“In touch with the ground, I’m on the hunt, I’m after you…and I’m hungry like the wolf.” – Duran Duran
The last thing I want to do before or after a run is eat. I usually only eat a Luna Bar Mini before any long run and I don’t eat at all before my Thursday morning running group runs. I also don’t want to eat while I am running but it is important to take in nutrition on the run so I have struggled with what to eat while moving. A few times what I have chosen to eat has caused major GI distress, including a couple of times that it has come back up.
Later in the day after a long run? Things drastically change. I need to put a lock on the pantry door! I am like the cartoon above. I am ravenous. Since I am on Weight Watchers’ maintenance plan, I still have 47 “bonus” points in a week and I earn about 60 exercise points which I try very hard not to eat back. Saturday night dinners are my “cheat” meals of the week. I pretty much eat whatever I want, within reason. I am still not going to eat pasta with cream sauce but I may have a large steak or Mexican food, which is my biggest weakness in the world. I cannot consume enough guacamole to satisfy my guacamole addiction! We go to a local place with authentic, healthier choices, which makes the guac fresh at the table with a mortar and pestle, fresh limes, cilantro, etc. We fall upon it like a pack of wild animals. We really should each order our own and just eat that for dinner. I am sure the other patrons wonder what in the hell is the matter with us! I want to wear a shirt that says “Don’t judge. I ran long today”. Of course, there is also beer. Running allows me to consume good, craft beer with fewer consequences than I would suffer if I did not routinely burn 1000 calories on long runs. In my opinion, there is no point to light beer. It is just yellow water.
So, what to eat on the run? Like I said, my system would prefer nothing. My stamina needs something. I have tried all the traditional items developed for endurance athletes. I have major texture and GI issues with gels – it does not matter what brand, so those were ruled out during my first half marathon training. Sport beans? Way too sweet. Gatorade is too sticky and flavored – I only take water with Nunn. During Disney and RNR training, I discovered Sharkies Sport Chews. They are organic and made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. Because I drastically changed my diet in 2013, I don’t eat much processed food so I have largely eliminated high fructose corn syrup from my diet so, my system has a hard time with it when I do consume it. The Sharkies got me through two half marathon training plans. I ordered in bulk from Amazon. Of course, because I liked it, Sharkies went out of business. Also, since it has gotten so hot and I previously trained in the winter, the combination of sugar and heat, started causing problems. I switched to Honey Stinger Chews, which are made with honey, and to Honey Stinger Waffles. The waffles broke into a million crumbs in my pack and the chews made me just as sick as the Sharkies. After a rather unpleasant incident last weekend, Mike suggested that I try out “real” food on the run.
I did a little research online and talked to a few triathlon friends. I also talked to Dimity. We had a “check in” call this week and we talked about my stomach distress, which starts around mile 9 or 10 on long runs. She thought the “real” food idea was a good one. She finished an Ironman race using real food. Dimity suggested tortillas with honey and peanut butter or peanut butter and jelly. A triathlon friend had told me she used Uncrustables, those frozen, round PB&J sandwiches. By the way, when this 26Strong program is over, I am really going to miss Dimity! I might have to hire a running coach to listen to all my obsessing over pace, nutrition, shoes, etc. She also sent me an awesome care package full of Another Mother Runner goodies and tons of tubes of nuun.
Today, I took an Uncrustable in my pack. Bingo! Worked like a charm. I had enough energy to finish the 14 mile run but did not experience the nausea. Granted, I did not want to go out for breakfast when I was done but I did not have the overwhelming feeling that I was going to see that sandwich, again! I ate half at mile 5 and the second half at mile 9. I did learn a valuable lesson – put the Uncrustable in a ziploc bag because the peanut butter smeared all over the inside pocket of my pack, but, otherwise, a success!
The rest of the day was uneventful until the “rungry” feeling hit. Saturday’s cheats were Southern Season pimento cheese on crackers and I spent a long time in their beer section choosing individual craft beers to make up my dream craft beer 12 pack.
I’m pretty happy with the long run this week but I am getting nervous about the mileage increases coming up in the schedule.
I had a total of 116 miles for the month of August. Pretty hard to warp my head around considering I was not even running two years ago!
Every long run from this day forward will be my longest run, ever. Onward, to Week 9.