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I’m Geeky and I Know It

07 Feb

I began running about 10 years ago in an effort to lose the baby fat I had accrued over my back to back (to back to back) pregnancies.  It was a great way to burn calories, and I was able to lose the weight pretty quickly.

I kept running once the weight was off – one, because I liked the challenge and two, because I. love. food.  Lots of food.  Particularly junk food.

So I ran to eat.

Exactly.

This worked for many years.  I could eat bowls of Honeycomb cereal. Scoops of ice cream.  Blow Pops.  Candy Corn. Jelly Beans.   Mmm mmm mmm.  And I never gained weight.

Then one day, I got old, and my muscles began to hurt.  Not the good hurt, where your muscles are sore from a workout, but hurt hurt.

They hurt while I ran.  They hurt while I bowled.  They hurt while I sat.

Thinking it was because I was running daily, I made a decision to cut back my running to just 3 days a week, and use my elliptical trainer on the off days.

I still hurt.

I changed shoes.

I still hurt.

Not willing to give up running entirely, I did some research on the internet.

Turns out, ingesting a bunch of sugary foods wasn’t giving my muscles the nourishment they needed to recover from runs.  They needed protein.  Healthy fats.  Healthy carbs.  Healthy food.

*sigh*

But running was important enough to me that I knew what I had to do. I began replacing most of the sugary foods I ate with natural peanut butter, whole wheat bagels, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, spinach salads, almonds, chicken, steamed veggies, but I still had a big bowl of ice cream at night.

Not only did I start eating better, but I purchased my beloved foam roller, and my miraculous shoes, and suddenly….

I didn’t hurt!

I’m now training for a half-marathon.  in case some of you forgot.  And I want to keep my muscles strong, and keep their energy up, so I’ve been reading about what kinds of foods I should eat.

And I love this!  I love learning!  I love experimenting!  Just like years ago, I’m keeping track of what I eat, but this time I’m looking at the grams of carbohydrates and protein instead of calories. And I’m learning that it’s a good idea to start overloading on carbs a week or so before the big run.

Today I ran 10.6 miles.  I wanted to see if my increase in carbs the last few days had any effect.  Hard to tell, really, but I think it did.  I ran a comfortable 7:59 pace and although I still was ready to quit by the end, my legs weren’t cramping up like they usually do.

And I’m learning what NOT to eat before a big run.  Like fiber, artificial sweeteners, gum, and ice cream.  (woe is me).  But I’ll give it up the night before my big day, if it avoids an embarrassing turnout…

So while I started my running career running to eat, I now find myself

Eating to Run.

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14 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Health and Fitness, Running

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

14 responses to “I’m Geeky and I Know It

  1. voiceinwords

    February 7, 2013 at 2:54 am

    the print on the water bottle is just perfect.

     
  2. territerri

    February 7, 2013 at 3:11 am

    And I’m sure your body is saying THANK YOU! What a transformation you’ve been through. You’re inspiring!

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

      My legs are definitely thankful. It just goes to show that thin doesn’t necessarily equal healthy. I’m choosing better foods now, but I’m no Jillian Michaels….

       
  3. Rock Chef

    February 7, 2013 at 11:01 am

    That is an interesting shift of focus! Not sure I could drop too many of my sugary things…

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

      There are a few sugary things I’m not willing to give up – ice cream and candy to name a few. Sugary cereal was my biggest change. I used to eat it for breakfast and for snacks, and it was just TOO much. Replacing the cereal with protein and sugar free foods has made the difference, but I still have my vices.

       
  4. agg79

    February 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Yes. Yes. Yes. I think the express you are looking for is You are what you eat. I can attest that the crap we intake definitely has an impact on the rest of the system. This year, I focused upon my diet in the weeks before the run and it seemed to make a difference. I had more energy, stamina and wasn’t as sore afterwards. Focused on carbs and protein over sugar and fats. I gave up on several holiday parties the weekends before the race as I knew it wouldn’t help my training regime. Hard to do since my race was right after the Christmas holidays and I kept reading certain blogs about holiday baking….

    7:59 Impressive pace. I’m still betting that you are going to pull a sub 8 minute pace on race day. Something about being in the race really kicks it up a notch. And since you are already at 10.6, you are almost home. What’s another 2.5? Should be all downhill.

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      When you said you loaded up on carbs the week before your race, I really didn’t understand why you had to eat them a whole week ahead. Now I know. Your storin’ up your glycogens! 🙂
      I got this new app on my new phone and every time I go a mile, she lets me know how long it took, and what pace I’m running. I really love it! I don’t know if I’ll bring her along on race day, though. My goal is to finish strong, and I’m afraid if I try for a good time, I’ll wear myself out before I get to the end. But we’ll see. Come race day, I’ll want to race.
      And sorry ’bout them baking posts. That wasn’t very considerate of me.

       
  5. Abby

    February 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I think the food-performance relationship was instilled in me way back while running track in high school – not that I gave it much thought. I was a sprinter then, all my races were done in less than a minute. Distance running is different, though. Goes along with your karma post – don’t let your (recent food) come back to haunt ya!

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      I think it does make a difference if you start running as a sport – like you did. You’re coached, you’re trained, you focus on eating to run. Where for me, my first focus was to lose weight and be able to eat what I wanted. And at 40+, I’m realizing that if I want to continue, and to run a loooong time, I need to eat better. It’s been a fun learning experience, and I like seeing the changes! And yes, karma has gotten me a few times on this one. 🙂

       
  6. The Thin Lady Inside

    February 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    what an awesome post! You’re such an inspiration! And yes… I guess we need to put the right fuel in order to function properly, for a car to run and work as it should you need to add the best of the best and keep it greased, we often forget that it’s not just about being thin but about being healthy… our joints, ligaments, muscles need the proper food to be strong and do what they need to do… otherwise they’ll “break” 🙂 Great job shadow! 😀

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

      Aww! You make me feel so good about myself. I’m far from perfect, but I really like the changes I’m seeing.
      Funny that you used the car/fuel theory. I use that same theory with my kids. They don’t listen, but I keep saying it anyway. Someday it might sink in, and they’ll realize Mom WAS right about some things….

       
  7. meleah rebeccah

    February 14, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I wish I wasn’t allergic to all that healthy food. I really MISS fruits and vegetables!

     
    • shadowrun300

      February 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Oh my gosh – I can’t imagine being allergic to all the food you’re allergic to, Meleah. You really are Backwards Girl! 😉 Makes me appreciate being ABLE to eat fruits and vegetables.

       

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