Running Issues Part 1

I have run into a few issues with all this running I’m doing. I have solved a few of them, but a few I’m struggling with.

Issue #1…FOOD!

Ok…it’s not just when I’m running, but really anytime I exercise or play a sport. I don’t like to eat much before I engage in physical activity…food jostling around in my stomach during Zumba, Dodgeball or while running doesn’t feel good.

The problem is that if I don’t eat enough about 20 minutes in (more so when I’m running than any other activity) I get dizzy and have felt on the verge of blacking out several times. I have tried several different power bars, but they don’t offer enough of whatever it is that my body needs to help avoid this.

Power bars also tend to have high percentages of potassium in them and potassium is one of the things that triggers migraines for me, so there are only a few that I can even eat.

I need to find the right balance of carbs and protein because too much, or not enough, of either one and I have blood sugar issues, and as I have found in a few training runs crashing in the middle of a run SUCKS! I have not tied oatmeal yet, maybe that would be a good option before races and for some reason plain chicken and rice sound like a good idea, but I have nothing to back that up nor does that always sound good first thing in the morning before a run/race. I know what doesn’t work…cereal and yogurt!

I have done some research online and I find all kinds of running “diets” but I never really have believed in diets. (Portion control and smart eating habits are what I believe in, the minute I have to start counting points/calories/fat/weighing myself regularly I’m out. I went through a phase a few years ago of following a true diet and weighing myself and I got pretty obsessive about it. I would weigh myself 3 to 4 times a day and if I gained an ounce would just stop eating, would weigh before and after meals etc…was not healthy at all. I know what is healthy and what isn’t and I can tell when my cloths start fitting a bit snugly…I don’t need a diet or scale to tell me those things. Anyway off that soap box). I’m looking for something I can do the morning of, or even a day or two before a race that works.

I’m already careful about what I eat and drink, or rather DON’T drink, the night before…now I need to find the right fuel for the morning/few hours before a race and or training run.

Another food thing I struggle with is the lack of potassium in my diet…I purposely avoid it in the foods I eat and that leads to a lot of leg cramps and knots. This has been an issue long before I started running, but now that I’m running on top of my work out and sport schedule my muscles are not getting the break they used to and I have knots in my calves that don’t go away ever. They don’t always cramp, and when they do I can usually deal with it before it gets too bad, but they hurt when I run because they are hard as rocks no matter how much I stretch. My next massage I’m sicking my therapist on my legs to try and work some of the knots out!

BTW – I don’t want to offend anyone with my diet comments. I’m not being critical of the diets that are out there or people that follow them. All I’m saying is that for me they don’t work so well. My obsession over it last time I dieted is a personal issue and I know I tend to go to extremes with it, so would rather risk haveing a few pounds more than maybe I should than risk being skinny, but obssed and unhealthy about it. Plus, I LOVE to cook. I would rather cook a yummy meal that has heavy cream (for example) in it and just eat a little bit of it than feel like I can’t cook/enjoy it at all. I guesse in it’s own way that is a form of diet, but as long as I don’t feel like I have to follow a strict “diet” I’m ok with it and am able to maintain balance.

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