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I am no hare. Rather, I have always identified with Aesop’s tortoise. I may not be the quickest runner on the track, but I am steady, and I won’t give up.

I have named various parts of the course I like to run. The first mile is the warm-up, a steady incline where I battle negativity and tiny rocks that stick to my muddy shoes. The next portion is the long, intermediate hill with the Pilgrim-shaped road sign at the top. After that comes a stretch of hills I call, “The Roller Coaster.” The roller coaster leads to a long, tree-lined incline. From this portion, you can take one of many side roads.

Tuesday, I opted for the steep hill past the compost heap. This hill leads to a flat stretch with a T-intersection, where I turn around to go home. I had gotten to the top of the hill past the compost heap, when I saw a runner coming from the left along the T-intersection. This gave me a perfect perspective for evaluating his running. He was a little bouncy at times, but not too bad. His arms seemed to be moving fine (no outrageous arm flailing), and he was fast.

He turned down the road towards me. We passed and exchanged “Guten morgens.” I reached the T-intersection then turned around to go home. Now, the runner’s white-capped head was bobbing away from me. A funny vision came to my mind: I saw myself passing him.

I’m not sure if it was the advice from The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, which says to pick a person in the marathon, and “tag along” behind, or if my competitive spirit was being awakened after years of slumber; but I decided even if I couldn’t actually pass the guy, I had to keep his head within view. To lose sight of his head was to lose the race.

The pace was a little quicker than I’m used to, but it wasn’t killing me. He ran past the compost heap, and then disappeared when he turned the bend onto the tree lined road.

Drat! Lost him!

I let gravity help me down the hill, and when I turned the bend, I saw him. He was near the cut-off to the roller coaster. Then something amazing happened: he slowed down and began to walk.

I couldn’t believe it. I kept wondering what was going through his mind. Had he only been sprinting while in my view? Had he expended too much effort? Or had he simply given up?

Don’t get me wrong, it is better to sprint and walk than to sit at home eating schnitzel. But I have a marathon oriented mind now. Why was he walking?

I had the urge to yell, “Keep going! You can do it!” but I didn’t know the words in German. And honestly, I don’t know if I have the gumption to do that on a training run.

I knew I would pass him when he started up the first hill of the roller coaster. He was still walking.

I plugged along as good tortoises do. When I caught up with him, he turned his head towards me and said, “This (hill) is hard, isn’t it?” I smiled and slowed down a little.

In The Complete Book of Running for Women, Claire Kowalchik says you should take every opportunity to identify yourself as a marathon runner. Telling people you are a marathon runner helps to reinforce this idea in your mind. So, thanks to a prior vocabulary lesson from my German-speaking friends, I was able to tell him, “I’m training for a marathon. Do you know the Königsschlösser Marathon in Füssen?”

His eyes widened. “Prima!” he exclaimed. He told me that was really great, and he wished me luck.

I picked up my pace and gave a friendly, “Ciao!” as I continued along the roller coaster.

Tuesday wasn’t just about passing another runner, though that was great. It helped me to understand that while Germans may be intense about everything they do, they are also very pleasant and supportive of other people in their particular “club.”

I’ve been nervous about having a certified flat course in Germany as my first marathon. Many runners may be doing this so they can qualify for more prestigious marathons. But I now feel that even if I finish last, the other runners won’t look down on me; rather, they will congratulate me for not giving up.

There’s something to be said for being the tortoise.

Stats: Miles: Monday 0, Tuesday 5.5

Wildlife: lots of snails, two jackrabbits, and one friendly runner/walker.

Weather: the clouds cleared as the sun rose. 47 degrees. Light wind (as always, it seems).

Overall feeling: I was extremely tired Tuesday morning, due to a poor night’s sleep. But the run seemed to wake me up. Certainly the competition in my mind helped me to focus. After the run, I felt like I could conquer the world.

Extra: I’ve dedicated more time to stretching, which is helping a lot. I also lifted “heavy” weights (for me) on Monday, and did fifty old-school sit-ups. William sat on my feet, which brought back distinct memories from the pre-crunch era.

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Even the fastest marathoners have to peel off their sweaty socks after a run, just like I do. This is comforting.

I am an average woman. I have a little too much love on the handles. I like to drink a glass of wine and have ice cream, though never at the same time. I can’t do a handstand or a push-up (yet). I have tendencies towards sloppiness. I love pedicures, tan feet, and Cajun Shrimp-colored toenails. I love my husband and my kids with all my heart. I am a normal woman. I am also a marathoner.

