Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cleaning house

I alluded to nondescript belly issues in my last post that were making me feel crappy during my workouts.  This has been going on for a month.  A solid month.  The symptoms: feeling full when I wake up in the morning, water retention (3-4 lbs worth!), sloshy stomach while running, etc.  I kept waiting for the "cycle" to break, assuming it was somehow related to the hormonal party that my body must be having at this time in my life, but this was starting to seem more like a continuum than a cycle.

I realize that these symptoms could be indicative of a larger medical problem, but I feel it necessary to exhaust some home remedy options before attempting to navigate the labyrinth of HMO care.  So far, I have tried watching my salt intake, eliminating all alcohol consumption (gulp), and taking over-the-counter diuretics to relieve the water retention.  None of these have reduced the feeling of having a built-in CamelBak around my midriff.

I found myself at Whole Paycheck over the weekend in the herbal remedy aisle and decided to take drastic action.  I pretty much did an eeny, meeny, miny, mo on the "herbal cleanse" shelf and found a 7-day raw food cleanse that promised results.  It was hard to tell exactly what results I might expect, but I thought it was worth a shot.  I think I'm probably supposed to be changing my eating habits to correspond with the spiritual intent of this product, but that's not practical for me given my training load.

I started the cleanse Monday, so I am in the 3rd day.  What I found out after I dropped the $30 on this product is that it is baby-shit-mixed-with-cat-vomit flavor.  It was not clearly labeled as such, but internet reviews of the product confirmed it.  I have managed to choke down the various treatments daily, hoping that I'll wake up feeling miraculous the next day.

I began questioning this plan last night when I felt like absolute crap during my workout.  I had 12 miles (in the 90-degree heat, of course) that included 10 minutes at tempo (5:56 pace), then a 4 x 1000 breakdown (600m @ 5k goal pace, 200m @ 1500m goal pace, 200m @ 5k goal pace) w/2 minute jog rest.   I barely managed to hold my paces and had to extend the rest between the 3rd and 4th repeats to do so.  It all felt much harder than I wanted.  I hydrated like the dickens after the run and was pleased that my body did not hold the liquid hostage.  Perhaps coincidentally, I was back to my normal weight (-3 lbs. of water weight) this morning and had lost the CamelBak. 

When I initially woke up this morning, I felt like I had been hit by a bus.  Luckily, this feeling passed after I lingered in bed a bit longer.  I have felt even better as the day's progressed.  I normally don't buy into all of the homeopathic garbage about cleanses releasing toxins from your system, blah, blah, blah.  However, I really want to believe that this is what's happening.  I want to believe that the shit-barf-flavored sludge I consume before bed is cleaning me out and that the toxins are being incinerated inside my body, playing ring-around-the-rosy for a couple of days, before being banished for good.           

Luckily, I don't have any brutal workouts scheduled for the next few days so I can keep letting those toxins loose before I ask my legs to run 4 laps fast around the track on Saturday.


  1. i don't know about the stomach issues... but i will say that i've heard it's pretty normal in the summer time to retain water. i find that i do it a lot myself. if you google "water retention in the summer time" you find all sorts of articles about it. it's some reaction your kidneys have to the hotter temps. i do think that drinking a ton of water can really help these things work themselves out. it does suck, though! it's hard to know if there is actually something wrong or if it's just some weird funky cycle that your body is going through (which as you said can be normal for women and especially for women our age!). hope you feel better soon. now i feel kinda dumb asking you about pacing when you had these other things going on!

  2. I dunno, seems like if you've been dealing with this for a full month, it's worth a visit to the doc. Better than scarfing down babyshitcatvomit. Hope it works itself out but if not, get looked at, life is too short to feel like you have a permanently stuffed gut.

  3. t-meat: I'm sure the summer heat is partly to blame. But, it seems like it's a little more than that. I am encouraged this morning waking up for the second day in a row without a bowling ball in my belly.

    GIM: The voice of reason. You're right, of course. I just really hate going to the doctor for stuff like this. I'm so not interested in treating the symptoms. But, if the sludge doesn't do the trick, that will be my next move.

  4. instead of tons of water- which flushes electrolites out of your system-- not good- try drinking so-be no calorie water- vitamin water or any one of dozen products on market. check for calories- sugar & salt on each bottle. if all else fails- chochlate ex-lax will clean your system

  5. For what it is worth, late last year I was constantly having the same feeling of fullness, although more like living with a brick in my stomach, water retention, etc. I had been experiencing those feelings for months. Then after not eating my usual morning bulgur wheat, fruit, and yogurt cereal concoction for a week (because I was too busy, well more like too lazy, to get to the grocery store for the bulgur) the brick and other symptoms disappeared within a few days. After a little more experimenting of not eating and then eating gluten I discovered and my internist agreed that I have developed a gluten intolerance problem in my late 40s. As soon as I eat gluten the brick and all of the other symptoms immediately return.

    It might be worth a try for a few days to see if not eating gluten helps some of the symptoms you are experiencing. It's definitely better tasting than the cleanser stuff. Maybe not so much cheaper. Gluten free is not so cheap.

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