Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where Am I?

(If you're reading this through Facebook, you should jump on over to the official blog so you can see the vids. They really tie it all a fine wine.)

Hopefully, you haven't forgotten about me. I'm still alive and kicking. Perhaps, you thought I was deep in mourning over the loss of John Hughes. How could I not be bummed out about that? His movies have pretty much shaped my entire world view. Well, that and fourteen years of Catholic school. It's not the loss of John Hughes that has kept me from blogging. The cause is closer to a lack of running.

In the last mile or so of the Bitch to Bacon, I felt a slight twinge in my right calf. Perhaps, it was karmic for the trickeration I played on Carter. Either way, I didn't think much of it until later that afternoon, when it was tight, lumpy and screaming. Yup, another calf strain. This one didn't pop, so I wasn't overly concerned. Luckily, we headed to Baxter the next day, and I wasn't planning on running. However, I was planning on doing a long run in the park, but scratched that plan. Worked out fine, though, as D and I spent the whole time together, so I wasn't too disappointed. The calf felt OK on our hikes. Not 100%, but not bad. I was hopeful, it would clear up quickly.

I did a short run on Thursday, and it still felt squacky. And, overall, I felt pretty terrible. Then, I took 5 days off. I was really busy at work, including a near all-nighter due to the 24 Hours of Great Glen. That's just an excuse, though, because my motivation was in the toilet...and flushed. Complete and total disinterest in running. I have no idea what happened. Could this still be related to my bruising? Or is this a new funk? I did run today and yesterday, and both runs were...meh. I still feel somewhat unnatural. Nothing is flowing. It's very odd. As much as I've been mentally disinterested in running, it seems that I'm equally physically interested. That being said, I will be participating in the Bradbury Breaker this weekend. Certainly, not racing, but I will be running. It will be my longest run since the aforementioned bruising, so yeah...expect big things.

That being said, I have a plan.

The first part of the plan is to keep running when it's fun. Fun and only fun. And only when I feel like it. No pressure. I might try to squeeze in more hiking. I could tell on our hikes in Baxter that I'm really lacking the strength I had from hiking last summer. We hiked a lot last summer, and I think it was really good cross training.

Speaking of strength, I've been doing push-ups. (Don't ask how many.) I'm hoping they're the gateway drug to actual core work. That's part two.

The third and most important part is a dietary adjustment. No, I'm not going raw. In fact, I'm sort of going the other way: more protein. I gained weight this winter and spring...while training for a 50k! That doesn't make sense, until you realize my can-a-day Pringle habit. OK, it wasn't quite that bad, but it was close. When your diet is 60% Carbs, 35% Fat and 5% protein, you're going to get fat. I'm not overly surprised this happened. I was training a lot, so I was hungry. Of course, my previous experience with this phenomenon was in college.

Typical day:
8:57: Wake up.
9:18: Eat Pop-tart, granola bar, Power bar, cold pizza or whatever wasn't too mashed into the couch while walking to class
9:30: Class
11:00: Lunch
12:00: Still Lunch
1:00: Keep Lunching
1:47: Pry myself away from lunch.
2:00: Class
3:30: Practice, i.e. run a lot
6:00: Dinner
7:00: Keeping dinnering
7:30: Dining hall official closed, but grab whatever was leftover that they didn't plan on serving for lunch the next day.
7:59: Get kicked out of dining hall.
8:00: "Study"
8:23: Get food from one of any number of on campus eateries
9:00: "Study"
9:43: Walk to Dunkin Donuts
10:30: "Study"

Well, you get the idea. I ate a lot. And often. I weighed 135 pounds. Apparently, you metabolism slows in your thirties. Who knew?

Now, this isn't some kind of body image crisis. Although, those women are all airbrushed, you know! My weight is perfectly reasonable for a healthy guy, but not for someone who wants to run slightly faster than slowly. So, I'm making some adjustments. More healthy protein. Fewer fatty snacks. A bit of a carb watch. There is some science behind this, as I've read a number of "Diets for Runners" articles. I've taken what I've liked and adapted it for me. I'm also hoping this will give me more energy. We'll see.


mindy said... you're saying my 100% carb diet is not ideal? I like your fun run plan - that's the way it should be. See you Sun!

Blaine Moore said...

60% carbs for a runner isn't bad, and when training for the 50k might even have been a little low.

Sounds to me like the problem was that they weren't the right carbs (pringles vs fruits or vegetables...hrm...which is better for you?)

Trent Rosenbloom puts it best: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

sn0m8n said...

Maybe it was closer to 63%.

Laurel said...

As for eating right, I have a new house mate who has introduced me to a brand new concept...3 square meals a day. I'm not ever hungry, I haven't gained an ounce, and I feel great. I have been a "grazer" my entire life (meaning I snacked all day and well into the night.) It seems this old fashioned "meal" thing has some merit.

The running when it's fun and mixing in some hiking...definitely! If it's not fun, why do it?

middle.professor said...

Run. Every day. Run a new trail once per week to keep it fresh. Run a favorite route once per week for enjoyment. Pick up a fly fishing outfit and go trail running/fishing with Jamie and I.

And I agree with you that the best evidence points to excessive carbs as a major factor in weight gain/diabetes II/etc. although how these data are relevant to runners is beyond me (especially since runners are told to eat excessive carbs). And Blaine suggested fruit over pringles but pringles is 100% glucose while fruit is closer to 50% glucose/50% fructose. Fructose is the current whipping boy of nutrition science. Of course, who knows what it will be next week. (Not that I would ever recommend pringles over fruit).

Nathan said...

Ok, I'm not going to try to turn you into a fake vegan like me, but... carb watch and more protein my ass, you ALB. You're freebasing bacon and pringles and spending most of your waking hours working for the Man (which requires occasional all-nighters and weekly drives to the next state over) and you think fewer carbs and more protein is the answer? I'm with Blaine. Ease off on the bacon-wrapped donuts and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - you'll get as much protein as you can use, plus all the other good stuff that comes with these foods. A little more sleep probably wouldn't hurt either, if that's possible.