On Bonking

This past Saturday was the 9th Annual Seymour Super Fun Run.  Although I signed up for the 27K, I had no intention of running that far.  Saturday was supposed to be the day I cleaned the gutters, raked the leaves and completed other yard work. Have to be responsible, after all.

No worries, I'd run the new 12K route and get home in plenty of time.  Was going to go bareback (e.g. no food, water, etc) but made the mistake of grabbing a hand-held water-bottle before I left the house.

Dang... left the route directions in the printer. No worries, I'll follow someone.

It's a mob scene at the start.  What possesses sane people to run on icy trails on dark, cold days?  Most of the runners in attendance are going for the long course.  Because I have a water bottle and no directions for the short course, I get sucked in.  Mike, the Event Host, dumps some Halloween candy on a table.  I score a small caramilk bar.  Food?  Check.  Water?  Check.  Good to go.  

So Bill and I get back to the coffee shop in a run time of about 3:40.   I still had 1/2 bottle of water and my caramilk bar and was not looking forward to running much farther.  We were all ready to order up a steaming cup of coffee and some sticky buns when several folks asked if we'd seen Dario. 

"Dario's a fast guy.  Probably finished and ran back to New West by now," I figured.  Apparently not, as with 5K to go, he left the company of the fast boys and opted to drag his sorry ass to the finish at a less aggressive pace.  That was hours ago.

Next thing all of the nurses in the place freak out.  There's Dario, looking like he just chugged a bottle of cheap vodka, being walked across the parking lot by a couple of other runners.  Nurses run to save him.  He's now the center of attention at the crowded coffee shop.  Everybody jumping up to buy him coffee and soup.

Conroy and I laugh.  Just a bonk.  Not a cruel laugh, an understanding one.  "Were you there at the Burnaby Mountain Run the day I ended up passing out in a prickly holly bush for an hour after I bonked?" Conroy asked.  I missed that, but believe me, I've hit the wall rather hard myself.  I noticed that I still had the caramilk bar, so dipped it into my coffee.

For those who have not experienced a bonk, it's what happens when you run out of gas in a run. 

Call me cold-hearted, but I believe its a rite of passage for a serious runner.  True, a bonk is not pleasant.  True, a bonk can have serious consequences. I'm not suggesting anyone should try to bonk.  I am saying that to have survived a bonk is good for a runner as it makes them aware they are not super-human.   It makes them a little more sensitive to the fact that they need to prepare for contingencies when out for a long or hard run.

'Hope you are feeling better, Dario!  I've got some stale powerbars I can spot you.  They don't take up much space and you never know when one might come in handy.  Might want to bring along a cell phone, too. 

Anyone have a good bonking story to share? 


Sibylle's picture

The nurses concern was

The nurses concern was hypothermia, not the bonking!  We'll ok, Dario weaving throught the parking lot was not a pretty sight and we didn't want him to hit the pavement because he bonked...

Yep, we all have bonked and learned...So, as a motherly reminder (and I am going to get flag for this), bring your water/electrolyte, food, your phone, a map and the course description.  We don't have flagging or sweeps out there - and while we try to match runners up, you are ultimately responsible for your own well being.  And if you running with somebody and start feeling under the weather, don't just slink into the bushes for a nap ;-)

Ryan Conroy's picture

What do you mean 'not the bonking'?

He bonked like a foam bat on a whack-a-mole!

Ryan Conroy's picture

I wonder who makes the rules around here?

You are going to get flagged but we have no flagging!

Ean Jackson's picture

Hear that


Ryan Conroy's picture

Feels so shitty at the time, but so great to make fun of after!

HAHA!  And now that Dario's (hopefully) still alive, its time for the sympathy to end and taunting and fun-poking to begin!

Sibylle's picture

 Checked in with Dario

 Checked in with Dario Saturday eve and he made it home ok and was feeling better.

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