On Caffeine Pills

A little history:

I drink a lot of coffee. I have two tattoos celebrating my love of coffee.

But I didn’t drink coffee on race days – for a nice comfortable stomach.

Then I saw a bottle of caffeine pills in the supplement isle and thought of course! And now here we are…

So I skipped coffee and had a 200mg pill before a training session one day – and coincidently we’d splurged and had huge bowls of homemade mac and cheese the night before – I felt gross during the run but I chalked it up to that and called the test a wash.

The next day I took one and merely went to work. No ill effects.

Race day I took one the morning and warmed up just fine, feeling amped. Then went off the start line and felt like I might throw up. Like I might need to throw up. I thought maybe it was a combination of nerves and the fact that I was going off the line a lot faster than normal because it was only 10k and I wanted to rip it up.

Got 41:47 btw, ripping it up confirmed but I felt shakey for 7 of those k.

Today I popped another one to prepare for a race Sunday. Race day routine every morning for at least 3 days out, you know it.

And I did a work out and part way through that work out that same sick feeling came back.

So here’s my totally made up unscientific hypothesis on me and caffeine pills: they don’t do anything until my heart rate gets up and then they kick in all at once.

I figure 200mg ain’t that much. It’s like one strong cup and I drink four cups a day.

But I don’t drink four cups at once. I realize I actually drink coffee pretty slowly. I drink half a cup, it gets cold, I top it up, I drink half a cup, I top it up, repeat.

– that could be the chorus of a song about my life –

And so over some hours I’ve had four cups. But not a crazy rush.

Lesson learned

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