A Scary Run

First off–welcome to those of you who clicked over today from SkinnyRunner. I am not as skinny or as fast as her, but I am also blond and like to run, so there’s that. And I also like compression socks. I didn’t believe in them until last summer when my shins started getting a little splint-y, but now I’m a convert.

So about that scary run. I had big plans of running up to the park this morning and knocking out my five miles of hills before work, but I stayed up late reading Gone Girl (SO GOOD), and it just didn’t happen. Although I’ve mostly converted to a morning runner, it seems I can only manage that two out of the three weekday running days on my schedule. I guess two out of three ain’t bad though.

I left work tonight happy to go tackle my five miles o’hills.

From my training plan

Got it.

While the Chelsea/Flatiron area where I live is awesome for most things, running hills is not one of them, so I headed up to the park. I work off of Fifth Ave, but I knew better than to run up that at 7pm, so I ran up Madison and caught this lovely view.


Oh hello Chrysler Building.

I was having a great run until I got to the park. I felt good and I was actually having fun dodging people left and right. Sometimes running on NYC streets feels like running in a video game, and I was winning.

I started running up that little path that takes you from the southwest corner of the park onto the main loop, and that was when I started feeling crappy. I felt incredibly lightheaded all of a sudden. I told myself to run up until that road hit the main loop. I ran to there and stopped for a minute. I didn’t feel much better but continued on the main path. I probably stopped again once or twice running on the loop and even stopped to walk for a bit.

I didn’t have a full route mapped out when I left, but my loose plan was to cross at one of the transverses and take a smaller loop until I hit 5 miles total. The second I hit 72nd Street, I knew I couldn’t make it much further and turned that way. Halfway across the transverse, I felt AWFUL and stopped to sit down for a minute. I sat and not only did I feel lightheaded, but my legs started shaking–it was really scary. I knew at this point I wasn’t going to make it the 5 miles. I decided to run just to Central Park West so that I could just get out of the park and to a subway quickly. I stopped at CPW and started looking for a Duane Reade to grab a Gatorade. I didn’t find one (?) and grabbed a Vitamin Water from a Subway and sat down for a second. I was still really shaky, but the quick hit of sugar seemed to help a bit.

Well, that sucked. Although you’re not really supposed to “make up” the miles you miss in training, I ended up only 2 miles short today, so I’ll likely just add another mile to another run or two coming up.

Have you ever had an awful, awful run like that? Tell me about your worst run ever.

28 comments on “A Scary Run

  1. Trish

    last week in the park in the morning tha happened to me – i planned to run 4 miles and i hit mile 3 and thought i was going to pass out i sat on a bench and gathered myself and did a slooooowwww jog back up the mile to my apt on the uws. i don’t think i had enough water that morning and it was hot out and i was running faster than usual. You probably didn’t have enough water or proper energy in your system! I agree it’s scarey when that happens AND alone!

  2. Caitlin

    Glad you are okay! That is scary!
    Worst run ever – good question. There’s been some bad ones. One that comes to mind first is a 16 miler last fall during marathon training that was just THE WORST! SO hot, every step took all the effort I could give, it just never felt good. Those runs suck.

  3. Ashley

    I have had the same lightheaded/legs shaking experience. It happens to me sometimes when I run after work if I do not have enough to eat between lunch and before the run. Maybe you needed more to eat/more fuel before this run?

  4. Alison @ The Peacock Diaries

    Yes, I have so been there! Definitely a low blood sugar thing…I find if my late afternoon snack that has too many carbs/too much sugar I can get really messed up during my evening workout. I do best when keep my food as consistent as possible. It gets boring, but if I eat the same things at the same time of day I seem to have more energy for my workouts.

    Sorry you had a scary run, but I’m sure your next run will be better!

  5. Lish

    I had a really awful run a week and a half ago- also in central park (I live really close, so do the majority of my running there). It was so humid and I really felt like I was going to die. My boyfriend also had a really similarly bad run tonight in the park- maybe you guys passed each other 😉

  6. Valerie

    A similar thing happened to me a couple weeks ago. I was chugging along and mid-stride saw the ground waver beneath me. I stopped to walk but couldn’t seem to go in a straight line. I stopped to take a few breaths, walked for a block and felt better but it was still really unsettling. Take care of you, girl!

  7. Marisa

    Teo! I hope you are feeling better now! Your hard work and dedication amazes me! Xoxo

    Glad to see that you like Gone Girl. I just got it to read the other day ;). Haven’t started yet though.

  8. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content

    That sounds nasty! Glad you’re okay. I’ve not had any scary runs like that, I’m quite cautious as regards health and running.

    I DO like the coaching advice about how to run hills…I’ve never ‘sprung’ up a hill. I’m going to try it tomorrow!

