This morning, I ran 14 miles at a 10:00 per mile pace. That is pretty awesome for me. The best part, is that the pace never felt difficult. My heart rate was around 155-165 for the entire run, which tells me that I wasn’t working extraordinarily hard. I would absolutely love to be able to do all my long training runs at this pace. If I could keep that pace, I’d run under a 4:30 marathon…probably a pipe dream, but my legs felt pretty good after today’s effort.
The rest of me is another story. If you read my last post, you know that my body tends to revolt against me when I run. I have significant stomach issues that relegate me to my treadmill for the majority of my running sessions. I try to prepare for my long runs and races by eating a specific diet. Today, none of that worked. My stomach was bothering me from the beginning. I made a few pit stops, but I never felt really comfortable. It is such a shame because my legs felt so good. I wish I could get the internal stuff figured out.
I did get a call back from the doctor I saw in GI last week. If you remember, he had done some lab work (celiac panel and thyroid levels). His assistant called me to let me know that everything came back normal. I expected it to. I don’t think that I have Celiac disease (although I won’t count out some sort of gluten sensitivity, maybe?) and my thyroid hormone levels have been stable on the medication dose I’ve been taking for quite a few years.
The next step is to pick up the bags for the Hydrogen Breath test. I did a little research on this process to see exactly what the doctor is looking for. Here’s a bit of what I found:
Hydrogen breath testing is used in the diagnosis of three conditions.
- The first is a condition in which dietary sugars are not digested normally. The most common sugar that is poorly digested is lactose, the sugar in milk. Individuals who are unable to properly digest lactose are referred to as lactose intolerant. Testing also may be used to diagnose problems with the digestion of other sugars such as sucrose, fructose and sorbitol.
- The second condition for which hydrogen breath testing is used is for diagnosing bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel, a condition in which larger-than-normal numbers of colonic bacteria are present in the small intestine.
- The third condition for which hydrogen breath testing is used is for diagnosing rapid passage of food through the small intestine. All three of these conditions may cause abdominal pain and bloating and distention, flatulence, and diarrhea.
It also looks like this is going to be a somewhat time-consuming process:
Prior to hydrogen breath testing, the patient fasts for at least 12 hours. At the start of the test, the patient blows into and fills a balloon with a breath of air. The concentration of hydrogen is measured in a sample of breath removed from the balloon. The patient then ingests a small amount of the test sugar (lactose, sucrose, sorbitol, fructose, lactulose, etc. depending on the purpose of the test). Additional samples of breath are collected and analyzed for hydrogen every 15 minutes for three and up to five hours.
I’ll just bet you can’t wait to hear how it goes!