Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's all gone south.

So running has went pretty south since Canada, and I do not mean just literally. Once I returned to Mississippi I was determined to get back on track. Therefore, I sandwiched my first true week of marathon training between two (2) 16 mile treadmill runs. Things did not go well towards the end.

Sunday's run ended up with my legs screaming for me to stop from 12 miles on....I struggled for a little while then  finally slowed down just so I would get the miles in. Sadly, my last two were slower than 8 minute pace. Once I finally forced myself to quit, I just stood there with shaking my head, one hand on the rail trying to keep myself from toppling over.

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ME?

It was like this unsolvable puzzle that had created 24/7 worry and anxiety. YES I have a marathon in about 10 weeks time and my legs are SHOT. I have a tempo tomorrow and I don't even know if I can run 1 mile at 6min pace, let alone 8 of them.

My heavy achy legs have been bothering me for weeks! Maybe months now. Desperate for a quick solution, I asked Houston to seek out some advice for me.

"Can you ask coach what is wrong with me, or someone? Please?"
Houston- "I don't need to ask. I know what is wrong with you."

Then we got into this short , but informative, discussion about my diet (or lack of) and how I really should be more conscious of what I am consuming and if I am eating enough. I got off the phone still not completely convinced at all. I am healthy, I am not too thin and I am never hungry. That is surely not it.

Then I had a moment of clarity. The next morning, I was halfway through my second bag of vending machine pretzels while downing my 4th cup of coffee when I realized, its not the amount, its WHAT. Barely anything I shove down my throat during the day is really thought out or planned. I basically eat what is available WHEN it is available. If that is a bag of Doritos and a diet coke...well, that is lunch my friends!

You can judge all you want. In a society that is so preoccupied with food and meals, I eat to live, nothing more. However, if I am going to continue to run 80-90 miles a week while taking care of my family and working 45 hours, I've got to pay more attention to my nutrition and make sure that I am making good choices and fueling my day.

Its funny, when I finally made this "discovery" it was like "how have I been able to do this for so long??!!" In day one, things are going well. Catch me on day 21 and we will see if I have made real progress! I am banking on it.

I hope everyone has a great week! Advice on this topic is appreciated, if you have any!
-M

11 comments:

jenn said...

I really hope the fix is that easy!
I guess I just assumed that when you train and run at an elite level, you eat that way, too.

runnersworld.com actually has some decent articles on nutrition. I think the most comprehensive is their "book" (you can print it from home and/or view it online). It's called Eat Like a Genius.

Good luck with your good eating!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

It breaks my heart to tell tou this, but.... more lean protein, veggies & complex carbs, & fruit, and less Dove chocolate. Eeeeeekkkkk!

I eat a lot of plain greek yogurt with raspberries, cocoa, cinnamon, raw seeds- chia sunflower & pumpkin, & honey. eggs, egg whites, huge spinach salads with raw beets, carrots, boiled egg whites, avocado, kale, 1tbsp if bacon bits for flavor,feta cheese, craisins, zucchini, etc. black or red beans, buffalo patties & black bean patties salmon, grilled chicken, tuna, raw nuts, raw sunflower & pumpkin seeds, whole wheat bread in moderation, steel cut oats, almond butter, grilled shrimp, sweet potatoes, cherries, blueberries, apples. 2% cheese in moderation, & of course, dark chocolate, in moderation
Lara bars, whey protein- at the height of my training
Mt biggest problem is eating too much of the above.....

Lize Brittin said...

Nutrition is so important when it comes to training. I hope you can tweak the diet and feel better. If you can drop back on the mileage one day and replace it with pool running or swimming, it will help your legs tremendously. I agree with adding the lean proteins too. And, well, maybe a little less chocolate? Ouch, that's hard to say. ;)

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I think with your schedule it is really hard to plan for healthy meals, but of so important. I buy a lot of prepackaged greek yogurts, bags of almonds and pounds of fresh and dried fruits. Easy to transport, easy to eat. And please, keep the dove chocolate:)

Gracie said...

I definitely realized this myself not too long ago. My demanding job schedule used to leave me skipping meals or snacking on junk, but it just weakened me. I always ate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, but I've made sure to add protein and complex carbs and not skip meals.

Lize Brittin said...

I've been thinking about your situation more, and I'm wondering if you are taking some good supplements. If you are drinking 4 cups of coffee at times, you might want to consider taking some extra iron daily. Caffeine affect absorption of many nutrients, especially iron. Sometimes really tired legs can be the first symptom of low iron. If you start getting overly emotional too, that can be another sign. The good thing about this is getting the right amount of iron through diet or supplements changes things pretty quickly. You might consider a blood test, just to see where you stand.

Allison said...

Great post! I had a nutritional consult a few months ago with an elite runner/dietician just to make sure I was doing it right. I'm sure she could give you some great tips as well. She rocks!

http://nutritionsuccess.org/blog/welcome/

L.A. Runner said...

Thanks for the honesty of your post. I'm in the same boat- not too thin, never hungry, but I know I struggle with nutrition. It's hard for me b/c I'm a teacher and a coach. I RELY on those easy meals. And sometimes I make bad decisions. We KNOW what to do... it's just hard. Thanks for the reminder and good luck! I hope start feeling better soon!

Tales of Roads & Trails said...

Yikes! I completely agree with you on the whole nutrition portion. It's extremely hard to dial it in when you are surrounded by junk and you have to eat at the moment but don't have many options. It's one of those things we have to do as background planning so that everything falls into place. grocery shop and plan meals for the week :(

Vicky Cook said...

http://www.mommyrunfast.com/menu-planning-tips-and-benefits/#comment-7758

Saw this and thought of...you and me! I have been meaning to do this...forever. Takes a bit of organization but will mean an end to those dorito lunches! I am determined to do something very similar to what's outlined in this blog, check it out you might find it helpful.
I aim to have a meal and snack plan, so the freezer is always full of nutritious snacks that I can grab for both me and the kids.
Good luck, imagine what you could achieve with proper fueling!

Vicky Cook said...

http://www.mommyrunfast.com/menu-planning-tips-and-benefits/#comment-7758

I have been meaning to do what's outlined in the blog above for ages. Takes a bit of organization but well worth it once its up and running I think. I am determined to start to shop for the ingredients I need to make my families preplanned meals for the week and spend a bit of time baking nutritious snacks to stock the freezer with so there are always fast food snacks available for me and the kids, thus skipping the Dorito lunches ;)
Check it out, you might find it helpful in your quest for better fueling! Good luck! I LOVE your long run mile splits!!!!