Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The importance of hydration

Be smart. Drink water.
I've never been good at drinking water in the winter. I am constantly cold and drinking water doesn't help that... unless it is hot and comes with a tea bag. Since I've had to stop drinking my 10 thousand glasses of milk a day I've been drinking water with lunch and dinner.

But it's not enough.

Runners need to drink water. Breastfeeding moms need to drink water. Running breastfeeding moms need to drink LOTS of water. Do not underestimate how much you will need. Don't make the same mistake I did.

I wasn't going to post about this but I figured hey, when do I ever hold back?

A few months ago I ran intervals and when I went to the bathroom immediately after there was blood in my urine. I instantly thought, crap, I'm getting my first postpartum period. But it didn't happen again and I didn't think of it again. The last couple of weeks it's happened a few times--always after a hard intervals run or a much longer run than I usually do--and I realized that it's not like menstruation, there's blood IN the urine. I come from a family of kidney stone sufferers so this wasn't exactly what I wanted to see. In the past it would happen and that would be it. But this last time I had lower back pain too. Uh-oh. Long story short I had a UTI. And running with a UTI is NO fun. I caught it before it got too bad so I never got a fever or really bad pain. The back pain was actually the worst problem. I've been on antibiotics for almost a week now and should be all cleared up. When I peed after running my intervals today there was no blood but it was a bit darker than usual. This can happen from an empty bladder slapping against um, other organs I guess, while running. "They" recommend not emptying your bladder before a run. Which is the exact opposite of what a mama of 4 does... I'm not sure if that's it or if it's just plain ol' dehydration. I did pretty good drinking tons of water when I first had pain last week but the past couple of days I've been pretty busy and haven't been that good.

I'm back to drinking at least 1 liter of SmartWater (it has electrolytes in it) a day in addition to my lunch, dinner, and snack water (from our filtered water). I usually buy a 6-pack of SmartWater from Target but I might have to buy a whole case... I think I like the electrolytes... I can drink a lot more SmartWater than I can regular water. I'm going to be running a lot more over the summer and next fall when I start training for my first half-marathon. I can't be worrying about UTIs and bloody pee.

So, please, breastfeeding running moms, don't make the mistake of forgetting about yourself. Drink your water!

*No, SmartWater did not pay me to write this. But I would love some free water if they felt like sending me some. :-)

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