jenn-do you make bone broth? Do you take magnesium? these are huge for my joint health. I would definitely whole 30. the older I get the more my mineral balance comes into play and my body reveals the issues. I think my hamstrings hurting was because of my mag levels--I had run out last week. I am going to add the Epsom salt baths and the supplement. eliminating dairy is big for me too-I digest it fine but my joints definitely ache more when I am eating dairy.
I drink 1 of my bottles during a run-it is 20 oz I think. Really, you need to be hydrated BEFORE the race. A lot of times I drink nothing for 13 miles. I only recently started carrying because I am trying to get the nuun's in for the potassium and salt while I run. I drink 1 gallon of water a day. I know there are articles about being water logged, etc. but I have found this is best for me. But I don't drink it while I run. I drink it spread out over the whole day.
I use the capsules too for salt stick. I don't think it matters-I pack them in a baggy in my Nathan water bottle holder with an extra nuun tablet.
jenn-did you take walk breaks early? if you take regular walk breaks it is much easier on your joints. your goal is to finish. You can do it!!!