I wasn’t born wearing team colors. Music, art, and literature are the creative outlets of choice in my family. I am not somehow predisposed to running. I am simply a woman who has set her mind on a healthy lifestyle. The marathon is a tool to help me live this.

It isn’t often your body simply gives out while on a run; but your mind can. In fact, it’s usually the mind that throws in the towel first. But if you learn to set your mind to something, and you keep realistic goals, then there is no reason you can’t run, walk, bike, swim, eat veggies, lower your cholesterol, lose weight, or whatever it is you want to do. These are things within your control; it just takes your mind to steer the body.

It’s hard work. I know there will be failure as well as success. But my goal is not to win the race; my goal is to defeat the quitter within. This mental endurance, I believe, will translate into other areas of my life. In fact, it already has.

Stats:

Terrain: I did my run to the old trail. I dog-legged quite a bit in order to get the mileage. I felt bad physically before running, but I took some ibuprofen and ended up having a great run. I kept a medium heart rate for the first three miles, and then kicked it up for the home stretch.

Overall feeling: I was REALLY pumped up after my run. I don’t know if I quite achieved the ‘runner’s high,’ but I was close. Just thinking about it makes me feel good.

Weather: 44 degrees. It was insanely windy on the way out, which was fantastic when coming back. It started raining on me, but I just thought of it as extra sweat (I’m usually soaked anyway after a run). At one point, the sun came out. I’m no Eric Liddell, but I did lift my face to the sky, thank God, and smile. Even though the sun was short-lived, it raised my spirits a lot.

Wildlife: nearly collided with a small yellow bird, who was zipping around like crazy in the high winds. A jack-rabbit sat up to admire me. There were many, many worms to jump over.

Sunday marked three weeks since I began this journey (and I’m still not to the ‘official’ training schedule yet).

Miles: Saturday 0, Sunday 7.5

Total miles for the week: 22.5

Weight: 157.5 (same as last week, to my dismay. I need to lay off the white rice).

Shoes: inaugurated the size 12 Mizunos with some good, old-fashioned Franconian farm mud (at least, I hope it was just mud). The shoes are perfect.

There are things that matter and things that don’t. Government sponsored health care does not matter.

“Wait!” cry my Democrat friends, “Your aunt will no longer have to worry about bankrupting her parents in order to get chemo. That matters!”

“Wait!” cry my Republican friends, “Do you want America to become like Germany: with a fifty percent income tax to pay for often inferior medical care? That matters!”

I could answer these questions, and likely, alienate both my liberal and conservative friends. So I won’t give my opinion here. Let me clarify my relegation of government health care into the “Doesn’t Matter” category: This issue, and all it baggage, matters theoretically, but it’s not worth getting my sweatsocks in a twist.

The hierarchy of things that matter, currently goes like this: God, home, marathon.

That’s it people. The other stuff is not worth my time, my will, or especially, my emotion.

There are things that matter and things that don’t. In The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, Tanjala Cole suggests when you encounter negative thoughts while you’re out on the trail, tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter.” I tested this on Friday.

I managed to get out the door while the farmers were still milking cows and cleaning stalls. The first 1.5 miles has traditionally been the toughest part of the entire run. It is spent battling negative thoughts, like Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her golden bracelets.

I’m hot.

Doesn’t matter.

This reflective vest is making me sweaty.

Doesn’t matter.

The wind is blowing in my face.

So what?

These shoes are too small.

Can you do anything about it now?

No.

 Then it doesn’t matter.

I weigh too much to run how I want.

You’re doing it anyway.

It’s going to rain.

Your skin is waterproof

Do deer get angry and charge at you like moose?

Doesn’t matter.

My run continued in this manner until I reached my first long, steep hill. On top of this particular hill, there is a road sign, which, from the bottom, looks like the silhouette of Pilgrim before he lays down his burden. As I met Pilgrim, I realized I had been concentrating so much on deflecting negative thoughts, I had forgotten about my breathing.  I had lapsed into a 2-2 breathing pattern and was running a quicker pace than normal. To my surprise, I felt fine.

I maintained the 2-2 pattern for the entire run. About a mile from the finish line, I realized I had forgotten to use my inhaler.

