I never imagined when I first started running long distance that the actual act of running would be only half the battle. Besides finding the time to train, I’ve struggled immensely with my nutrition. Granted, I’m guilty in the past of a steady diet of Mt. Dew and Taco Bell, but these days the diet is cleaner and I am still on a mighty quest to please my digestive tract. Or more like, not disrupt it during a long run.
Let’s talk carb loading. To some, it is the act of absolutely gorging yourself on some sort of pasta product the night before a race. To others, it’s a weekly, well calculated process of depleting and then restoring glycogen supplies. I am previously guilty of a well planned dinner at the Olive Garden pre half and full marathon, or a private pasta party with me, myself, and I, in my home before a long training run. And the “guilt” part comes in when I admit that instead of a normal serving of some whole wheat spaghetti and natural tomato sauce, I usually eat the entire platter of say, chicken alfredo (and those endless bread sticks, yuumm)
So lately, I’ve been fueling this carb craving running machine with rice and quinoa, and lots of it. With a side of beans and veggies. My crock pot has become my best friend. I still eat bread and pasta, just not within the 48 hours before a long run. I could be off my rocker here with the gluten idea, or I may be onto something for my protesting gastro-intestinal tract. But if nothing else, I feel far less bloated than I do after eating pasta. And I hesitate to say it for fear of jinxing myself on tomorrow’s long run…but last week’s 15 miler did not send me running for the nearest bathroom.