Recently I've made some changes. On the advice on my Naturopathic Doctor I decided to try an elimination diet to see if I have any food allergies. Of course I worried about how this might affect my running, but I see it as a necessary step to better overall health that will only help me in the long run (so to speak).
Last Friday I started the new diet and the first effect was caffeine withdrawal. Having to give up coffee was not easy. I only have one espresso or americano in the morning and that's all for the day. I wouldn't have thought that I was that addicted, but I was and I spent three pretty awful days dragging myself around and not feeling fully alert. How did that affect my running? It's not hard to figure out is it?
That Friday I headed out for my run, even though I had a pounding headache because I believed that the running would make my headache go away, and could barely make it up the tiniest of slopes. My hamstrings were struggling and pained and my whole body felt like a dead weight. I ran what I could and took walk breaks, shortening my loop into half the distance I would have done. I was pretty upset at the lousy run and wondered if this detox diet was going to disrupt my training.
Sunday I headed out again and I noticed that I had a strange tingling or ticklish kind of pain in my glutes that I felt even moreso going down hills. Several times I had to stop and eventually I gave up and walked home because I couldn't run with the pain. This was really starting to concern me.
Monday I went out with the desire to get a quick run, hoping I wouldn't have the same pain again. Three steps into the run I knew it was still there. I muscled through, taking it easy on the particularly steep hills. My energy level was still fairly low as my body adjusted to the detox diet. I got through the run but it wasn't easy.
Thursday I tried the treadmill. It wasn't much better. I didn't have a lot of time before work so it was a brief quick run. On my way to work I had to stop by the ND for my B12 shot and mentioned what was going on with my running. She was surprised, but suspected that the detox diet was affecting me and that perhaps it was lactic acid. I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, but it didn't. I was convinced it was one of the herbal remedies I'm taking that was affecting me.
This past Good Friday I went out for a run and it was much better and I found I could go further than I anticipated. My fear of not being able to run for a long stretch went away and I started to enjoy my running again. I had a short run today and felt fine even in the rain. So this was just a temporary setback. I have to remember to not worry so much when these things happen.
Now I'm feeling strong enough to start biking again. As for the coffee? I won't be going back on it or any caffeine because I don't ever want to experience the withdrawal again.