Am in my 8th week of training for 2009 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon. I had horrible experience yesterday during my weekend long run. I suffered a blurred vision while running, something that I have never experienced in my 3 years of marathon running.
The distance for the long run was 28 Ks and the blurred vision struck at around 22 K. I couldnt see properly beyond 20 metres, reading road signs and billboard advertisement 20 – 30 metres away was a problem. The only thing that kept me going was that I could see colours of cars coming my direction.
I suspected something was wrong at 20K mark when I touched my face and it felt dry and full of white particles. That was a sign of dehydration! A normal runner should be sweating water.
When the blurred vision struck I thought of stopping but with 5K to go I just kept running. The angel in my head was telling me stop but the demon in my heart was telling me keep going, what the hell the finish line is near. My body was feeling good, the leg muscles were fine. I jogged to the end.
When I got back to the house I drunk fluids, water and orange juice. Licked salt pallets. These made me feel 10% better. I rested for two hours and woke up feeling a headache. I tried to eat and found myself eating uncontrollably. It was after stuffing myself with food that I started feeling good again.
Sarkozy wasn’t so lucky
When I sat down to watch the evening news I heard French president Nikolas Sarkozy had collapsed while out jogging. That is when I realised how lucky I was.
I have been checking for information about what happened and I can confirm the blurred vision was a case of dehydration. I had not hydrated properly before the run and the weather was sunny and hot.I was also wearing new Saucony running shoes and these gave me an incentive to run at a fast pace.
Dehydration increases the risk of heart attack because it increases heart rate. When you are dehydrated your blood thickens and the heart has to beat faster and harder to pump the blood. Blurred vision occurs when you reach heart beats of between 140 – 157 per minute.