It Happened Again

Ever since my DNF at the Moo Cow Half-Marathon 2 1/2 weeks ago, I have continued to eat a bland diet. Although I don't have a race every weekend, I am still doing longer runs on the weekend, and with my next marathon just 8 1/2 weeks away they will be getting longer. And since adopting the bland diet, I hadn't had any stomach problems while running - that is until this week. Yes, it happened again. Ugh.

But let's back track for a bit…

Not only have I changed what I eat, I have made these strategic changes:

- Eat more fiber and whole wheat early in the week, decreasing towards the weekend and going low fiber and no whole wheat 2 days before a long run.

- While choosing to eat low-fat has been my norm for a long time, I have significantly decreased my intake of nuts (which used to be a favorite snack but are high in fat) and reduced the amount of oils that I cook with (including olive oil). I have begun using my indoor grill over sautéing or stir frying my food.

- For the most part, I have gone dairy free eliminating cheese and creamy foods.

This sounds rather sad, but I really haven't missed much. My taste buds have changed and I find myself craving the bland food. When I look at certain foods that I used to love, it now turns my stomach.

I have also taken a strategic approach to planning when I eat.

For example, I used to meet up with family/friends and eat out once or twice during the week and almost entirely on weekends. Now I plan social dinners on days that I run, and have my cheat/splurge day the same day that I finish my long run. I normally don't run on consecutive days so I had a day or two in between for my digestive system to adjust and get back on track.

This strategy has worked really well thus far and has helped me to consciously make better decisions about not just what I eat, but when I eat. While it does take some planning effort, planning and organization are second nature to me, so it's been a smooth transition.

Now for this week…

We had a going away lunch for a colleague who’s recently left the a local Mexican restaurant. Can you see where this is going?

I didn't think it would be a problem because the lunch was scheduled on Tuesday, which is a run day, and normally my next run day would have been on Thursday. Well my training schedule this week suddenly had 3 consecutive run days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), which I haven’t done in at least a year. Historically, my body just hadn’t responded well to this and I wasn't happy about it -- at all.

I had also looked over the restaurant’s menu and planned to have a plain chicken tamale. I thought it was a safe choice because every tamale I ever ate at a restaurant was dry (wrapped in the corn husk). That is except for this crappy restaurant that we went to. When my chicken tamale was served, it was drowning in red sauce and cheese. I tried to scrape off as much of it as I could, but when it's drowning, you can only take off so much. To make matters worse, I also indulged in some glistening tortilla chips that you know were just high in fat.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning. I suffered (and puked) on my 7-miler. I had anxiety thinking that it might happen, and it sure did. For the rest of Wednesday I took eating bland to the extreme. My Thursday morning run was better - no puking, but still some churning in my tummy.

I used to take pride in having a "stomach made of steel." I don't know what has changed. Maybe nothing has, but I am just more aware? Either way, I'm tracking everything I eat, so that I can identify what my triggers are (although it seems pretty obvious).

Hopefully everything will be back to normal by the weekend's long run. Fingers crossed!

{Note: I thought about including a post-puke race photo from the DNF race, but decided I would spare're welcome!}