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How Attempting To Run a Marathon Last Night Almost Made Me Go To the Emergency Room

By November 17, 2010 17 Comments

Hey everyone, it is 1:08 AM as I write this.  I am just over 4 hours away from teaching bootcamp, and less than 12 hours away from leaving to go to Vegas for a fitness contest.  I did something tonight that I am both proud of, and ashamed of.  I will try to keep this brief since I want to get some sleep tonight, but have a feeling it might be a little long. 🙂

The past two days I have been carb depleting getting ready for my contest.  I am not going into the scientific rational behind this tonight, but after  two days of pretty much no carbs and lots of high intensity cardio and weight training (to burn off all the carbs), I will eat quite a few carbs the day before and day of the show.

This past week I have been very focused and working very hard to be ready for Vegas.  I have talked many times before about my love for motivational, educational, and inspirational audio programs.  I am always listening to them as I drive, do cardio, shop at the grocery store, make food, etc.  I have been listening to about a 10-12 hour course that a guy named Bob Proctor (many of you have heard of him) did.  It was called “The Science of Getting Rich.” The word rich is used universally for ultimate health, relationships, job satisfaction, finances, Spirituality, and so on.    Two days ago I was doing my 30 minutes of intervals on the stair climber soaking all the teachings in, and this had been going on for about 5 days, not the cardio, but the listening to this program, and I continued to gain a stronger level of focus, drive, intensity, and clarity.

One of the points he was talking about is watching our thoughts, and to make sure that our thoughts aren’t limiting, negative, or from the past.  I have shared my opinion many times on this blog about me not really liking cardio or believing it is effective for long term fat loss. (I still don’t think it is great for fat loss)  I have told myself “stories” in the past constantly that, my body wasn’t made for cardio, or my knee was too bad, or I will never do any significant cardio in my lifetime.

I wanted to put this to the test, and I began envisioning me being able to run and be able to travel a long distance.  If I were to be totally honest with you, and I try very hard to do so in this blog, I have NEVER ran more than 1 mile in my life (gym class).  So you could say I have had very limiting beliefs about my ability.

So two nights ago I really wanted to continue listening to this audio program, I still needed to get in a little more cardio this week, and I wanted to change my beliefs and put my actions where my mind is at.  So I did the most logical (actually stupid and ill rational), the next night I would run/walk a marathon on the treadmill at the gym after work.

So this is where the story becomes where I am proud and not so proud of.  Please, I am not advocating what I did, please don’t do what I did, it was stupid, not very safe, and just overall not the best idea.  But it was a pretty powerful experience.

Because of my pretty good understanding of all the energy systems and how each macronutrient plays a role in the body, I knew attempting to do a marathon on virtually no carbs for the past two days, and virtually no muscle or liver glycogen, since I had lifted early in the day hard and burned off much of the sugar, was dumb and not safe.  I knew this in my head, but I wanted to see how it would play out.  Oh and the fact I have never run more than a mile 🙂

My plan was to walk at 5 mph on a treadmill, which for most humans is a slow jog, but with my giraffe like legs is a very strong power walk for me.  I have had chronic knee issues that make running difficult.

After 5 minutes of walking I decided to bump it up to 6.5-7 mph and try a slow jog.  It actually felt pretty good on the knee and I continued this for sometime.  I would then go back to speed walking and so on.  After about 30 minutes I was a bit tired but feeling good.  So I decided to go back to that jog and see how long I could do it.  Now keep in mind I have NEVER run more than a mile and I have had very limiting beliefs in the past about being able to run.  I ended up running more or less for about 7.5 miles straight!  It was a pretty amazing feeling to break through and bust past doubt and unbelief.  Other barriers in my life began to fall too!

At about 9.5 miles I was getting a little tired but was envisioning going the whole 26.2 miles.  I was ahead of schedule, but in the back of my mind, I new that my body could start to shut down because all I was drinking was water, and electrolyte tabs. (thanks Sue!)

