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On Running, Training

Thirsty or Dehydrated?

 On Memorial Day I was sitting by the pool. I had been in the sun most of the day and was mentally preparing for a 7-mile run. I was tired though, more tired than I should be; and hot.

I swam a few laps. I noticed my lips were dry and I didn’t drink the amount of water I usually do, but then again, I wasn’t too worried about it. I drink a lot of fluids as a matter of practice.

Around 4:30 in the afternoon I suddenly shut down. I was simply exhausted and I couldn’t move. I stumbled over to the pool to put my feet in the water. That helped someone and as I chatted with neighbors by body was telling me something was amiss.

I gathered up my family and went home. As I got into the car I started to feel extremely nauseous. My back started to ache terribly and I felt faint. We got home and I marched upstairs and into bed where I promptly fell asleep.

My husband, bless his heart, made dinner. I came down to eat it though I wasn’t very hungry. I was still nauseous and the back pain was getting worse. I ate a few bites and went back up to bed. As I lay there into the night I was cursing myself. All these symptoms are signs of dehydration, but how in the world did I get so dehydrated so fast that I was having this much of a reaction? I sipped some water and finally around 1 AM my nausea died down. I really wanted to throw up but I simply cannot make myself do that. Plus, I figured if I  was dehydrated, vomiting would only exacerbate the problem.

On Tuesday, as people were going back to work from the long holiday I was telling myself I needed to get to a hospital. Things were not right with me; my back pain was worse and while I wasn’t as nauseous anymore, I was so weak I could barely stand.

After dropping the kids off at school my husband drove me to the hospital. There I was given fluids but we did learn I had a mild kidney infection. Back pain is not a listed symptom of dehydration but muscle cramps, fatigue, and muscle weakness are; all of these I had. I was peeing frequently though so I do believe that while I may have been on my way to being a little dehydrated, the kidney infection was what did me in.

The moral of the story is, that any potential symptom of dehydration should be taken seriously for athletes and children alike. I was concerned when my son told me he’d only peed once. That to me says the kid is not drinking enough. For us athletes, it’s not even worth the risk. The damage to our kidneys could be devastating, and while we cannot overdrink for that’s potentially hazardous too, knowing our bodies is very important.

If you are ever wondering about dehydration symptoms I recommend the following link:



One thought on “Thirsty or Dehydrated?

  1. Consuming water at room temperature allows the body to hydrate itself more quickly than water consumed at any other temperature.

    Posted by Dehydration | July 15, 2010, 4:50 pm

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