And it just didn’t matter.

Stats:

Miles: 5

Terrain: Normally, I get disoriented on the winding country roads. This time, the landscape suddenly switched into focus. I was running part of a trail from last summer. I had only to cut across the hill, and I could be home in half a mile. Last summer, by the time I reached that part of the trail, I was done for. But now I could run it the long way and feel great. It gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

Wildlife: the deer were so close, I felt the ground tremble as they crossed the road in front of me. And, in case you’re wondering, they don’t charge at you.

Weather: clouds all around but sunny in the middle (like being in the eye of a storm), 54 degrees.  

My body complained as I got out of bed on Wednesday. I felt old—just old: there’s no better way to describe it. If this is an alien concept to you, give it some time.

Intellectually, I knew I had to run, but my body took some convincing. I had half a cup of coffee and an apple and contemplated the bright morning sky. The tractors were not yet barreling down the roads—it was a perfect time to run. I ate a bowl of rice.

I got dressed and stood at my window for a while. Then, I tied my shoes. While the kids were still yawning over their oatmeal, I re-tied my shoes in a more sporty manner. I set my watch to heart rate mode and began to play with the dog.

I suddenly realized this run could either be done the easy way or the hard way. I could talk myself into a great run, or I would run and be miserable (like my ‘Borg’ run from last week). Quitting was not an option. I made it out to the driveway; and with my face in the sunshine, I made the choice to be fake happy.

 Chapter Four of The Non-Runners’ Marathon Trainer deals with behavior and attitude. Basically, if you lie to yourself enough, your body will eventually believe it. This does not apply to thinking yourself thin by eating only ice cream. However, mindset is absolutely vital in marathoning.

The first mile was spent warming up my muscles and squelching negative thoughts. Whenever I thought I was too old, too tired, too fragile, I pretended to be a champion runner. I LOVED running. I could run all day! Old only applies to shoes with more than 400 miles on them! I WAS happy! Right? Right? Miraculously, somewhere between mile 1 and my first steep hill, the fake happy became authentic. And I saw deer on the ridgeline.

As I approached, they simultaneously turned their heads to admire my smooth gait. This may sound like the plot from Balto 2, but I felt somehow connected to these animals. We tread across the same patchwork quilt countryside. Plus, deer are strong and graceful–things I aspire to be. I felt validated in my choice to get out and run. 

Naturally, the deer sprinted off when I approached, but I kept the vision of them with me during the run. Whenever I wanted to stop and “just check my heart rate,” I would ask myself if there was a physical reason to stop: Was my metatarsal fractured? Was I going into cardiogenic shock? Was I syncopal? If the answer was “no,” I kept running.

I focused on the movement of my arms and legs, maintaining a smooth cadence, and rhythmic breathing. I know I didn’t look it, but I felt as swift and powerful as the deer gliding across the hills.

Stats:

Miles: 5 Wednesday

180 Thursday—in the car, 0 running.

Weather: Wednesday: Sunny in the low 50s. Perfect!

Wildlife: 13 deer, 2 jackrabbits, hundreds of birds, 1 tractor, and 1 old lady with her Nordic walking sticks (same lady as Tuesday—she smiled at me this time).

Overall feeling: empowered.

The keyword for today was “economy;” not the kind that brings to mind unemployment figures or trillions of dollars, but running economy. Running economy means simply, to run without making your stomach slosh like a Slurpee machine.

Since I’ve never had formal training, I’ve been relying on the idea that running is something natural: that your body automatically works properly, no matter what gear it’s in. Because of this philosophy, I’ve been dancing about the countryside, flailing my arms. No wonder the farmers stare at me: they think I’m out there doing a poor version of the Macarena.

After finishing Chapter Two of The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, (an achievement which unsettles me a little—why can’t I complete this book more quickly?), I discovered I’ve been wrong in my assessment of running being just one quick step past walking.

While on a run, your motion should be smooth. You should not look as if you’re tiptoeing barefoot through a parking lot after a day at the beach. The basic idea is the more energy you expend bobbing up and down, the harder it is to actually propel yourself forward. You are working harder and getting poorer results.

My goal was to run for fifty minutes without my stomach glugging. I practiced good running posture, while focusing on core balance. I kept my legs going smoothly, and stopped swinging my arms as if I were in a Tae Bo class.

