You know – the whole “running” process has been enlightening in many ways. For those of you new around here, a year ago I couldn’t even run to the end of the block without wanting to die. And last weekend I completed a marathon. I only ran a little more than half of it – but I ran about 400 miles in the training process to get to that point. So, yay!
But – during the marathon? I learned something very very interesting. Something I hadn’t learned up until that point because I did most of my training in cold weather. The marathon was my first long run in severe heat. Which means it was the first time I spent 7 hours straight sweating. Let me tell you what happened…
At one point, maybe around the halfway point, I was wiping sweat off my face and my skin felt very grainy. Like I had walked through a dust storm of some sort. I just ignored it since I had bigger concerns, like the triple blisters on my feet. After my brother (a true athlete) joined up with me around mile 19, I wiped my face again and said to him, “My face feels like it’s covered with dirt. What’s up with that?”
And do you know what he told me? (And yes, you all probably already knew this and I’m going to feel really stupid.) It was SALT. Salt on my face. Evidently, there’s salt in sweat (which I knew that – duh) (or maybe not) so when you sweat a lot in the sun, the moisture evaporates leaving the salt behind on your body. I don’t know if I’ve ever had my face covered in salt before, but I did on Saturday. It was in my eyebrows, my hairline, and behind my ears. I was like a giant potato chip. It was incredibly disgusting.
Evidently, salt is really important when running long distances. I kinda knew that before the marathon, which is why I tried one of those Accelerade drinks at one of the aid stations. I described the taste of it later as “A mix between urine and dirty butthole.” It was the nastiest stuff I’ve ever tasted. But – I couldn’t stop drinking. My body wanted that shit (and I’m assuming the salt in it) in a DESPERATE way. I’ve never had my body make decisions for me before in such a demanding way. My mind was thinking, “Don’t drink it. It tastes like ASS.” But I kept grabbing it at every aid station. They even had a table part of the way in that had only salt packets. There were girls screaming, “SALT! SALT!” to the runners as they were running by. It was all quite a learning experience.
So – that’s your running lesson for the day. Salt is important. And it does not come out of your eyebrows easily. The End.