running and nutrition

how to run a marathon – part 3

Nutrition. I decided on an ideal race weight based on my build, by comparing against a professional runner of similar build. Taking off pounds is important because it eases the incredible impact of your weight on your legs. I lost about 10lbs in 2 months and though it’s not much, it made a really big difference. Gravity didn’t hurt so bad.

My staple diet for the 4 months of training consisted of oatmeal, peanut butter & jelly, pan-fried tilapia in olive oil, garlic, shrimp, tunafish, honey, granola, fruit, fruit juice, wheat bread and pasta, lots of tomatoes, cup of noodles, all the V8 juice combinations, bananas, oranges, muscle milk (which i found tasted pretty good mixed with hot coffee), tea, broiled turkey/chicken with veggies, jamba juice, spinach, eggplant, salad, almonds, quinoa, almond milk, salads, eggs, sweet potatoes, soups. On weekends after long runs I often treated myself to the stuff I cut out: pizza (cheese), chicken wings, hamburgers, steak, butter, bacon. So I could get the cravings out of my system once in a while. I also took B-complex and multivitamins every single day, and sometimes those green tea extract pills.

I usually start my day with some oatmeal/granola and honey and fruit, maybe some brown sugar. And a thermos of coffee/tea mixed with almond milk. Then I will snack while I’m at work on apples and oranges and granola/protein bars. After work (I work a nightshift) I will fry eggs, sometimes a whole wheat muffin, garlic, onion, ketchup (sandwich). Rest for an hour or two before my daily run (unless it’s summer when I have to get on the road/river early. After my run it’s a good idea to have some protein of some kind within the first half hour, otherwise hydrate through the day, fruit juices, water, granola bar, jamba juice. When I wake up at night before work, I might broil chicken or fish with veggies, or pan fry in olive oil. I rarely do both the big breakfast (eggs) and the big dinner (fish/meat/pasta) on the same day when I am training. I don’t need that much food unless I ran for over a couple of hours. I substitute something smaller, soup/salad/oatmeal/tunafish/pb&j, in lieu of one of those meals. This is what works for me.

The week leading up to a race, you wanna hydrate and carb-load religiously if you can. Meaning small meals several times a day, keep drinking water. I found that eating well makes me feel good, running makes me feel good, yoga makes me feel good, so I would just remind myself of this! It makes sacrifice and effort a whole lot easier when you see the bigger picture. You are a star! You are so healthy! You are the lean, mean, running machine!

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journal entry

Journal # 09.02.2016

Tomorrow I will be driving with a friend 2 hours north past Lake Tahoe to Reno so we can hike Mount Rose. This mountain has the highest base in the Tahoe range, somewhere around 8,000 feet. The peak is 10,000. No big deal, just a fun trip and a way for me to cross train. Honestly my body feels like hell still from last week’s 41 total miles running so I am happy to take another day off this week. I have felt progressively worse since the 13:7mile B2B. That was my first ever half marathon, so maybe it was an overexertion? It’s all a big experiment. My nutrition and sleep needs are also part of the equation. I have been drinking a lot of water and V8 juices and eating PB&J on whole wheat and oatmeal, and salmon. But I lapsed for a few days into sourdough bread with cheese and tomato, and even had a 5-egg cheese omelet yesterday for lunch with sausage. I convinced myself that I oughta clear out the remnants of my old diet from the fridge – by eating! Bad idea. I am expecting to lose 15-20 pounds by december for the CIM, so I can be at ideal race weight (I have lost about 5 this past month). I can tell my legs are much stronger, and my lungs are doing more with the oxygen because I am rarely out of breath anymore. I’ve been keeping up with yoga and running in sun and heat lately, because I cannot get off work until 830am (would prefer to hit the road around 700am). The good news is that I have been feeling fantastic when I am on the road or river trail and running. I think if I continue to stretch well, tweak the nutrition and cross train when my body tells me I should, pushing the limits on the long runs, I should be just fine and ahead of the Hal Higden schedule I am following. I kinda wish I had chosen a trail run like the AR25 instead of the road marathon for my rookie race, cause I’m finding that the trail is so much softer on the body. Wait! I did sign up for the AR Parkway inaugural 20 miler in November. Though it’s registered as a road race, I can only hope it will be hybrid, if they leave room for running on the margins of the bike trail, where there is indeed earth.