I’ve made a lot of poor choices in my life {who hasn’t right?!} and one of those choices I now regret was transitioning over the past couple of years to using no fuel on my runs and bringing no water.

20 miles. hashtag #nofuel #nowater #yay

only it wasn’t #yay for my body…..

 

The thought behind transitioning to not carrying anything with me on runs was that I wanted to my body to use my fat as fuel and not rely on quick sugars. It had become a common occurence in marathons I ran for my stomach to “blow up.” Meaning that by the end of the race I felt and looked 5 months pregnant. I felt water sloshing around in my stomach because my body was presumably no longer absorbing what I was ingesting. I decided that if I could teach my body to rely on my fat and use less fuel during a race, as well as become accustomed to what it felt like to still push my body hard when I was feeling the effects of dehydration, I could prevent the slow down in the last miles of a marathon. I think it worked in some ways. My stomach still gave me some issues, but the sloshing was mostly gone at the end of races. The exception was during The Great Wall Marathon – I drank a TON in the later stages of this race and my stomach was not to pleased with me – in hindsight I should have drank more the day before the race and not tried to play catch up during the race.

I was sacrificing my overall health and how I felt on a day to day basis, for a fast time on one day of my life. Hashtag #notworthit

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My goal time and hitting that took over my mind and I didn’t focus on the fact that immediately after most races I had wicked headaches. I am not someone who enjoys drinking water. Juice? Yes. Coffee? Yes. Tea? Yes. Chai? Yes. Just about anything except water…..

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I’m anal retentive about what I drink water from {I hate drinking water from glasses at restaurants for example}, so if I didn’t have something that I wanted to drink out of, I just didn’t drink any water, even if I was thirsty. The day after a marathon, it wasn’t my legs that hurt, it was my head. I didn’t even begin to drink enough water to compensate for all that I had lost during the race and honestly I wasn’t even drinking enough water to compensate for life in general, much less a marathon.

After long runs I was in a really bad mood. Don’t get me wrong, I was high as a kite from running and was really happy with my mileage but I was snappy. I wanted to curl up in a ball and nap, but once I had kids naps were a thing of the past. My husband started noticing a pattern and pointed out that the days I am the snappiest are the days I run the farthest.

Running long also increased my appetite, but with not drinking enough water it felt like all the food in the world couldn’t and wouldn’t fill me up. Long run days were days I both loved and despised.

 

I recently wrote about my GFR {glomerular filtration rate} and how I have decreased kidney function {http://www.mile-posts.com/personal-health/yeah-but-what-if-you-cant-jfr.html}. As someone who has a history of kidney disease in her family this isn’t a good thing. I have to pay attention to this and track it to make sure it’s not getting any worse from here on out.

What I didn’t write about in that post, because it’s honestly taken me some serious heart-to-heart talks with myself, is that I have likely caused some of this decline through chronic dehydration. Despite what I have been told by my doctor, that you can’t ever improve your GFR, this post says you can….so who knows? I’m not a doctor, so I have to rely on the information mine gives me. I’m going to assume I can’t improve it and just focus on preventing anymore decline.

So what am I doing?

I’m going back to the basics. Back to a point in my life with food, nutrition, fuel, etc. – where I felt good – I was running great and wasn’t obsessed.

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On my trip to visit the Gaia Herbs farm earlier in the summer, I purchased a Hydro Flask and am now attempting to drink two full bottles of water a day {64 oz}. I’m carrying water on many of my shorter runs and am bringing water and fuel on longer runs.

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I do hope one day I get back some of my speed, but for now my focus is on getting to a place where I feel good, am healthy and am not inadvertently hurting myself with the latest “fitness trends.” Running more PR’s doesn’t mean a thing if I’m not healthy. My goal has always been to be a runner for life and I’m taking steps to make sure that dream stays a reality.

I still have not figured out my dizziness/getting sick issue and who knows maybe hydration is also related to it. Two doctors have now both ruled out vertigo, so at least I’m making progress in figuring all this stuff out. I got the results back from my HIDA scan with CCK and learned some not so fun news about my gallbladder, I’ll ramble on about that later in the week.

This morning’s workout was a kettle bell workout in my basement —

Have you made some changes to your diet and/or fueling that you now regret?

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