The last two long distance runs I did were a real cause for concern. Weeks 6 to 8 of the marathon training plan I’m following called for a 20K, 22K and 24K workout, respectively.
I felt great during the 20K. I had my bottle of water and my gel. I was confident that the following week, the 22K wouldn’t be a problem.
Week 7 came and I didn’t finish 22K. After fueling with my second gel, I was hit by nausea at 19K and continued feeling sick hours after my run. It culminated in a vomiting fit that evening.
I did some research online and decided to tweak my hydration and fuels. I would include a sports drink aside from my usual bottle of water and chuck the gels and go for real food.
Week 8 came and it was time to do 24K. I had banana, dates, and pretzels. As for hydration, I went for water, coconut water and then a sports drink.
I finished 24K in the morning and felt like my tweaking did wonders. I also enjoyed the variety of flavors my real foods offered. That evening though, many hours after my run, I got nauseous again. And I vomited again.
Because I wiped the slate clean in terms of my fueling and hydration in the past two runs, it meant that the problem didn’t lie there. It must be something I did AFTER my run.
Week 9 called for a 29K run. By this time I was feeling very anxious. I don’t want to keep vomiting every Sunday. After some careful backtracking over what I did and didn’t do, I decided that the only thing I would change was that I would eat a light post workout meal. The last two times, I filled up because naturally I was very hungry and tired.
That Sunday, I did my run with my usual real foods. I also included one gel but now I found myself getting turned off by the taste and texture of that gel. I made a mental note of picking another flavor for my next run. I finished 29K (to my surprise) without nausea.
I ate lightly for lunch (a banana and peanut butter sandwich) and dinner (minestrone soup). I anxiously waited that evening to see if I was going to end up vomiting again. By 9 P.M., my husband and I rejoiced because I was out of the “danger zone.”
I’m glad I got it sorted out. And I’m truly glad that these things happened now so I can prevent it from happening on race day. I think the beauty of the long distance run is that it not only provides endurance but wisdom to really get to know our body.