  9. Emily @ www.main-eats.com

    YIKES! Hope you are ok! Glad you were able to stop and get some sugar in.
    I’ve never had a run like that but I’ve felt nauseous/shaky before.
    I can’t run too far, so luckily I’ve never been far from home…I guess that’s a good thing : )

  10. Corrie Anne

    Dang.. hate it when that happens. It’s happened to me occasionally because I’m a bad hydrater. Better luck with your next hill run! And stay safe!!!

  11. Liza

    Running with frequent stops may cause orthostatic hypotension. When you stop all of a sudden, blood gets “pooled” in legs and return to the heart is diminished. May be your “video game” style running provoked it a little bit. Of course, dehydration and not enough fuel can cause similar sensations. Certain medications cause dizziness while running. Not to scare you, but some heart conditions, anemia and few other health concerns may be responsible for dizzy spells while exercising. I recall your unfortunate half-marathon experience when you had double vision, perhaps dizzy, too? May be a visit to your doctor is in order? Hopefully, no more “bad runs” for you!

  12. Liz @ An Interesting Year

    I had a similar problem a few weeks ago during my “easy” Thursday 4-miler — it was one of the CRAZY hot days, but I hate the treadmill, so I figured I’d do two miles outside and then hop on a treadmill for the other 2. By the time I got to the gym, I was kind of dizzy and shaky, and I felt like I was so hot my skin was burning. After a mile on the treadmill, I gave up because I felt so weak and knew I was in desperate need of water. Summer running can be scary! Glad to hear you are ok 🙂

  13. Meghan

    I had a run like this a few weeks ago. My stomach was growling a little before I headed out, but I thought I could get through 5 miles and be fine. So, so wrong. I ended up slouched against a building chugging chocolate milk, hands shaking, vision spotty. To me there’s nothing worse than that “about to pass out” feeling in public. I’ve been nervous about runs ever since.

  14. Katie D.

    That happened to me once at my in-laws. It was hot, hilly and later than I normally run (10:00 am). I felt pretty crummy and cut it short. While in the shower, I got so dizzy and literally crawled out (sopping wet and naked) to the bedroom to lay down. It was scary and I felt prety bad the rest of the day.

  15. Kate

    Ugh I’ve been there, and it is so scary. I was running once and felt this tightness in my chest, so I stopped, and it only got worse until the point where I was taking such shallow breaths that I was seeing stars. Luckily, I’m usually running in a crowded area, but still that feeling right where you black out is terrifying. Maybe drink more water? Still, sometimes these things just happen. Do you have a RunID just in case? Mine usually makes me feel a little bit better about being out there alone.

  16. sofia

    ugh that’s scary! That happened to me once on vacation. During my run I got lightheaded, then my vision went dark, it got hard to breathe and my ears blocked up (??!) all at once. I stopped right away and did what you did. For me, I’m sure it was a combination of drinks the night before, coffee, and humidity. I usually don’t drink Gatorade, but I’ll have 1/2 a bottle now before and after long runs or when the weather calls for it. I could just quit the alcohol and coffee, but where’s the fun in that!

  17. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run

    Wow. That is scary. I am so glad you were smart about it and didn’t try to push through. As an athlete (yes, you are), you have to know when to listen to your body and not push the envelope. I hope you are feeling better today?

  18. Kimberly @ Healthy Strides

    My runs have been mostly crap lately. Well, the long ones. The heat is messing with me and my marathon training. I keep feeling nauseous after about 6 miles. I was supposed to do 14 miles Sunday night. I felt defeated before I left the door, hot after a quarter-mile and ready to quit at 2. I almost got sick at 5, which is where I started crying. super awesome. I ended up with 9 miles (after deciding marathons are dumb) but it was a struggle all the way.

  19. fionarwbl

    I’ve had the horrible pass out feeling once or twice during a run, and plenty of times afterwards. During Nashville I could feel the start of heat exhaustion – shivering, no sweat, dizziness – but couldnt see a volunteer so walked a lot.

  20. Janae@hungryrunnergirl

    Dang girl that is REALLY scary. Glad everything was okay and good call on the vitamin water. The scariest time for me was after my first marathon and I collapsed. I was so beyond exhausted and started getting really dizzy. I sure hope that never happens again!

  21. Ksenija

    Unbelievable that you can run on packed sidewalks. I hate bumping into people and especially when I am running I need totally my own space (like a 10 feet radius or so 😀 ). But probably a good training for mingling around in a race – at the starting point its always so packed I could just hustle people to get some space 😉

  22. Laura @ sweatingforit

    Wow. That is scary. Sounds like it was probably a sugar thing, especially since the vitamin water helped. Maybe heat exhaustion?

    My worst run was about two months ago. I got hit by a car while I was running near my house and ended up in the ER. Thankfully I didn’t break anything, but it was scary and definitely made me take a few rest days.


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