Monday, August 29, 2016

One mile at a time

We're now seven weeks out from the Baystate half and training is *supposed* to be kicking into a higher gear. I am not sure I have a higher gear in me, but I believe in miracles. After a summer of weekday lunchtime runs, I also have some gnarly tan lines and am tired all the time. How do you find time (but more importantly, energy) for anything more than 6 miles on a weekday? It's all I can do to just get the miles in, never mind stretching, foam rolling, or strength training. 

Some notes from my training log, which does actually exist, albeit in a place that is not this blog:

August 14. Sunday morning longish run: Planned 10. Actual 8. Started late (8am) after horrendous night with feverish coughing teething child. High of 36C today plus humidity. 
If horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow, I was glowing very hard all over the place and the glow was running down my elbows and knees and getting into my shoes. I must have been positively radiant

August 20-21. Child now will not tolerate >3 awake miles in stroller with no playtime for HIM. Mr GCA away on work trip. Creative run-planning ensued:
Saturday - run 2m to next but one T stop, take T, run 1m to friends' place for playdate, shower there.
Sunday - AM: run 3m to playground with stroller and friend. Chase offspring around playground. Run 2m to pool. Take offspring swimming, shower there. PM: walk and walk and walk downtown: park, carousel in park, chase little dude round park, walk to/ around Children's Museum, corral wriggly offspring at Shake Shack for dinner-treat. At least 4m walking. 

August 27. Saturday morning long run. Planned 12. Actual 11. 22C, mega humid.
Started 7am off the back of 1.5 weeks solo parenting a child whose antibiotics have been causing nighttime tummy troubles. Scooted out the door with a handful of cereal and a package of shot blocks. I was exhausted even before I tied my shoelaces. Told self to take it one mile at a time, and this wasn't a figure of speech. 
Started at 9:30-10:00 miles (good). By mile 6 had disintegrated into 11:00 miles (not good). Shortly thereafter there was walking. Mile 7 going uphill: mystery, brand-new shooting pain through right knee. Mile 7 going downhill: pain vanished. Eventually made it through 11 miles as I had to get home anyway. Actually literally the worst run of the year to date. 

And a nutrition side-note: I need to start a food diary, but not for the conventional reasons. Not too long ago, I hopped on the scale at the doctor's to find myself a few pounds below racing weight* and still losing weight. I generally think of myself as a pretty intuitive, balanced eater - I'll eat when I'm hungry and get cravings for vegetables when I've had too many refined carbs, and vice versa! - but this clearly is not optimal. I still feel fine (just tired?) and my periods are present and normal. But I need to figure out what nutrients or how many calories I might be missing, and see if I have more energy if I replace those.  

*Not a weight I typically *strive* to achieve, just where I usually am after a full marathon or a triathlon training cycle. 

Let's start with today:
- 1.5 slices toast with butter and jam
- 1 egg, scrambled
- Coffee 
- String cheese 
- Handful of animal crackers 
((went rock-climbing with friends))
- Lunch buffet at Indian restaurant (full plate, piled high, mostly rice, naan, dal, and vegetable curry) 
- Chia bar 
- 1/2 peach
- Cereal and soy milk
- 1 small bowl pasta salad with olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red onion
- 2 squares chocolate
- 2 toaster waffles and chocolate ice cream

I mean, I'm eyeballing this and thinking, but seriously, what I am not getting enough of? and plugged it all into the USDA food tracker thing and am freaking baffled.  


  1. I think when you've got a young child & your spouse is traveling, it's pretty amazing if you find *any* time for weekday running. So I say good for you for working so hard to do what you can do.

    Hmm, my only guess (as a non-nutritionist) about the food thing is maybe protein? I see only 1 egg, some dal, & some soy milk, which doesn't seem like very much (though everyone is different & I am no expert). When I was seeing the sports nutritionist he recommended I be getting about 30% of my calories from protein, which turns out to be way more than I thought.

    1. 30%! That is a whole lot more than I thought. The guidelines I read (Rice University) say 0.6-0.9g per pound of body weight, which for me works out to mayyyybe 90g of protein, which is like, less than 400 calories. Am a bit reluctant to eat red meat (global warming yadda yadda), and I already add protein here and there - flaxseed meal and quinoa in my morning oatmeal, for example; yogurt as a snack, etc... but who knows how much I'm getting? This is why I think I need to keep a proper food diary for a week. Right. Time to ring the sports nutritionist at my gym...

  2. Interesting. You'd be horrified to see that I try to eat 25-30% protein a day. I don't always make it, but this approach has helped me slowly lose those last baby pounds (though I look different still for sure).

    1. Horrified? I want to know how you do it! As in, what you eat to make that target.

  3. Are you getting enough fat? Maybe start eating more nuts, avocados, salmon, olive oil, etc.? I just got Run Fast, Eat Slow and they emphasize the need for good fats as a way for us to absorb certain nutrients and also for satiation.

    BTW, *I'm* tired when I run more than 6 miles on a weekday, and I'm not juggling a small child and freelance writing! You're doing great!

  4. Protein!!! I snack on pb if I have to.