Sunday, May 2, 2010

Patience • Diet • Consistency = Rewards

This week has been interesting… I am 4 weeks out until the big day and I haven’t lost as much weight as I thought – but all of a sudden as my mileage is growing and my decision to change things up, I’m seeing results. My face looks thinner and my body is feeling stronger. Today though, my left ankle and left arch is a bit sore from yesterdays 21.7 miles. I can’t tell if it’s the mileage / trails themselves or the fact that my trail shoes are breaking down and not giving me enough support. I’m buying a new pair of trail shoes this week and I’ll know more when I do a longer run in them.

When I began my run yesterday, I really tried to imagine myself on race day yesterday since it was the first time I’ve tackled that kind of mileage. I really focused on my pace and hiking the hills that were too steep or the terrain too rough to run up. I also walked when I needed and took a break at the 13-mile mark as if I were going through a water station and enjoyed a strawberry pop tart and took in some extra water. I also added Hammer Nutrition powder to two of my 3 Nathan canteens on my fuel belt, which was great and helped my energy level while keeping me from cramping. My hamstrings only started to get stiff and sore by mile 17… this week I’ll be stretching more and doing short bursts of hill repeats to continue to build strength. I have another 22 mile run this upcoming Friday – so we’ll see how my recovery this week is.

A few of the other changes this week with regards to my diet is the smoothies that I’ve started to make. The Kale-cucumber smoothies are really hydrating and provide a huge dose of clean energy. I was told to start slow and ease into it, like training. A good way to begin is to have a smoothie in the morning, because it tastes good. You can mix in hemp, flaxseed, and a green component, like chlorella. If you have an intestinal reaction, which a lot of people do, go with smaller amounts and increase gradually. You'll eventually build these small changes into a healthful, whole-food, plant-based diet. I am all about everything in small doses. I eat about 5 small meals a day – and I am feeling better already. I also start the day 2-3x a week with an avocado smoothie. Most of the fat in avocados is monosaturated -- the "good fat" that helps to lower cholesterol. Avocados are also high in magnesium, which combats high blood pressure, excess belly fat, and high blood sugar, in addition to high cholesterol. Also, a single avocado delivers 11 grams of fiber!" You’ve gotta love that! I mix it with organic frozen blueberries, low fat vanilla yogurt and ground flax. It’s filling and light before heading out for a run. On the mornings that are 5 miles or lower, I usually slice a banana with a dollop of sunflower butter. Both provide good energy and a little fat and protein, especially first thing in the morning.

My lessons this week have been: patience, diet = rewards, and consistency.

Have a great week!

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