Ready? Part 2

So am I actually feeling ready?  To be frank, I’m feeling a bit nervous, and also a bit lost when I think about Chicago Marathon readiness. It’s in two and a half weeks.  I’ve put my runs in.  I’ve been more consistent in my training this year, and haven’t encountered any running injuries (knock on wood!)  to date.  I had some strong triathlons and also strong running races throughout the summer:

But I’ve been hiding something (from the blog world).  My digestion has been starting to blow up.  

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not too far off.  Most of my runs in August and September so far I’ve had to stop to go to the bathroom.  I’ve had stomachaches, nausea.  Now, I know that stopping for the bathroom is not uncommon on the longer training runs, but I’ve been having to cut my 4 milers short, or stop at gas stations & McDonalds if I don’t want to shorten my runs. 

I’m not having issues when I’m not running. Nor have I switched up anything (that I’ve noticed) in my diet. 

My stomach never loved gatorade, but would tolerate sips.  Except at the Madison Mini, my need to go started right after taking a sip of gatorade.  So only a swish-and-spit.  Then at the Chicago Half Marathon a few weeks later, I did the swish & spit, and began to get nauseous after that.  So no more gatorade.

On my 20-miler on Saturday, I was just hoping that I’d make it to the bathroom at the 3 mile aid station rather than poop my pants in front of the group! Once that was taken care of, I was back to my plan that I’d been following on long runs throughout the summer:

  • Accelerade mixed with water (carried on my hydration belt)
  • Accel Gels – around every 7 miles

That didn’t go so well either – Accelerade made me nauseous too.  So from mile 10-20 I only fueled w/ water and my 2nd Accel Gel.  That was fine, but I still felt lingering effects from initial attempts at consuming the sports drink.  (BTW – if anyone wants to try some Accelerade, I do have a huge bucket still. I’m assuming my results are atypical). 

Last week I started acupuncture, both for my lingering shoulder issues that had been coming back w/ my longer runs, and also to see what we can do about digestion.  This morning’s 4 miler still had a bathroom break at 1.5. 

I’m not sure how much more time (or runs) there is to fix things, but I’m making an appointment w/ a sports doctor to figure out what we can salvage.  I’ll be doing the marathon, I’m just hoping I won’t be wasting too much time in the port-a-pottys in the first 4miles, or not having to do a 3 mile warm-up before the race. 

My plan so far for the marathon is as follows:

  • Take public transit to Grant Park to maximize the walking needed before the race starts. 
  • Water & Accel Gels. May consider Nuun tablets (never caused me a problem… I just wanted to try the protein-packed Accel product –which did work amazing at my endurance on long runs while I was happy with it). 

12 thoughts on “Ready? Part 2

  1. tootallfritz

    Weak tummy here too. I don’t do any sport drinks. Just water. If you use a gel, or on the run energy product, you don’t really need anything other than water b/c that gel/product is replacing the lost electrolytes. I actually use an energy drink upon waking in the morn to get things moving to try to avoid issues. Its been working for my short runs but I haven’t been running long this year. Good luck. I know its frustrating.

  2. Tim McCaskey

    Joanne and I love the Nuun, if you needed a further endorsement. We needed to stop twice at port-a-potty during last year’s CM, maybe because it was hot and we were drinking too much. I hope you solve the digestion problem, because you’ve been running great. One other point – a different coach I spoke with actually said a short run before the marathon is not the worst idea, so if 10-15 minutes is enough to force your digestive system’s hand, the warmup perhaps shouldn’t be out of the question.

  3. Pete B

    I don’t have any advice on the tummy issues, but here’s hoping that this is a temporary thing that you will figure out. I think a lot of us marathoners end up using a porta potty at least once in the first few miles. Good luck!

  4. Emily

    It was good to meet you at the Chicago Half Marathon blogger meetup! Sorry to hear about the tummy troubles. I once got a massive stomachace from taking a GU right after finishing a run (as opposed to before or during). Ugh. But I agree with Amanda’s comment above about just sticking with water plus your energy gel.

    As much as the tummy troubles suck, at least you have some time now to try to figure them out. Better that than to have mysterious issues arise on marathon day!

  5. bobbi

    This summer I’ve been doing water or nuun, salt, and gu. Once i eliminated sports drink, my stomach has been SO much better. Not perfect, but noticeably better. Good luck!!!

    1. laurenruns Post author

      I’m annoyed because my stomach was doing so well for a while on the accelerade, but now revolted. Thinking back, I don’t actually remember why I switched from nuun. I think I got sucked in on the potential of another product rather than any negative w/ nuun.

  6. margie311 (@margie311)

    Just wanted to say, I’ve been following you for a while, and I LOVED the video blog. Please do more 🙂

    Also, I wish you lots of luck in the Chicago Marathon, and hope you either conquer the bathroom issues. I know you’ll do great!

  7. kilax

    This is so bizarre! You had no issues before! I was going to ask a personal question that might cause queasy feelings, but I won’t.

    Like the others, I can only drink water while running.

  8. Sandra

    that’s really weird, have you talked to some of the local running coaches? Hopefully they might have some answers. I could never drink anything but water during a race, but I just started Poweraide and have luck with that. It’s the stuff with fake sweeteners that I have trouble with. Hang in there! 🙂


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