So last week I was doubting my readiness to run a strong Chicago Marathon in two weeks. Not necessarily from not having completed my training, or from being sick, but because of potty issues.
Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve avoided the bathroom on my last 2 runs. Each over 10 miles.
This past week had me meeting with a whirlwind of healthcare providers. An acupuncturist, who’s helping me with stress & my lingering shoulder pain issues. A chiropractor, who’d previously treated me for the shoulder issues. (These shoulder issues cropped up again during training, as additional tenderness starting to appear on long runs over 10 miles. Nothing crazy, but looking to delay when they start, and to see about a permanent solution.) And on Friday afternoon, I saw another chiropractor, one who specializes in nutrition & athletes.
Talking with her was really helpful. We went over my eating habits, and specifically focused on what I’m eating before my runs that might be impacting the need to go to the bathroom, even on short runs.
She had worked with my husband earlier this summer to help him improve his recovery from workouts & ability to increase his training load. She’d recommended to him to eat more animal protein, advice he took and has improved his training & recovery.
Well, for me, it seems like the “more animal protein at dinner” (which is where the main modification ended up being) hasn’t been so good. I mostly run in the mornings, and within a month or so after this change began having my issues. Dr recommended that I avoid animal protein at night (instead eating it more in the AM) and also to try drinking coffee before my runs.
Attempt #1: Saturday AM Run with CES – We had a 12-miler on the books and I woke up at my normal (2 hrs before) to drink my coffee & eat breakfast. Run proceeded well, without any bathroom breaks, although I did have a bit of a coffee stomachache. Kind of like when you drink a lot of coffee on an empty stomach. Because 2 slices of toast is not a filling breakfast, but is what I eat before my long runs.
This run was good, but I wanted to try again. Mike, as well as some friends (Lilian! Bloggers!), were running in the Fort2Base Nautical 10 Miler on Sunday morning. Guess who signed up less than 24 hours before the race?
Attempt #2: Sunday AM Fort2Base Race (11.45 mi) –
Another early morning, but this time I tried making the coffee a bit weaker to avoid the stomachache. Overall success, and breakfast & coffee were eaten in the car. I waited in line forever to use the port-a-potty before the race, but ended up doing very well. Accel Gel was taken before the race, and also around mile 6 of the race. More detailed race report to come.
So I still need to try a ‘regular’ weekday morning run, but I think I’ve found the formula! Marathon hope has been restored – and I spent the ride home from the race today looking at what my projected finish times would be!