Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week Number Nine

Of note during yesterday's 11 miler, were two things: (1) It rained beginning about two seconds into my run through the end of it, and (2) around the 4.5 mile mark I passed a 7 Eleven and saw an image of a Big Gulp in the window which ignited a furious craving for a Dr. Pepper. What?! I haven't had a pop in years but when I finished, I ran straight past my building to the nearest restaurant and sheepishly asked for a fountain drink and nothing else. Walking home, amid stares from people (surely, imagined stares) wondering who I was trying to fool with my armband and running apparel as I attempted to disguise the high fructose corn syrup delight, I realized it would have sufficed to just wet my lips.
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The only conclusion I can draw from this bodily reaction is my body needed sodium and sugar, and the convenience store provided it with an image so my brain latched onto it. Regardless, food has been a topic I have wanted to include in a post for awhile now. Not long ago I casually mentioned to Patrick how "off" the Paleo train I have been recently. I said, "I really need to get serious again, carbs are ruling my life." He pointed out to me however, that Paleo may not be an option during this training. He is right, yet again. My body wants carbohydrates because of the higher level of functioning I am expecting of it. While protein is important for repairing muscle after running and is especially necessary for long distance runs in terms of sustained energy,  carbs are the first source of fuel the body burns during the run. They are what get you going and give you the burst to run a little faster. It is recommended complex carbs make up at least half of the calories taken in by runners. The trick to allow the body access to these carbs throughout the run, is to take them in on a continuous basis in the days prior the run, rather than all at once say an hour beforehand.

Paleo is amazing, and the diet I feel best when following, don't get me wrong! But with this huge change in my fitness regimen, it is important I listen to my body rather than my mind. That is the incredible thing, if you ask me... Your body will literally let you know what it needs, through cravings. In general, however it is essential to recognize when you could substitute a Dr. Pepper for some sweet potatoes. I don't think one dose of HFCS will kill me though ;)

Anyway, training this week was majorly uneventful. At the beginning of the Nike + training program Wednesdays AND Sundays were designated "rest" days, but for the past few weeks the program has cut it down to Sundays only. Since we don't have much of a chance of winning the thing, we feel like it's okay that we went ahead and skipped Wednesday for old time's sake. We are tired, to say the least. Running 20+ miles per week in  addition to full-time work (and in my case, school), will take it out of you.

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24/28 miles this week feels just fine to me
One more month! As I was trying to figure out which week of training we were on now, it dawned on me we are in our final month. It's crazy to look back at all the running we have done to get ready for one race. However, as each week passes I feel more confident. As I finished my 11 mile run yesterday I felt for the first time, truly ready to do this. As I write this it is clear I could have run 13.1 miles this weekend if I had wanted to. Now it's time to work on improving the end result in terms of pace.

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He chose this picture because, "It shows the total mileage"
*When this whole half-marathon business is finished with, I will write a full post on food. I will talk more about Paleo and my experience with it then!

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