The most amazing thing happened: I ran better. My perceived exertion was much lower than previous runs. I found I had to move more quickly to keep up my heart rate.

When things took my attention away from the running, like the dead frog in the road or the crows circling overhead, I would start bouncing again. But when I focused on what my body was doing, there was less vertical movement and more of the smooth horizontal propulsion, which delineates runners from joggers.

It might take a while to un-learn my bouncy, faux-running style; but I’m hoping each run takes me closer to a less fluid stomach and a more fluid run.

Stats:

Miles: Monday was my day off. But I had so much energy, I cleaned the house–without a bad attitude. Amazing!  Tuesday 5 miles

Terrain: my favorite hilly run to the neighboring village

Wildlife: two ducks, one frog (possibly dead), a council of crows laughing at me from the trees (and eerily circling over head—they might’ve been wanting the frog), and one old lady with Nordic walking poles, which are extremely popular here. No vehicles at all in the early morning.

Overall feeling: bliss.

Some friends of mine are currently on a small island off the coast of Belize. Are they multi-millionaires? Movie stars? No. They’re homeschoolers with four kids (sounds oddly familiar); only, they’ve hopped out of the box. Way out, some would say. This family inspires me to find the adventure in everyday life. 

While a marathon isn’t quite the same experience as snorkeling in Central America, I am jumping out of the box, in my own way. Like any momentous undertaking, my personal adventure involves hard work, dedication, some pain, and joy, which springs from surprising places.

When I see mileage on a road sign, my first thought is, “I can run that far.” 6 kilometers, 8 kilometers, 10 kilometers, 20 kilometers—no problem. I saw a sign that said 46 kilometers. Before I could control myself, the words, “I could do that,” leapt from my brain–and I felt good about it. Which means, it is entirely possible I’ve lost my mind.

I am not some sort of positive thinking guru. I don’t believe you can overcome any situation simply by thinking happy thoughts. However, with proper training, dedication, and mindset, I can run a marathon. I don’t have romantic ideas about the process: I know it will push me to my limits—it might even make me cry. But the endeavor doesn’t end on race day: it continues for a lifetime.

I saw a show recently where a woman in her 70s was talking about her experience with breast cancer (20 years ago). She is a marathon runner. That’s right, IS. As she was being interviewed, I noticed the t-shirt she was wearing. It said: “Ironman Finisher.” That’s what I want to be. I want to be an Ironman Grandma. It’s a possibility—I do have 35 years to train for it.

My grandma doesn’t compete in triathlons, but she wins hands-down in this race called life. Her good health cannot be attributed to genetic luck, as she is healthier than most of her seven children (sorry, Dad, but it’s true). Grandma eats healthy foods (with the occasional indulgence, I’ve been told), she does yoga and meditation, and she keeps her body fit through exercise. She’s perfect: huggable yet healthy. The doctors were astounded at how quickly she recovered from knee surgery. That’s how I want to be. I want to be the 80 year-old whose good health surprises the medical establishment.

Whether my inspiration is within me, or whether it is discovered along the way, this is my adventure: one that will endure.

Stats:

Miles: Friday 0, Saturday 0, Sunday 6

Overall feeling: well-rested and energetic.

Terrain: a great run on the t-mill. Doctor Who and Romana defeated the globulin-sucking monoliths to find the third Key to Time.

Week Two Wrapup:

Total miles logged: 20

Weight: 157.5

Shoes size: I just ordered my first pair of size 12 running shoes. If my foot gets one inch longer, I’ll be ordering from the men’s department, and I will NOT be happy about it!!!  Men’s Mizunos don’t come in hot pink, do they?

Extra: If you would like to be inspired by the Miller family, follow their “edventures” at www.edventureproject.com

I am an astoundingly accurate self-fulfilling Prophetess. When I know I’m not going to do well on something, chances are, I’m right. Thursday was proof of this.

The day was sunny and warm enough to brave the outdoors in a t-shirt. Even though it was technically my recovery day, the lure of the sunshine was too much for me. I had to get outside. But the clock was ticking. I wanted to run in that zone between breakfast and lunch, where my stomach isn’t talking to strangers.

I decided to drive to the nearby town and run by the river. I had a fond memory of running this trail in the middle of winter, my son riding his bike next to me. Yes! The river! I could give the GPS another try. And since the path is for pedestrians only, I could listen to music. Then I realized I would need water, so I grabbed my marathon belt, which, according to my son, looks like something Batman would wear.

