It’s only been 22 Months or so. We survived a pandemic, I have a new job, our family welcomed a new dog, and life seems busier than ever. Sorry for the lack of posting but I guess I’m here to say – things are nearly back to normal. I forget I don’t have a stomach most days. I’m still active and plan on running a half marathon with my wife next month. If you’re reading this – keep fighting. No matter what your battling – Keep Fighting.
It’s been 2 years and six days since my total gastrectomy due to CDH1 gene mutation and Hereditary Diffused Gastric Cancer Syndrome. During the first few months after surgery, I would have thought I would be finishing the Charleston Marathon in 4:11:45 in two years.
It was a warm day (low 70’s) and the race was hard. Knee pain started at mile 4, and only got worse. By mile 20, and after drinking over 115 ounces of liquids to keep from cramping, my legs were extremely sore and tight. I felt worse when I walked through the aid stations, so I picked up the pace and just suffered through the finish line. My goal was to finish under 4:30:00 so I was thrilled!
I went by a pop-up IV place and got a bag of fluid after the race. It didn’t help too much as I had a headache for around 48 hours following the race. I suspect due to dehydration. My legs are super sore, and the mental fog is intense. Recovering from the marathon is much more involved than I thought. With all the pain and difficulty, it was worth it.
I have no idea if my method will work for others, but I did a lot of things differently:
3 runs a week. Short, internals one day. Tempo runs the other day. Then, lastly, a long and slow run on the weekends. I choose this unorthodox approach because I would be very sore after my long runs and I needed extra rest to recover. I forget where I found this plan but I had to edit it to 3 days and make some changes. I also didn’t follow it 100%. *Disclosure: I didn’t make it myself.
I took a 51 oz water backpack with me on all my long training runs and decided to use it for the race as well. On top of that, I had two 16 oz bottles on me that had 1.5 scoops of Hammer Nutrition – Perpeturm with a Nuun electrolyte tablet in each bottle. After I drank those, I added another electrolyte tablet in each bottle, with two GU Tri-Berry Gel’s and filled with water. Finally, after all of those, I had one last Gel with water to finish the race. PLUS, I would sip a cup of water at each aid station. Perhaps this is way too much, but I didn’t cramp, and it was a hot day so I consider it a victory to me.
The marathon was a big test for me. I’m not sure what I will do next but I think I’ll take a break from the long races for a bit. They are a big commitment and I’m looking forward to relaxing with the family more than racing long races.
Thanks for reading!
Join me Saturday, January 11th, for the Charleston Marathon. This will be my first marathon without a stomach. Training has been interesting and I’m currently battling a cold. I’m excited to give it my best and encourage you to follow along.
You can follow along via this Facebook Event:
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/536198883597869/
OR via the website/app:
Live Tracking for Charleston Marathon – Saturday 7:10am ET
Live results will be posted online to www.CharlestonMarathon.com/Results OR free live tracking through the Sportshive Live App!
For Android Users: The App is available in the Google Play Store. To download, search by keyword “Sportshive Live.” Once downloaded, search for the “Charleston Marathon 2020.”
For iOS Apple Users: The App is available in the Apple App Store. To download, search by keyword “Sportshive Live.” Once downloaded, search for the “Charleston Marathon 2020.”
Search “Dylan Davison”
Thanks for your support!
Marathon training is going well. It’s been painful, but it’s going well.
I seem to be sorer than last time I trained for a Marathon. But, a lot has changed since last time too.
I ran my first marathon in 2016. My knee became sore during the last month of training and I had no idea how to plan for nutrition on the marathon. I encountered a hamstring cramp at mile 20 of 26.2 and that greatly impacted my time and overall enjoyment. I had to walk/jog for the last six miles. It was a great learning experience and I was thankful I finished.
The marathon I’m going to run on January 11th, in Charleston SC, will be a much different experience. Here is what’s changed:
- I’m about 25-30 lbs lighter
- I don’t have a stomach.
- My nutrition plan is much more involved
- Carry about 82 ounces of water/Gatorade with me so I can drink as often as I like
- Mix an electrolyte tablet with every 16 ounces of Gatorade and also mix in a Tri-Berry GU Gel for every 45 minutes of running
- My legs are extremely sore after every long run. Like, barely can walk sore.
- I’m only training 3 days a week, rather than 5. (Short run, mid-run, and long-run) -> This is certainly untested, but I created the plan after realizing I couldn’t take the beating of running 5 days a week. I was far too sore and tired.
- I lose around 3-4 pounds on long runs. I still don’t understand the math on this one. I’m drinking of 90 oz of fluids and I still come back 3-4 lbs lighter.
