i tried to come up with a more inspired title. but right now, post 21 miles, that one sums it up best. i have conducted every long run since the columbus marathon as a little experiment. an experiment in food & fueling. there could be no more crash landings on any sidewalks. i had to learn exactly what worked and didn't work while on the run. so while today's 21 miler was fairly miserable; i have learned what does and doesn't work. real food works. energy gels do not. and so i think these long run food and fueling experiemnts have been a success in that i know exactly what works now.
i got rid of sugar, i got my gi system back on track. i've since re-introduced sugar in small bits, and even dairy in small bits. the next step was to re-introduce energy gels and drinks on the run. we were waiting until longest run to start. since i wanted more than one shot at it, so there could be some comparison, we started last week. sadly, they don't go down so well. last week, all the sugar in the gels contributed to some extreme post-run soreness. this week, about four miles after the gel, my intestines announced their existence. my intestines have not made their presence known on a run in a long time; and really, they are not invited on my runs. i do not want to know they exist. today, they reminded me.
and so for the middle 7 miles i tried to work through the stomach pain. and i haven't had to do this in a long time. i was bummed. i was pissed. and i was miserable. i had some pretzels that i had packed helped to settle things down. once i got to mile 14, things were looking up. my stomach had settled and i was feeling a bit better. but around mile 16, my lower back decided it didn't want to run anymore, and so the last 5 miles of the 21 vascillated between moments of feeling fairly good and working through the back pain.
i think the hope here was that once i got all cleaned up, i could better tolerate things on the run - have a stomach of steel so to speak; able to take anything they handed out at a marathon. i don't think i'm here. maybe i will be someday, i just don't want to sacrifice another run to experimenting with it. two sacraficial runs are enough. i'm going to stick to my tried and true: clementines, bananas, pretzels and HEED. these were the things that fueled the happy runs. and even though i was running through miserable conditions on almost every long run, physically, i felt good. this was the food. real food. real food fuels happy runs.
so my husband will have to keep driving around town after i've left on a run to throw fruit out the car window onto the lawns of friends and complete strangers. and he assured me today as i sat in an ice bath and needed to be talked off the ledge; that he would deliver anything i needed to me on the run in birmingham. why can't they pass out bananas and clementines at races? it would make life so easy.
i'm a smart girl. really, i am. i know that all the runs can't be good. its hard. it was really hard today. hard is ok. but still. i hate the runs that make you think you can't do this. i'm blaming it on the gel. have to blame it on something. it would have been a fine run had it not been for that vile stuff. well, it would have been fine at least until my back started screaming at me. massage girl has her work cut out for her tomorrow.
ugh. i didn't want to be here. i didn't want to need to be talked off the ledge. twice. coach called too, after i emailed a cry for help. shit. i thought i was past this shit.