Wow, what a week.
Warning: There is a discussion of my digestive system coming. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I debated whether to even post this. But, if this is to be a record of all my training, then I suppose I need to document it.
The week started on such a high, with last week’s amazing 15 mile run. What I didn’t mention last week is that that run also left me with such painful GI distress that I spent four hours running to the bathroom. In fact, I didn’t even make it home from the run before having trouble. There’s a Shell gas station that I may not want to visit again. Just saying.
I have never had trouble with the “running trots” (No, I won’t provide a link here. You can Google it if you really need to know) in my life. But, I also had never run 15 miles in my life, and certainly hadn’t run any half-marathon distance quite that fast. So I thought the run and the illness might be related. Luckily it cleared up shortly after lunch and I was feeling better Saturday evening.
I spent the next few days trying to identify if something might be the cause. I thought about my Friday dinner (pizza, hasn’t been an issue before), my mid-run fuel (GU, also never bothered me before), and my breakfast (a bowl of cereal). I wondered if it was related to fuel/water timing . Generally I have taken a GU every 5 miles or so in my long runs, so for 15 miles I would have at least two. During this run I had one at 7 miles. I hadn’t carried water, so I had only had a drink at mile 7 and after the run. And I drank only water, not my beloved nuun. Although I find it hard to believe that not taking enough fuel would cause this, it’s possible.
Tuesday night I had a dinner meeting. I’m the chair of a local chapter of our ASABE engineering society, and this was our winter awards meeting. I was also receiving an award, but that’s not important to this. What’s important is that at exactly 2:45 am, I was awoken by cramps and the need to rush to the bathroom. I spent the next 2 hours running from my bed to the bathroom. Needless to say it wasn’t a great night. I’m thinking food poisoning, although to date, I haven’t heard that anybody else reported a similar issue. Regardless, I didn’t start feeling normal again until Thursday afternoon.
Yesterday I met up with the Live Uncommon and the “crazies” for another run. Some of the group actually was meeting up at 4:30 am (check out John’s blog here, he will probably post pictures of the groups shortly). I suppose training for Leadville makes you do strange things. But maybe it’s just running in general, because now I’m actually thinking my goal this training season should be to make it for one of their 4:30 runs. They were doing 3-90 minute loops, so I opted for the much more reasonable 6:00 am loop. When I got there we had over a dozen runners ready to head out in the dark. I love this group!
I was anticipating that this wouldn’t be a great run, since I hadn’t felt so good all week, and had run hill work outs (albeit short ones) on the treadmill on Thursday and Friday. But I wanted to try to get in 13 miles, so off I went. I had a new water bottle, so I filled it up with water and nuun, hoping that taking sips of it throughout the run might help with preventing any possible dehydration and stomach trouble. This course was hilly and more challenging than the last few weeks (yay for river bluffs!) so it was definitely a challenge.
We did about 10 miles in the 90 minutes, and my legs were ready to quit – the long slow hill back up to the parking lot about did me in. Also, in those last two miles, my stomach again started to complain. I hadn’t had any gels, just the water.
But when I returned and saw the giant group of the PV high school runners, it felt like cheating to stop when I only needed three more miles to get to 13. So I went ahead and took a GU, then headed back out with over 20 more runners. I got in my last three, finishing up with Josiah (read his recap here) and Jay.
So I avoided the serious GI distress of last weekend but I did feel it again. Looks like more experimenting is on the way, since I think next week is probably 16 miles or so.
Have a great week friends! It’s Spring Break here!