You may have noticed that I have a pretty crazy race schedule for August.  Four races in Four weeks, including a 6 miler an 8 miler and a 12.25 mile triathlon sprint.


One of the things I’m learning…slowly is that I have to fuel myself differently than other “athletes”.  (I have a hard time using the word “athlete” to describe myself because, well, you know…I’m just me.)  Anyway during my last race, the PA Spartan Sprint, I totally tanked during the last 1/4 mile of the race.  I sprinted to the finish line but it was pure adrenaline that pulled me through.  I drank water throughout the race- carried a hydration pack with two liters of water and a Quest bar but it wasn’t enough.  The pure water only diluted my body’s electrolytes and the Quest bar did not have enough quick release carbs to keep me going.  (Plus I only had a couple bites because I didn’t want stop and take it out and unwrap it and put it in my mouth and chew slowly and swallow and then take another bite and chew slowly and….well you know.

So!  With this upcoming month’s adventures I’ll be experimenting a bit…because that’s the only way to find the RIGHT answer, right?  Ah, Science!

For starters I’ll be upping my daily carbs.  With daily training, sometimes twice or three times per day, I’ll be burning LOTS of calories and with four races…I’ll also be burning LOTS of calories.  The trick is to do it right!

Carbs are a funny thing…those little bastards!  When I think of carbs I think of wheat, mostly.  Probably because that’s what we’re taught about fitness/nutrition- you eat pasta and bagels to fuel your workouts, right?!  Even in the text book for Personal Training (I’m so close to getting my certification bytheway!) it recommends eat exactly that, a bagel or some pasta before a workout.  I’m like WHAT?!  Seriously?  Um…no.  Beyond being SLIGHTLY carbaphobic, I am very aware of my, only recently noticed but undeniable, sensitivity to wheat…which is a total bummer because I’d love to have an excuse to eat BREAD but even with a valid one, like training/carb loading, wheat makes me gassy and my joints hurt and my hands and feet swell.  Totally sucks!  So, now I’m trying to figure out ways that I can incorporate good carbs that don’t involve wheat.  This is a task that should be simple but I’ve gone so long without eating so many carbs that I struggle to come up with options that don’t involve wheat…because what’s easier than making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?!  (There’s not much that’s more delicious either!)

Yeah, yeah, gluten free bread…I know. I’ll probably get some, blah, blah, blah.  But what about rice and oats and beans!  YES!  They do exist and I can and should be eating them!  But, but, but!  They’re carbs!  And what if come September I want to keep eating them and can’t stop?  What if I GAIN weight in August?  What if, what if, WHAT IF?!?

Maybe I’m more carbaphobic than I originally thought.  Gotta love that unhealthy relationship with food. Ugh!  Who KNEW?!  Certainly not me!  Seriously, I thought I had it all figured out but it turns out I’m still working on it. Grr!

So back to this whole fueling for endurance post WLS thing…

I bought some Grape Nuts, the first ingredient is wheat, crap, but I love them and they’re not gluey and they’re quick and easy and yummy with almond milk.  This is actually the first cereal I’ve bought since my gastric bypass surgery.  Cereal was a bad thing for me in the past so this will be interesting.  I figured Grape Nuts, no matter how much I love them, are NOT Captain Crunch and therefore it will be very unlikely that I will ever be able, or willing for that matter, to eat an entire box in one sitting.  IT. WON’T. HAPPEN!

I have lots of rice in my house.  I don’t know why.  I barely even know how to make rice and when I do I usually kill it, even in the rice maker-  I screw up the simplest things…really.  Hopefully I’ll be better at it by the end of August….

I also have oats.  The thought of eating hot oatmeal in August does not appeal to me so I think I’m going to give these a try  Yeah?

And beans!  I LOVE beans!  I just have to remember to soak them- canned ones are usually have added sugar, did you know that?  Sure do!

The hard part will be NOT justifying my favorite food…NACHOS because A) corn chips are not health food B) I’m limiting my dairy intake…WHAT?!  yeah, I know.  You should feel sorry for me now.

CHEESE!  CHEESE!  CHEESE!  It’s not gone completely, just “used sparingly”.  BAAAAAAAHHHH!

One more thing before moving on- Brett has recently started doing the ketogenic diet and is loving it!  He’s doing SO well and I’m SO proud of him.  WHY OH WHY MUST THE TIMING BE SO OFF?!  I mean seriously, he cuts the carbs and I’m all like, GIMME CARBS…NOW!  What the crap?!

Back to the point of this friggin blog post…

Okay, so, what’s my fuel and hydration plan for race day?  Well…for my first August race (8/3) I’m going to stick with the hydration pack only instead of filling it with straight up water, I’m going to do a 1:1 ratio of water to sport drink AND I’m going to carry some Gu packets and Electrolyte Jelly Beans in my bra and hope like hell they don’t bust while I’m crawling through pits of mud.  I’m also going to put some…crap I don’t know what- peanut butter crackers is the only thing I can think of- stupid wheat!  Some…SOMETHING in my pack to stuff in my mouth in case I begin to feel actual hunger, which is what happened at the Spartan.  I do not do well with hunger pangs and do not want to repeat that ever again!

Got any ideas of REAL FOOD that I could keep in my pack that would be easy to grab quickly?  Keep in mind it needs to be stuff I could be eating with muddy fingers if necessary and won’t spoil in the heat of the day.  Granola bar, maybe?  That’s all I got!

Suggestions appreciated!

Should be an interesting month!  More to come!  Part TWO coming soon!

Now if I could just learn how to breath properly while swimming…

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