Monday, September 21, 2015

Fixing the Runner's Leaky Gut

This post may contain information regarding bodily functions that happen with upset stomachs. 

As a runner, you're always working to improve speed, well with this past month I haven't been working on speed at ALL. In fact, I have been working to increase my long runs. Every single Saturday, I come home practically in tears because I can't get past 6 miles without.. Here comes the warning:   Cramps, Diarrhea and the inability to eat for 3 hours after a run. It's awful. You feel like a complete failure, especially when you're training for a half marathon and you KNOW you're supposed to be WAY farther in your training... 

This caused me to really look at my gut. Our stomachs have a way of telling us if we are eating the right things or if something isn't quite right. I have noticed since going Gluten Free (GF) my digestive system works so much better. When I eat gluten I have pain, discomfort, irregularity, rashes, brain fog and I just feel awful. Health begins in our colon and I knew that if I was going to figure this thing out, I was going to need to experiment  with my stomach, eating differently, watching my hormonal balance and checking to see if I had any, other flare ups with foods. 

Food can either be healing for our bodies or it can straight up ruin the healthy bacteria in our bellies! 
+ I noticed I was taking in more sugar than normal, so I immediately eliminated sugar. I don't eat much of it, but I made sure to get rid of. 
+I also started taking note to the amount of water I was drinking and pledged to drink more.
+ I began managing my seizure medication differently.
+ I made sure I was taking adequate Vitamin C. 
+ I watched my dairy intake and reduced all with the exception of salad dressings.
+ Finally, I watched for Soy and Xatham Gum in GF products, which I don't recommend, but sometimes they get sneaky and stick that garbage in there.. READ LABELS!  


It helped me feel better. It helped my digestive system, but it did not contribute to my success in fixing my LEAKY GUT! Maybe it has contributed to the overall healthy of my gut, but that did not fix it.. 

My FRUSTRATION grew.... 

Honestly, I knew if I couldn't ramp up my mileage, past six miles, I would never make a half marathon distance without needing to hit a bathroom after six miles.. When you're running internationally, you can't figure out where all those stops are going to be... You can't chance it.. So, I was thinking about PULLING out for the first TIME ever... 

When all hope was lost, I facebooked friends, I asked for prayer, I asked for help and then with no answers turned up, I turned to my local running store in desperation.. Knowing my luck, I would get a GUY to talk to talk about this with..... POOR guy.... Wanna hear about my GI ISSUES??? 

Honestly, he was like "we love these kind of questions."  {I'm dying on the inside} He proceeded to ask me a series of questions.. I gave him lots of answers and then he provided me his thoughts..

His solutions:

+ Eat a half of a Cliff bar before running
+ Drink a small cup of water before running.
+ Get up early to run

Saturday's Long Run report:

I bumped my mileage up 3 miles! I felt strong all the way up till 8.5 miles. The theory he and I tossed around was the fact that I was dehydrated to begin and then dehydrating my body out before I even had a shot.. STINK! So, getting up early to run, meant that the sun wasn't out and it wasn't as hot.. Which if that theory is correct, by the time I was at 8.5 miles, it was 11:30 am in the morning. The other theory was that I my stomach needed something in it in the morning before taking shots.. Honestly, I NEVER eat breakfast before running.. In the past it has made me sick, but with going GF, and medication, we tossed that my body 
had changed and might have required something in it......  We also tossed another theory and said no more GU and go with only Nuun for electrolytes... So, all of his ideas, proved to be on POINT! 

Completed 9 miles! BAM!!! Thank you BRENT!! Shout out to Striders for having ROCK STAR employee's!!! 

Q: What has been your hardest running challenge?????? What you overcome???? 


Lesley said...

Only us runners understand the need for potty talk. It's like a secret club, and I'm sure we've all had issues too.

Sarah said...

Lol.. So true!! I'm not much of one to share it, but if can help someone, why not?

Bari said...

So glad you are figuring this out! The guys at Striders rock

Ruth said...

So happy you have been able to fix that leaky gut, I often have to run into TacoBell on our long runs sometimes more than once.:-)

Sarah said...

Love Striders! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

Sarah said...

Gotta do what you gotta do :)

Chaitali said...

Wow, that's great that the guy at the store had the answer for you and that it worked out this weekend! He was definitely in the right place at the right time for you :)

Sarah said...

I know, right??? I had been driving myself crazy trying to figure it out!!