the seemingly never-ending cornfields? Did she turn around? Did she collapse from kilometre overload at such an early hour? Where was she?

Hey! Where's Vanessa?
Have you guys seen her?

Turns out, there was no need to panic. Vanessa was safe and sound with the speedy group up ahead (far ahead!) and my brain, mushy brain, I like to call it, was just a little shaken up, so much so that I had completely forgotten.

And so, I was wondering last night if there’s such a thing as shaken adult syndrome, kind of like shaken baby syndrome, but for adults. If so, I’m betting runners top the list for those diagnosed. I mean seriously, four hours of bouncing your head up and down has got to have some kind of impact don’t you think?

Take yesterday’s run for instance. The missing Vanessa incident wasn’t the only strange occurrence. I also couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the chocolate brown horse we ran by had a mohawk, when in fact, upon further review, it was just the regular horse mane. And I thought for sure I’d seen a dead cow in one of the fields, but she was just sleeping. And I had no idea what the heck my dear running partner was talking about when she kept pointing out so-called steel markers on the side of the road (I didn’t see them) to “remind us that we were still in Canada.” Obviously we’re in Canada, I thought. It didn’t dawn on me, not for second, that we were like a foot step over from the border. Not even the fact that we were running on Boundary Road clued me in. Lucky for me, I didn’t require the use of those cornfields right next to us – on the American side!


  • 7 a.m. BG before: 9.1
  • Temp basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 32 km (LONGEST RUN EVER!)
  • Time: 3:50 (LSD)
  • Average pace: 7:11 min/km
  • Average heart rate: 154 bpm
  • Fuel: @45 minutes: Gu chocolate gel (BG: 5.6) @90 minutes Gu espresso gel (BG 7.1) @2:15: 2 bites pancake (BG 8.6) @3:00: 1 bite pancake.
  • 11:30 a.m. BG after: 11.0

As much as I would love to tell you I rocked that run, I cannot lie. There were several times, mostly in the last 10 km, where I wanted to stop dead, where my brain was trying to make deals with my legs: “If you stop now, you won’t hurt later,” she said. “If you stop now, we’ll reward you with some ice cream,” she enticed. “If you stop now, we won’t ever make you do this again,” she pleaded. But the thing is, it wasn’t my legs failing me, not by a long shot, and it wasn’t really even my brain failing me, it was my belly. Oh lordy!

My belly issues started the night before when I started over-thinking the 32 km, and by over-thinking, I mean full-fledged totally freaking out! Not exactly a good scene the night before my longest ever run. I spent the entire night, before the blast of the 5:15 a.m. alarm, tossing and turning, imagining aches and pains all through my legs and hips and knees and ankles and feet that weren’t actually there; it was more like the runner’s version of Braxton Hicks. And yet, they still had an effect on my head – and my belly.

My stomach was tossing even before the run started. I tried to eat a small bite of my miracle pancakes, which has worked in the past to ease nausea, but not so much this time. And the gels at 45 and 90 minutes felt way thicker and goopier than normal, like I was swallowing rubber cement. The second gel, I actually gagged a bit. No amount of water would un-clump it in my belly – it sat like a freaking sack of puke-inducing bricks. And the last 10 km of the run, it took everything I had not to projectile all over those American cornfields!

It wasn’t until I skeptically indulged in a post-run plate of Tony’s Diner greasy fries (which I’m usually not a fan of; I much prefer salty tortilla chips) and a grilled cheese sandwich, which is my all-time favourite sandwich of choice, that the queasiness finally started to quell. Go figure, grease is the post-run nausea cure – who knew?

A little post-run wine at my parent’s impromptu end-of-summer barbecue helped too 😀

How do you overcome nerves before a run?

6 thoughts on “In search of the ‘lost’ runner”

  1. Sounds like a good run to me, despite the Shaken Adult Syndrome!

    P.S. I think it would have been hilarious if you would have come to America to use the….er, cornfields! =)

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  3. hahaha LOVE it!!! tooooo funny. and I think you might be on to something by zoning out the first 11 or so km (I always find those the worst!)- its like your body’s own natural defense system kicking in and protecting you from feeling it!
    Great blog! And if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t realize we were running right next to the American border line either until I just read your blog haha!

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