Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Long runs and feeling crappy.

This last training plan has been very interesting and I've learned lots of things.   I'm training for an ultra relay in February.  I was never worried that I couldn't do it (although slow) I was worried that I would do it and feel super crappy because I didn't train correctly.  One of the issues I knew I had to address was fueling.  I'm running 32.9 miles in around 30 hours.  11.3, 11.4 and 10.2 miles. It's actually not too bad.  I was really lucky and I'm running with some badass's that let me do a moderately hard set of legs.  

Only because I LOVE Bob's Burgers.

Very important when running so much.  Fuel.  How do you fuel?  I picked the brains of lots of runners.  Some take a GU every 3 miles, some every 45 minutes and some just have a smidgen every 15 minutes.  Most of my running career I have run while subscribing to the Primal lifestyle (no grains, dairy and sugar) and because of that I used minimal amount of the packaged runners fuel.  I ate real food before and after and if my run was really long I would have one GU.  Never really any issues.  

This felt different.  I knew that if I didn't properly fuel on the first run then I would be starting behind in the second run.  SO....I picked up some Honey Stinger GELS.  The first 9-10 mile run I felt OK and fueled about every 35 minutes.  I could feel the energy difference too.  Then something just went wrong.  My body screamed NO MORE. 

After my 15 mile run I felt so crappy.  It was AFTER, but it was still crappy.  I felt nauseated and a bad headache.  It almost felt like a hangover.   I considered everything I ate and took (ibuprofen before run...salt tabs).  I did have 5 gels during the run.  I felt better by morning and just figured maybe I was a little dehydrated, but not sure.  After that I was nauseated after almost any run over 5 or any run I took a gel.  

The last straw was for me last Saturday.  I set out to do 6 miles with 5-30 second strides at the end.   It was cold but I overdressed.  I was hydrated well but I knew I needed some fuel to give the strides my best.  Well I took the gel and a good 8 oz of water.  2 miles later I was SICK.  I felt nauseated and weak and the worst was dizzy, like I was going to pass out.  No bueno. I actually had my son Daniel pick me up.  That has never happened.


Of course I googled it.  I've always had sort of an iron stomach when it came to eating and running and this change disturbed me.  The fuel in gels is very concentrated and needs water in order for the body to digest properly.  That is why the packets are always saying take with water.  I always took with water but I think I just stopped tolerating them.  

This story is long.  Sheesh.  

My brother told me about a book, Feed Zone Portables.  He's an ultra runner and long distance biker.  It's about eating real food for energy.  A lot of the recipes use rice, which I know my body tolerates well.  So I made the Lemon Ricotta baked rice balls.  Ingredients include: Calrose sticky rice, lemon, lemon zest, ricotta cheese, egg and sugar (I used coconut sugar).  I made 8 of them out of the recipe and decided to take two.  

That would total:   448 calories and 87 carbs.  A little high on the calories and carbs are adequate.  

SO FAR SUCCESS!!  I ran, felt great and no nausea!!!  

One lesson learned.  I can't eat one very fast.  They are actually about 4 bites each.  Having one bite about every 15 minutes is my plan for tonight.  I am looking at making something a little bit smaller with the same benefits.  I was very careful about drinking water.  I'm a sipper so I ended up drinking about 20 oz's.  They are also a little bulkier then gels but I was able to fit 2 in my belt.  I'm going to have to figure out something when I run longer next week.  

It was actually an amazing run!  Left at 8:30 and it was about 27 degrees.  I just got this shirt from Athleta.  20% off sale.  BAM.    It was awesome!  I did have arm warmers under but they got a little hot when the temp was 36 degrees when I finished.  

On sale 39.99

Now for food and rest and running 8 miles again tonight at 4:30.

Who's done an Ultra Relay?  Any hints?

Your fuel during long runs?

Blog on..............


  1. I've never done an ultra relay...or an ultra anything, for that matter. But I have Gu issues too. I'm glad you seem to have found a great option! When I did a regular relay (Hood to Coast) and ran only about 15 miles spread out over the 27 hours, I ate regular food in between and actually went high on the protein. I was the only one in our van who didn't have any GI issues. Good luck to you!!!

  2. I ahave doen two. God Help me I am a FOOL. I did Ragnar Adirondacks - with 9 million arsehole hills (my mileage was an easy 28 miles) and then a few weeks later did Ragnar Vegas. Holy Shit. I ran 37 miles I think - I tried to forget). In all seriousness I loved it and a a hoot. in one race had GI issues. its a CRAP shoot really. But then I love to have GI issues at crappy times. At least my issue happened when I was near a portapotty. The doubled up training will help you remain consistent the entire time. I started with smaller distances then late summer/fall did a few back to back races which helped. If your legs and head are used to going out multiple times you will rock. And, if you are anything like me crusing out loud during the night runs HELPS a lot.

    1. wowie!! And you lived! Hoping to avoid the GI issues. Getting all that worked out ya know...I'll probably shit my pants.

    2. everybody poops. Some of us choose a race to do it.