- Way more tired after workouts. Might be due to the hydration mentioned above. It’s hard to describe. It’s beyond tired. It’s like mental fog. I counter it with many shots of espresso to survive the remainder of the day.
Now that I have reached 18 miles, I feel great about finishing the race. Only a few more weeks to build, then I’ll taper before race day. Thanks for following along! You can mark yourself interested/going the support event via Facebook where I’ll continue to add content and updates. You can join in posting how much you will run/jog/walk on race day to support No Stomach For Cancer awareness!
You can make a difference and help me raise money for important Stomach Cancer Research during Stomach Cancer Awareness Month!
A fellow stomach cancer survivor, and stomachless friend, Camden Linstead has challenged me to raise money and race him in the Charleston Marathon on January 11, 2019. Show your support by donating $26.20 (number of miles we will run in the race) or more to one of our campaigns. All donations are tax-deductible and go to No Stomach For Cancer. Stay tuned for training updates as I’m behind schedule.
DONATE HERE: https://www.justgiving.com/team/dylandavison
I registered for the 2020 Charleston Marathon! This will be my first Marathon without a stomach (2nd overall).
I’m excited about this race because I’m going to join another stomachless friend who has the CDH1 Gene Mutation and had a total gastrectomy 10 years ago and he will be racing with me.
Keep looking for updates. More exciting news coming soon!
I know, I know. 2,500 ft elevation – who cares? Considering I have done almost all my training in zero elevation in Charleston, SC, it was great to get a bit of elevation into the mix without completely failing. I was impressed the added elevation didn’t hurt my performance too much. I stopped a few times for water breaks and I ran through town a bit so I had to stop for cars. That made my time a bit slower overall.
If you visit Tucson, AZ and want to run/bike – I highly recommend visiting “The Loop”. It’s beautiful, paved, clean, and safe. Pictures below!
This triathlon was hard. It started with a swim against the current in the ocean. I survived the sharks and jellyfish (didn’t see either but thought about them both the entire time). My bike split was a new personal record (PR) with 25 miles at 22.15 mph. However, the run was very hard. My calf was extremely tight and I thought I was going to have to walk the 6.1 miles. It finally loosened up and I finished strong on the last 2.5 miles.
I’m happy with the effort overall and it earned a 2nd place finish in my age group. First time being on the podium after racing this race 3 times prior.
I’m thinking of a half marathon or full marathon in December/January. Stay tuned!
NEW PERSONAL RECORD (PR) 5K TIME
I had the pleasure of running the 2019 Turtle Trek 5K which raised $70,000 for Sea Turtle protection courtesy of the South Carolina Aquarium. What an incredible fundraising success story!
The 5K included a flat beach run in the hard sand and it was a simple out and back course. There was about a 10-15 mile per hour headwind on the way out, but a nice tailwind on the way in. It was hot, but that’s expected this time of year in Charleston, SC.
I hit a new PR! I placed 1st in my age group (out of 29), 8th overall (out of 421) with a time of 20:31.8 which was a 6:37 pace. If you’re a runner, then you might not be impressed. But for me, this was a big deal! This is my fastest time since High School.
The sad part of the story is that I was sore for 4 days following the race. Like, super sore.
I’m still not sure if this has to do with having less muscle mass, or nutrition. I hope to figure that out soon. Success story either way in my opinion.
This is a big update for me. It’s been about two months since I have had sugar issues! In the past, if I consumed too much sugar, my blood sugar levels would go to 280 and I would get super sleepy but have a heart rate of 110 which is high for just sitting at my desk. Especially since my normal resting heart rate is in the mid-40’s. Then – 30-45 minutes later, my blood sugar would be in the 60’s which causes dizziness, sweating, unclear thinking, hunger, and more. Neither are fun but low blood sugar can be dangerous. Thankfully, my pancreas does work – it’s just still adjusting to my body receiving raw food straight to my small intestines. For 32 years of my life, my small intestines received food after the stomach perfectly broke it down. That changed abruptly after surgery (that last sentence was written by captain obvious).
It appears my pancreas is figuring things out! To test the power of my pancreas and my body learning how to process food, I decided to have some Pad Thai. Pad Thai has a boatload of rice noodles. Rice Noodles are very high in carbs and often compared to sugar. But – Pad Thai is also fantastic and delicious. I specifically order it Thai Hot – which is so hot it often causes hiccups or a mild sweat. It’s so good.
I’m happy to report I have tried Pad Thai twice in the last week with no sugar issues. (insert Fortnite Dance in celebration).
New milestone! It’s been 19 months and I’m very thankful for the progress that my body continues to make.