Tuesday I finally went to a GI specialist. Why am I so thick headed about these things? I dunno. I only wish I should have done this over a year ago when things started to go badly than try to troubleshoot my diet on my own. Much like having an injury, it’s best to get the professionals involved when things don’t improve with standard methods. Lesson learned! If you ever find yourself in a similar issue of stomach troubles that persist at races and then ultimately impact your training runs and your daily life, even on non-running days, don’t wait like I did, see a doctor and work on a plan together.
I met with the doctor and went over how the last year and a half have been and my attempts to adjust my diet with hit and miss results. I teared up describing how my love for running now includes dread of the ultimate pain I would feel and fear of having an issue with no bathroom nearby.
I was given a blood test for Celiac to rule it out and am awaiting results. The doctor suspected that gluten is not my issue, but wanted to test to be sure. She gave me a plan of probiotic pills and other remedies to use for both sides of the tummy spectrum (sorry I’m trying not to be TMI here). I would say to anyone in a similar situation to work with your doctor to get your plan together and not just go about it on your own. I know that when I’ve been to the pharmacy and stare at a wall of over the counter remedies I felt overwhelmed and was concerned that if I take one thing am I creating another problem. Working with my doctor helped set a plan that I know what is safe to take together.
It’s only been a week, but I have to say I feel MUCH better already. Saturday I had my long run with Rob and had ZERO stomach issues! Plus I’ve been eating gluten without any affect on my stomach. I hope that the improvements continue and this isn’t just a temporary relief.
My fitness has taken a hit from not being able to train through this issue, but I hope that comes back in time. It feels like starting over in running, but it’s okay since it feels amazing to run without severe stomach cramping.
On a non-tummy related note I wanted to tell you that the latest issue of Running Times is the best one I’ve read I think ever from them over the years.
There are so many useful articles about minimal shoes and strengthening your feet, and articles about the Boston Marathon.
I’ve noticed that Running Times content has improved in the last few months and this issue highlighted that. While the minimal shoe preparation article was very good, I do think they should have mentioned the weight of the runner since being overweight can make someone prone to more injury due to stress on the body and minimal shoes may not be something someone should attempt until they are closer to their optimal weight. Also base mileage was not discussed, which I would assume that someone should already be injury free and running a certain amount of mileage to be ready for minimal shoes. These are just my observations, I’m not saying run out and get minimal shoes based on this article alone is all. If you feel you are close to incorporating minimal shoes this article about strengthening feet is one to review and try out.
Regardless of the running topic, involve professionals (running stores, doctors, etc.), monitor closely what works and what doesn’t, and trust your gut.