Sunday, February 16, 2014

SCID Installment #1

Sometimes I get solicitations for running advice, which I feel dumb giving. What seems more appropriate is sharing things that have not worked for me or have simply gone horribly wrong. And thus what will be a recurring segment: SCID (stupid crap I've done).

Meal Timing

There was a time where I ran with reckless abandon. Eat bacon & eggs, run 5 minutes later. Eat a giant "carb load" meal the night before a big race. I don't do those things now because I would prefer to not have to be in constant vigilance that I don't load my drawers mid-run. Let's cover some basic physiology first: it takes your stomach about 2 hours to empty. Running with a full stomach is uncomfortable and for me causes crippling sideaches. I don't know the mechanisms behind this, whether it's from my gall bladder squirting out digestive enzymes or the clash of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system responses. Whatever it is, it doesn't jive, y'all. After two hours I'm almost always good from a sideache perspective.

The dookie situation is interesting. I've found there's no predictable formula for "eat at time x, meal transit time through gut=x+y. Drop deuce at time z. Lather, rinse, repeat." BMs seem to be more of a circadian thing for me, irrespective of meal timing for the most part (unless Taco Bell is involved, then formula becomes "eat chalupa at time x, endure stomach cramps at time x+5 minutes, fumigate lavatory at time x+5.2 minutes"). Meal size, however, is an important trigger for laying cable. My new formula, that I have yet to find unsuccessful is: wake up early, eat medium size breakfast, large glass water at time x, await inevitable dook at time x+0.5 hours. This has been a vital tidbit to help avoid "messy" situations on long runs.

Runner's Trots are pretty crappy. Having the urge during a race I think is avoidable by following the morning meal rule. But even if the staging area is clear at race time, what about that "carb load" meal from last night still meandering through 30 feet of entrails? This has come back to haunt me (if ghost are apt to haunt one's bowels) at the end and after runs, where I'm writhing in pain as my body rejects the previous night's meal. (Don't ask how I can be sure it was the previous night's meal). So that age-old advise to eat a bunch of pasta before a race? Bad idea. In general, it's just a bad idea to do anything you wouldn't do during training for a race. That's a recipe for surprises. And in this case "surprises" is a euphemism for diarrhea which may or may not be disposed of in a socially acceptable way.

TMI you say? I learned the hard way so you don't have to. Take heed.

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