Mocha Express
Commentaries
Thought provoking commentary on
Business, Technology, Organizations, and Organizational Dynamics
to clarify my thinking and engage in intelligent conversation.
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4 Stomach Curmudgeon

May 15, 2013


OK, I gotta eat, and eat before I'm hungry, sounds like a plan!
But what do I eat???
Can I go for those complex energy bars, burgers, fries, etc?? oops: !!FAIL!!

Well fat burning shuts down at 70%, but the stomach curmudgeon slacks off at 80%.
Shouldn't be a big deal, 80% is pretty high, isn't it? Oh? at age 60 it is about 128?!!!?

If I eat big, heavy food I need to keep my HR below 128?  Ain't going to happen if I want to get from Seattle to Portland.
So, how long before an event, does one have to start "clearing the fuel line"?

The Pioneer Century

It was my second year of the Portland Century.
I was always experimenting with things so, for breakfast before the century, I decided to try a "bigger" breakfast: some eggs and sausage.
It was an hour's drive to the start and I wasn't leaving yet, so, what could go wrong?

Everything was fine for about an hour: then I faded.  All my energy disappear and I was slouching along with everyone passing me.  I decided to pass on the "hill" and took my sneak route cutting the 55 miles down to 35 and avoiding a big hill.

When I go to the midpoint (which was the start/finish), I gave up.  It just wasn't working.  In spite of a big breakfast and eating gel/drinking energy drink on schedule, I was toast/!!FAIL!!

STP 2011

I was ready and able to do the 2011 STP!
So, the afternoon before, I loaded up to make sure I had plenty of energy.
A burger, fries, ice cream sundae for desert!  Yep, I was loaded to go!

The next day, at the 5 am start, a full 12 hours after that huge, stuff-me-full, meal, I wasn't feeling the best.  My get up and go, apparently was still back in the hotel. 

I shuffled off with everyone but my speed was only 13-14 mph!
On previous, successful STPs, I was doing 16-17 for the first 100 miles (not counting 72nd St. E a.k.a "the hill") so the slower speed was a real concern.

By the time I passed Chehalis, I was in sad shape and the, Rush Hill Rd, did the coupe de gras: I was toast: !!FAIL!!.  My "emergency pickup person"  will, likely, not ever, ever, let me forget.

What This About the Stomach Curmudgeon?

Well, I never actually barfed, but it sure has been close.  That earlier web note I quoted about a 1992 study and 1/2 hour before the swim....

Processing Food

It seems the stomach has a job to do: it must take food, convert into absorbable food and meter it out into the "absorb area" in the appropriate consistency.

Turns out it is a curmudgeon: it gets cranky if it doesn't get enough outside fuel and oxygen.  When it gets cranky it does one of two things:

  1. holds it until there is enough fuel and blood oxygen to work successfully, or
  2. if the masticated food is "aging" and fuel/oxygen are really scarce, why it will just clamps itself.
    Which means that, since the bottom end is tightly sealed, the "stuff" squirts out the top end:
    past the gums and between the lips, look out world, here it comes!
    That, of course keeps that old, rancid food (mayo held at 98 degrees for hours...) from making a person terribly sick.  Yucky, but not sick.

I guess I need to select simpler foods (and maybe less).

Holding Food

It doesn't sound so bad, just hold the food until a person slows down.

But what about water?
Does that get through?
NOPE, nada, nothing get through until it is ready.
Should the stomach curmudgeon close the gate, everything is held.

Hot day? Feeling a little thirsty? Tough!  Nothing will get past the curmudgeon!

Bottom Line

Yes, eat those burgers, fries, steaks, eggs, sausages, etc:
it is really easy to "eat before you're hungry" and !!FAIL!!
Complex foods can take a while to process, especially if there is a lot of it.  My 12 hours with STP 2011 should, in my view, been OK, but, apparently, it wasn't!

Me, I think I'll make sure I respect Mr. Curmudgeon and keep foods simple the 18 hours before STP.

Almost anything else and !!FAIL!!.

Recent Commentaries
in Fueling Book

STP: Fueling - May 24, 2013
6  What's a Body to Do?
STP: Fueling - May 19, 2013
5  Osmotic Police
STP: Fueling - May 15, 2013
1  Fueling? Fueling What'ya mean?
STP: Fueling - May 15, 2013
4  Stomach Curmudgeon
STP: Fueling - May 15, 2013
3  Greedy, Hoarding Fat Cells!
STP: Fueling - May 15, 2013
2  The Miseries: bonk/bloat/barf/slosh/ desiccate

Fueling
       Chapters

1   Fueling? Fueling What'ya mean?
  May 15, 2013
2   The Miseries: bonk/bloat/barf/slosh/ desiccate
  May 15, 2013
3   Greedy, Hoarding Fat Cells!
  May 15, 2013
4   Stomach Curmudgeon
  May 15, 2013
5   Osmotic Police
  May 19, 2013
6   What's a Body to Do?
  May 24, 2013
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