Indelicate essentials.

(An epiphany at Christmastide)

For years I have been bothered by the fact that I get nauseous and am unable to eat after exercising for a long time. The first time I noticed this was about 10 years ago when I did my first 200 mile bike ride. So it’s been a problem as long as I’ve tried to do long distance stuff.

Over the years I have tried various things to calm my stomach. Nothing has worked. No salt. More salt. More water. Different foods. Going slowly. Nothing worked.

Recently I’ve been trying to be systematic about testing. I’ve signed up for a 100 mile run and I won’t be able to complete it if I can’t eat after 6 hours. About a month ago I ran the Red Rock 50 course, but not in a race, just to see if going slowly would help. It didn’t.

But I did notice that after using the pit toilet at red rock trailhead I felt better for a while. Didn’t think much of it then. And when I returned to the toilet I didn’t feel the need to use it so I didn’t.

On Christmas day I was testing to see if taking a 15 minute break every three hours (roughly) would work. I didn’t really expect it would, but couldn’t think of anything else to try.

I had intended to do RR again, but Paradise Road (5N18 or whatever) got so much mud dumped on it and was closed off so early that I didn’t want to subject my road bike to it. And there was no other way to get water out there. So I did some big loops through blue canyon.

I took along an ebook reader and I stopped at Cottam Camp and read for 15 minutes. I stopped again at my car at Romero trailhead. By the time I got back to Cottam I could feel the nausea was building again, and a 15 minute pause didn’t help.

About two miles beyond Cottam is a pit toilet at Forbush and I found I needed to use it (I grabbed two sycamore leaves that hadn’t yet fallen), and after that I felt fine.

So I tend to think that I simply need more room in my innards, and the nausea is relieved if I shit.

Unfortunately a) I usually don’t feel any urge to do so when racing and b) the opportunity is generally not available in a trail race. The first, perhaps, could be solved by drinking more water. The second, well by picking a race with lots of port-a-potties? Born to Run has one every 10 miles, so it is probably a good race for me…

Interesting that even using low fiber foods like gels or blocks I still have this problem. I suppose there’s gunk in me from breakfast. I wonder about enemas. Living off GU for the day before a race? (Ug).


One thing that had concerned me was that after sitting for 15 (chilly) minutes in the middle of a run I’d be too stiff to continue. I did notice a little stiffness, but once I started moving it went away quickly and wasn’t an issue.

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2 Responses to “Indelicate essentials.”

  1. Adger Williams Says:

    Well, I boggle. I used to know a guy who was very careful always to take a “pre-hike crap.” Might be good to start off as empty as possible as suppose.

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