By the time I made it to the river, it was lunch time, and I was already tired. But I set out anyway, looking ready to fight crime with my bulky iPhone, car keys, and little pods of water velcroed to my waist.

As I took my first steps, I made my predictions: “I’m too tired. I hate this belt. These water pods are sloshing; or is that my stomach? I’m not going to be able to run far today.”

The path was straight and flat, which isn’t as exciting as it sounds. I tried staring at the barges on the river, thinking about the cargo, and where those slow, slow boats were going, but the smell from the industrial plant to my right distracted me. Why on earth was there an open flame shooting out of a pipe? And what was that awful smell?

I turned on some music, but it threw off my breathing. My side began to hurt. Was it three breaths out and two in, or the other way around? I’d forgotten to use my inhaler before the run. Perfect. The inhaler was in the car. Soon, the music got on my nerves. I huffed and puffed and fumbled to find the “off” switch.

After the first mile, the path veered out of the park, away from the river, and ran parallel to a B road, which was apparently being used as a mini-autobahn. When I finally turned off the music, using a technical process called, “yanking out the ear buds,” I could hear the iPhone talking to me with a tinny, robotic voice. She was telling me I was slow. Really slow. So slow I should just quit already. Maybe those weren’t her exact words, but close enough. I turned around at mile two and headed back to the car.

Going back felt like drudgery. The wind was pushing against me, making me slower, and slower. I was hungry. I thought I’d seen an apple on the floor of the car. When will this run end?

Needless to say, the run was less than spectacular. But I did learn a few things (again the hard way, drat!): 1) If it’s my scheduled day off, then I should not run. My body needs the recovery time. 2) One bowl of oatmeal, even with blueberries in it, does not last all day. 3) Do not dress like the Borg when going on a run. It’s cumbersome, not to mention ridiculous. 4) The monologue that goes through my head is a key element in running. If my mind says the run is drudgery then it will be.

Stats:

Miles: 4, if RunKeeper was correct. But I think she was just toying with me.

Terrain: paved path. Straight. Flat. Wind in my face. Lots of traffic noise. Weird smells from the factories along the river. I’ll stick to the countryside, where the smells are pungent but recognizable.

Overall feeling: should have taken a nice easy walk instead.

There is an S-word on the lips of people in these parts, and it’s not a curse. It also has nothing to do with that road-clogging white stuff that falls from the sky. It’s spring, people! At long, long last!

A few weeks ago, I happily boasted of spring in Franconia. Then it snowed so heavily, only a sleigh with a flying, red-nosed reindeer could’ve led the kids to swim lessons. But I think spring is for real this time. I have proof: all along the roadways of Franconia, signs have been posted to warn drivers of frogs.

Every spring, frogs across the country decide the ditch is greener on the other side. For the health and safety of drivers, and our amphibian friends, frog barriers are erected along the roadways.

It’s spring! Time for chirping birds and kamikaze frogs! And that means fantastic weather for runners!

After getting my baby-fix at coffee group on Wednesday, I decided to do a little touring of the countyside by foot. This time, I happily donned my fluorescent yellow vest. It doesn’t make me invincible, but it makes me much more visible to those testing the engineering limits of fine German automotives.

I pulled out my pink-skinned iPhone and switched on the Runkeeper Pro. But the stalwart hills of Franconia resisted my introduction of high technology. Proving, once again, I live in the technological Bermuda triangle of Germany.

I had a great five-mile run nonetheless. When I got back to the house, I didn’t collapse on the floor—I vacuumed. It was the first time a run had energized me. I think it was due to proper rest, nutrition, sunshine, and springtime air: a combination I’m hoping will occur more frequently in the coming weeks.

Stats:

Miles: 5

Extra: Due to my paranoia about imbalanced electrolytes, I took the day off on Tuesday. I did 30 minutes of upper body with My Fitness Coach on the Wii. Noah also worked out with me and is looking pretty buff, for a 7 year-old.

Overall feeling: Wednesday was the best run I’ve had thus far. If I feel that way every time I run, then I’m well on my way to being addicted.

Why run? There are the obvious health reasons. Running improves cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal, mental, and emotional health.

Why run? Some people run because they have something to prove, to themselves or to others. Others run marathons because they crave the self-discipline that comes with the training schedule. Some run because they seek a healthy lifestyle. Others are running away from middle age.

