POWER TO THE PACKET…
The other day I walked into a nearby McDonald’s.
Now in days past, I would have sashayed right up to the counter for a Chicken McNuggets super value meal complete with large fries, diet coke and an extra burger for good measure.
But these are no longer those days.
With the exception of a once a season Shamrock Shake (yum), I tend not to visit McD’s lest I have absolutely no alternative. Sorry Ronald, but please tell Grimace and the Fry Guys I said “hi.”
So, if not to stuff my face with the grub that made Morgan Spurlock a household name (still remember him), then why in the name of Mayor McCheese was I limboing under the Golden Arches.
To pilfer salt packets.
Don’t worry; it’s a victimless crime.
Now that the mornings are getting warmer in SoCal and my long runs are going to remain quite lengthy (as I prep for the OC Marathon and San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon), I need to make certain I’ve always got salt on hand… or should I say “in belt.”
For those of you who’ve been near me when I run, you know that I tend to sweat a bit. Okay, quite a lot really. Fine, a stupid amount.
When I run, I look like a performance artist who excels in the medium of perspiration.
And since I sweat a lot, it also means I drink a lot when I run to keep from dehydrating. But since sweat is more than just water, you need to make sure you don’t inadvertently create a sodium imbalance and dilute the salt in your blood too much, a potentially dangerous condition known as hyponatremia. Drinking Gatorade or some other kind of sports drink can help, but may not be enough. So you just might need to augment your sodium level.
Enter the salt packet.
On really hot days about every 6-7 miles, I pull out a salt packet and empty that bad boy into my mouth.* I remember on two occasions (once during a long run and once during a half marathon) where I was feeling sluggish and out of it, but shortly after “packeting” it, I felt “right as rain”… or should I say a salty rain.
And I get the added bonus of seeing someone shoot me a look of disbelief as I pour an entire packet of salt of my tongue and swallow it with a big ole grin on my face. Not for the faint of heart.
So, I must give a shout out to Mc’Ds (and a few other fast food joints) for unknowingly providing me with a conveniently salty way to keep myself from getting overhydrated during long runs in hot weather.
Maybe next time I’ll carry along some BBQ sauce or honey mustard for good measure.
Nah. Some things are better left to nuggets.
NOTE: Please remember that anything I say on here is my opinion and shouldn’t be construed as medical advice. Like the title song in Diff’rent Strokes said, “What might be right for you, may not be right for some.” So, talk to your doctor, running coach or just use common sense… and never ever try something new on race day.
Posted on March 24, 2014, in General, Injuries, Training and tagged Grimace, Hyponatremia, OC Marathon, salt packets, San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
I just fill one of my race bottles with Morton’s instead of water. Ok, fine, I’m kidding. In “n’ Out is generous with their salt also.
Gravy works too. My default place to pick up salt is The Habit, which is just up the street (and they’ve got good burgers too). But it’s hard to go into In ‘n’ Out without ordering food… good stuff.
Don’t lie, Scott. You KNOW you get a Diet Coke when you go in…so you’ve ‘bought’ the salt. 😉
Often I do… but the last time I did the “five finger” salt discount.
You are a rock star!!! How do you manage to swallow a full packet of salt..?..
It’s actually not that hard for me. Just pour it on my tongue and down it goes. A quick little grimace and I’m good to go.