Skip navigation

Ammonia Smelling Sweat

Posted by Steve Carton Jun 26, 2008

Sometimes when I run a long training run (upwards of 12 miles or

so) at the end, I feel like I can "taste" or "smell" ammonia. I've

always assumed that this is caused by my body depleting all my glycogen

stores and going into ketosis. I've never tested my pee with a

keto-stick, though I do have some, left over from an Atkins stint

several years ago.


Last week I ran a 16 miler in San Francisco San Francisco Long Run (Wow)

and then wrapped my clothes up in a hotel plastic bag and packed them

for the trip home. The next morning, back at home (Annapolis), when I

opened the bag, the running clothes reeked of ammonia. First time I've

ever noticed that. I didn't eat anything prior to that run and had two

gels during it (breakfast of champions). So the question is, am I going

into ketosis? And, more importantly, is that a bad thing. I think

I am and that it's bad because it indicates consumption of muscle

tissue to supply energy. But I'm no physiologist or nutritionist. So I

may be dead wrong.



1,385 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: training, marathon_training, ketosis, ammonia_smell

I was lucky enough to be in San Fancisco last week and since I usually do my long run late in the week, I decided to try and run it on Friday morning there. It was a fantastic run, though I had touble -- I was way too tired and dehydrated and ended up walking a bunch. But the run was well worth it for the scenery and the thrill.


I was staying at a hotel on 3rd and Market, so I chose a route down to the Embarcadero, then north past Crissy field and over the Golden Gate Bridge, and then back again.   Seemed to be about 16 miles. 


I got started around 7:30 am -- a little later than I had planned, but still early enough. It was warm in SF and I wnated to be done before it got too warm. I carried a water bottle, though the runners at Fleet Feet in SF had told me there was a lot of available water along the way.


San Francisco is a fantastic place to run and I tried to take some pictures with my cell phone along the way. They are crappy, but better than nothing? Maybe not.  Anyway, I hit the Embarcadero at the Ferry Building. There was this neat park/sculpture/waterfall:














I could see the Coit tower on my left as I ran along the waterfront. Alcatraz Island was popping in and out of view as I ran past buildings:









There were sooo many other runners out, I felt like I was at home, running with my fellow addict. As I passed Fishermans Warf, there were the very cute small fishing boats and all the neat local seafood restarants:










Then along past the aquatic center and up the hill to Fort Monroe. Then down the back-side of the fort park with a beatiful view of the water and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance:










Then past the "Gas-House" cove and on to the  Yacht Club area. First water stop and bathroom break at about 4.5 miles. The on through Crissy field and up to the "Warming Hut" which is at the foot of the bridge. I took the steps up to the bridge...








And I walked those -- just too steep for this turtle. But then I was on the bridge and headed across:








The views were just plain fantastic. The Bridge was awe-inspiring.








I ran over to "Vista Point Park". Refilled the water bottle again. I waited there for about 20 minutes before starting back. For some reason my nose started bleeding and it took that long before it stopped. I didn't want to get underway again until I was sure it wasn't bleeding.




On the way back, I got a great view (and a lousy picture) of the workers painting the bridge cables:








Coming back, I got dehydrated and hot -- had to walk a bunch. Or, perhaps I pushed too fast for the first half. Or maybe the travel had exhausted me. Anyway, I was beat. But I will do that run again next time I'm in San Francisco.



708 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, long_runs

Lately, I've been having trouble running throughout my longer runs. At this point in my training, these are not the loooong runs of late marathon training, but shorter 10-12 milers. I've noticed lately that it's harder for me to keep running through these runs. I seem to feel really tired and need to walk. And I've been wondering if this exhaustion is physical or mental. It sure feels physical, but I know my mind can fool my body when it really wants to


I noticed this trend starting with the Frederick Marathon in May. After the initial big hill at Mile 15-16, I just had to walk. Now, later in that run, I did get severe cramping in my legs, so it wasn't all in my head. But after taking some salt and drinking a lot, the cramps went away. But I was still running with a walk break (and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, either) until mile 26.  But with all the walking and cramping, we (my RB and I) were pushing close to a 5-hour marathon and we really didn't want to go over that. So we kicked it for the last .2 and finished just under 5. And, I can say for sure, for that last .2, I was really running -- faster than at any other time in the marathon. I was motivated. 




So, if I was so motivated at the end, and if I had the juice to run fast after 26 slogging miles, how come I needed to walk earlier? And now I'm noticing this trend in the shorter long runs. This past Saturday I ran an 11 mile training run. It was humid (though not too hot). And I was very tired (I don't do early morning well). But there was plenty of water and gatorade at 2-mile stops, and I drank enough to feel bloated at every stop, so I know I wasn't too badly dehydrated. But still around mile 8, I started feeling exhausted. Wondering if it was physical or mental, I worked hard to just keep going. I slowed down a little and was able to finish though it felt very hard. I was not hurting from any injury or anything like that.




So I'm still wondering. Am I getting bored with this? Is it just too much running (for me) and I'm getting burned out? Or, am I not getting enough fluids, enough rest? Am I suffering from spring-allergies (which I do suffer from) and that gets in the way of breathing?



Who knows! I'll just keep slogging on...



620 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training

Yikes It's Hot Out There

Posted by Steve Carton Jun 10, 2008


Yeah, the heat is on!



Last night (Monday) was supposed to be intervals night. It was 98 in DC at 5pm and it was humid too. Oh yeah -- and it was a code-red air day for ground-level ozone. But being seriously foolhardy, we decided to venture out anyway. The idea was to do a 1.5 mile warmup (hah), followed by 4x800s and then a 1.5 mile cooldown. Just as we were getting ready to start out, my RB's wife called to remind him how hot it was out there. But we were determined.  I was hand-carrying a quart-sized bottle of Gatorade G2 diluted. my plan was to leave that at the point where would start our repeats.



Well, we got out there and we were more than a little warmed up. My lungs felt slightly irritated (kind of like I was breathing cayan pepper). We turned to eah other and decided we really should not do the intervals. So we headed back to the barn.



Hot again today too. But tonight we're supposed to get a "cold" front through and tomorrow and Thursday will be cooler (mid-80s) with lower humidity. That will make for a better long run I suppose.



But DC summer has arrived!



688 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, heat, humidity