I recently had another food Aha! moment, this time race-related. My favorite pre-race meal has been Thai food; I've never had stomach issues after having Thai food. Maybe I should clarify, neutral Thai food. I know better than to order the triple spicy curry before a race.
Unfortunately, I've had several races where I've had stomach issues but I had a hard time figuring it out. Two things are required for my stomach to turn south: heat and high exertion level. I've never had a problem during ultras or even running races, only triathlons. But I think part of the problem is that it's usually 11 am when I'm starting the running portion of a 70.3 versus starting a 1/2 marathon at 7 or 8 am.
After reading several articles, and taking my personal history into account, I decided to try going gluten-free for Nationals. Shelley's family was planning on veggies and pasta so I picked up some quinoa pasta. And while it's not rock-solid science, I didn't have any problems in Burlington. During the run, it was in the upper 70s to low 80s with full sun and I was definitely working hard. I think gluten-free the day before might be the trick. I still had Pop-Tarts for breakfast and I'm assuming there is gluten in them. But my current theory is that Pop-Tarts are such simple carbs that I can digest those without a problem.
The hydration and nutrition part of racing is beyond complicated. I'm still learning and I can see how having a lot of racing experience can make a huge difference in performance. And it's all so personal. It doesn't really matter if the latest research says pickle juice is the best thing to drink while racing if the thought of taking a big swig of pickle juice makes you want to vomit. I know that GU sits well, Hammer Gel does not. On a cool day when my hydration is good, I can drink Gatorade. On a hot day or if I'm over-hydrated, Gatorade makes a bad situation worse. Ice water always tastes good, but it's easy to get salt levels out of whack. Contrary to my previously held belief, vegetables the night before a race will not wreak havoc on my system. And I will NEVER drink Gatorade G3 Recovery again. I took a huge gulp of that crap after Nationals and then spit it out, almost ruining some lady's shoes. Man, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to tattoo a list of food guidelines on my arm so I can remember what to eat and what to avoid.
8 hours ago