Mar 19, 2012

Leprechaun Loop 8k recap

Saturday evening I headed up to Davidson with David where we participated in the inaugural Leprechaun Loop 8k.

A few things were making me worry about this race, but my biggest concern was my stomach. I've run in the evening only a handful of times, but every single time I have some kind of tummy problems. Sometimes it's a weird heartburn feeling, sometimes it's a strange bloating/gassy feeling, and sometimes it's just a plain old breathing cramp that wont go away.

My stomach, coupled with a morning race, convinced me to just take easy for this one.

The first three miles seemed to be pretty much all downhill (which meant the last 2 miles were going to be what some would call a female dog). I tried to keep my posture relaxed and breathe deeply. Approximately .15 into the race I got a wretched breathing cramp. Luckily, I was able to work through it in time to be assaulted with that lovely vomit feeling (and this time, I didn't have any ice cream, cheese, or milk right before my run).

A few miles into the race though, I think my body finally accepted that I wasn't going to stop. Things calmed down and I was starting to enjoy myself.

Mile 1- 9:01
Mile 2- 8:55
Mile 3- 8:55

Mile 4 started the hills. I must not have looked too good because a volunteer rode up to me and asked if I was doing alright, said I was looking a little pink.

This is a public service announcement: white people turn red when they run outside in the heat. We're not dying.

After telling him things were fine, he assured me "the worst of the downhills are behind you."

Thanks, buddy.

There were some STEEP hills in the second half of this race. In fact, I'm quite sure the uphills were steeper than most of the mountains I've hiked up. I did plenty of walking.

If you think doing a double workout is hard, try doing a double race. Yep. I was naive thinking "oh it's just a little old 5k and psshh, what's an 8k? I'm a marathoner!"

I don't think I did enough hydrating and stretching through out the day. Yep, I think that's it. That explains why my stomach flipped me the bird from the start. I think the tightness in my legs was also to blame for the horrendous knee pain that brought me to a sad, pathetic limp in the last quarter mile.

And I mean, pathetic. Like, I can see the finish line and all those darn, cheery spectators are yelling, "you're almost there! you can do it! run run run!!" and all I can do is limp like a loser across the finish mats.

Mile 4- 9:57
Mile 4-4.88- 9:27

Final time- 46:16

After my stomach finally settled, I got some post race refreshments to help ease the pain. Beer and pizza is good for upset stomachs, right? Whatever, it made me less cranky.

Lynn did an awesome job, finishing this difficult race a mere 7 days after her first half marathon (in a while). David also met his time goal of under 1 hour.

In my morning runs, I have an ironclad stomach. I can seriously eat whatever I want and be fine. But I turn into a colicky 4 month old when I run in the evening. What gives? What should I do to insure my insides don't explode? Help!

What's your tummy trouble go-to quick fix?

Did you race this weekend? Tell me about it!


  1. I think it can really be hard running at a time you're not used to. You've probably had more food or different foods during the day that can easily cause an upset running tummy. You know you have a routine for AM races. Glad you were ok though and it wasn't anything really serious. And I had to laugh at the pink face comment and the cheery spectators. Sometimes I really want to flip people off when they are all happy saying stuff like "halfway there" "only 2 more miles" ok thanks for that heads up. I got it. ;-)

  2. Wow, double race day? That's awesome. Great job on sticking it out. And I laughed out loud at "white people get red when they run outside in the heat".

  3. I started taking a pepto bismal pill before long runs during marathon training, because anything over 13 miles made me NEED to use the restroom. STAT. I get heartburn often. If you eat healthily, like whole wheat and veggies, that can cause a lot of heartburn during exercise. I would recommend eating bland food before a later run, such as rice, oatmeal or plain pasta. AWESOME job no matter what, double races all the way!

  4. great job on the double race day. You're officially super hardcore! It's funny because I have the opposite - tummy issues more in the morning than later in the day. I usually get it if I run too soon after eating, don't drink enough water. I swear by my ginger pills.

  5. Hey Danielle! I just found your blog and it's so awesome to read about another veggie runner's experiences :) Sorry to hear that this race didn't go so well - but doing two in one day is pretty intense! Hopefully the next one on your schedule goes a little better :)

  6. Danielle, I'm so sorry about your stomach problems during this race! That's got to be one of the worst problems to have.

    I'm almost always a morning runner too. I get up around 6 or so, and run without eating anything before-hand (unless I go more than 10 miles). The few times when I have done Sunday afternoon long runs, I have always eaten very lightly (some times a cookie or two from the table at church!) at least an hour before the run. Anything jiggling around in my stomach does not feel good at all!

    I also get nervous before races the same way as you mention. The races I have done best on are the ones where I really took the pressure off myself mentally. Sometimes, I even feel pressure just knowing that when I report a time, it will be reviewed by DM friends. My rational self knows that *no one* is judging me, but my loony side doesn't want to "let my running friends down." That is so totally absurd, but I do think of everyone else as I run, and that sometimes gives me a little extra burst of motivation.

    Running is a very personal and emotion-riddled sport. It can bring us to the highest highs, but when illness, injury, or fatigue set in, it can bring us down to the lowest lows.

    Did your stomach calm down immediately after? If so, it's probably more of a nervous or time-of-day thing. If not, then maybe it was something you ate.

    In either case, you must listen to your body when it loudly tells you what pace it can tolerate on that particular run. It sounds like you did the smart thing and didn't push it. Is the knee better now? I hope so!

    You'll get another chance to get a feel-good, early morning race in this upcoming weekend! I've been studying the course map and the elevation chart so we can strategize. We're going to be doing some crazy loops!

  7. WOW! great performance all things considered :)