Why run? Aside from a few Tae Kwon Do trophies in high school, I’ve never won any prizes for my athletic abilities. I remember running a race in junior high. I eagerly looked to the coach  and asked, “How did I do?” He said, “You were slow, but we needed somebody.” Basically, I was the next step-up from forfeiting. So, maybe I do have something to prove.

 Why run? How many people do you know with high blood pressure or high cholesterol? How many have suffered heart attack or stroke? How many are trapped by obesity? How many have diabetes? My dad’s wife, Mama, is tormented by fibromyalgia; while my biological mother struggles with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. One of my aunts has been fighting for her life this year: cancer–after a lifetime of dealing with epilepsy. My sister-in-law was also recently diagnosed with cancer. She’s my age. My kids stair-step hers in age. She accomplishes more than most of us by getting out of bed to face her day.

 When I run, I am carrying all of them with me.

 Why run? Because they can’t.

 Why run? Because I can.

 My mother always said I was strong-willed and had a mind of my own. While I still take that as a compliment, there are some lessons I’d rather do without. Yesterday, I learned a lot.

Monday morning, I set out for my run. It was threatening to rain, but I was eager to try my new iPhone AP, imapmyrun. (I’m trying to avoid forking over the money for a watch with gps capability). I put on my windbreaker and hit the road.

Did you know the hood on a rain jacket, when caught by the wind, sounds like a rushing river? It’s lovely when you’re on a lonely path. But, it’s a big problem when running on roads shared with vehicular traffic. Fortunately, I saw the white BMW coming before I heard it. Still, it’s not the safest way to increase your heart rate.

During the run home, the wind was at my back. I put down my hood, so I could hear things like birds and large motor vehicles. In one of those idyllic moments for runners, I saw deer bound easily up the hill ahead of me. When I got back to the house, I checked my iPhone to see if it had indeed mapped my run. It appears I went 1.3 miles in 45 minutes; which is funny, because I thought I had been running, not doing the soldier crawl.

Five bucks wasted.

Apparently, I had a weak gps signal, which means the computer could only see where I had been at certain points. Instead of tracking my route in its entirety, it connected sporadic locations (when it could get a signal). Though I can’t honestly say New York is where I’d rather stay, I wouldn’t mind their satellite reception from time to time. 

 I’ve downloaded yet another AP to my phone. This one, the Runkeeper Pro, has some great reviews. We’ll see if it works out here in Green Acres.

Stats:

Miles: 5, really.

Terrain: some gravel, mostly pavement. This is a run with a variety of hills for a runner’s enjoyment.

Overall Feeling: While on my third liter of water yesterday morning (in addition to my orange juice, and cup of coffee), I realized the more water I drank, the thirstier I became. After my run, (in which I drank water at my halfway mark), I was feeling a little woozy.

After a quick google search and an extended period of hypochondriacal delusions, I cut back on the fluids and ate a king-sized bag of Cheetos. I don’t know if this is what the doctor would prescribe, but it seemed to work. I followed the Cheetos with a banana, an orange, and 1/4 cup of almonds. After popcorn for dinner and some Gatorade, I was feeling better. As I write this, I’m feeling almost normal again.

Now, before my Auntie (the RN) flips out over this post and calls Grandma to scold me, let me make it clear that I did not show  signs of water intoxication. The dry mouth may have been partially due to the vitamin supplement I was taking. And because of the dry mouth, I was overcompensating with the H2O.

An Important Note on Water Intake: Please be aware, if you have been drinking a lot of water, and you still feel thirsty, and especially if the high fluid intake is combined with things like slurred speech or other symptoms of a state of intoxication, seek medical attention immediately! Hyponatremia can lead to death.

Symptoms of hyponatremia mimic that of dehydration and can be misdiagnosed, with fatal consequences. Make sure you carefully monitor how much you are drinking.

The exact level of water intake varies from person to person. On average, the guideline is eight, 8 oz cups per day, or approximately 2 liters. The beverages you normally drink count toward this, though too much caffeine can lead to dehydration.

If you are exercising, you should drink enough fluids to replace what you have lost through sweat. Experts suggest weighing yourself before and after exercise. They recommend drinking 20-24 ounces of water for every 1 pound lost during exercise.

Find out what your body needs to stay hydrated, and don’t go overboard with the Culligan Man.