Then it hit me right before mile 11.  I started to get sick to my stomach and my energy instantly tanked.  Trying to fight it off for about 2 minutes proved to be no good, and I ran to the bathroom and started throwing up, pure water, since I had nothing in my stomach from the low calorie and no carb day (again very stupid and please don’t try).  After throwing up for awhile, I thanked my body for giving me 2 straight hours of about 80% running and 20% speed walking, and told my body I would listen to the warning signs and stop.

Unfortunately I started to get very tingly and cold, signs of ultra low glycogen in the body.  So I drank some gatorade which seemed to help and ate some cookies.  I was still sitting in my office at the gym, very sick and on the verge of throwing up again.  I began to shiver quite badly and took off my soaking wet shirt and ran my hands under water.  After 45 minutes of sitting more or less, I was good enough to go home.  I made it home and did another dumb thing, and try to eat my last beef jerky since it was no carbs.  (Dumb move about #5 of the evening).  I took a very hot shower, but soon the jerky wasn’t too happy and decided to come back up along with the cookies.

I felt better after that and ate some rice cakes (pure sugar) that I had bought for the day of my show.  That along with hot water calmed me down and I was able to lay down.

2 hours later I am up, a little cramped but feeling very good and couldn’t fall asleep, hence my middle of the night writing.

This is very long already, but I must say, I am not proud of the way I went about things, and didn’t do it in a safe way, despite knowing better.  But, I did get some breakthroughs in my life and destroyed some of my limiting thoughts towards exercise and other things.  I feel like I can accomplish anything I want to in life, with more certainty than ever before.

So how does this affect you?

I think one of the reasons I was called to be a fitness professional was to help people get breakthroughs in their life.  My good friend and top fitness expert Vince, who helps skinny guys get buff, told me, “I use exercise as a way to teach these guys life lessons that are going to make them better men, happier men, and more fulfilled men.”

I thought that was really neat.  Exercise is NOT a means to an end, but a means to a beginning.  A beginning that has unlimited potential, unlimited greatness, and unlimited successes.  If you are trying to drop two sizes for just the fact of dropping two sizes, I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be anymore happy when you reach that, unless that success is then applied to other areas of your life.

I received quite a few emails and comments from my last post talking about why I do fitness modeling.  I know the stereotype out there is a bunch of self conceited, arrogant, young hot bodies strutting their stuff for the world to see, thinking they are God’s gift to men and women.  While there can be found truth in any stereotype, that is not the case for me or many of my other friends who do it.  Click here to read why I do it.

I know you are reading this and there are self defeating stories you have told yourself regarding exercise, motivation, eating healthy, and so on.  My challenge to you is to reexamine those negative stories and go after something you never thought you could do.  Maybe that is doing a pull up, doing 50 pushups, abstaining from alcohol for 3 months, climbing a mountain, loving a coworker, having more patience with your kids, or a million other things.  But seeing success in one area, will produce greater results in other areas.

One last thing before I go to bed.  If you have been reading this website for any amount of time, you are qualified to help your friends, coworkers, and those you meet get in shape.  Send them here and get them signed up for the newsletter.  You don’t need to know everything, and you don’t need to prescribe everything in exact detail, but you have the POWER to change those around you for the better and empower them towards greatness.  That is really my message and what I am all about.

I hope this helped you.  Good night.


PS Here are a couple programs that I have which have helped many 1000’s of people create breakthroughs, both with their bodies and minds.

#1  Fit Fun Bootcamps.  I have a special 21 Day Drop a Size During the Holidays promotion going on which will start Nov 29th.  Click here for all the details.

#2 Fit Moms For Life DVDs.  Do you need some direction on what exercises to do, and foods to eat?  Grab a friend and start the Fit Moms For Life DVDs.  Click here to start your free trial to see if this is the right program for you. Or if you had suspended your membership and want to pick up where you left off, email and my support team will reactivate your account.