I have decided that while we are doing this half marathon training, and our runs are starting to get longer, that I need to be way more careful about what I am eating... that I need to concentrate on food as FUEL, and to give up the JUNK!
Today we had a 7 mile run on the training schedule and I was kinda nervous about it. I did an 8 mile run in September and since then, 6 miles has been the longest. Last night I sat down and mapped us out a 7 mile route and even though the last 3/4 mile would be uphill, I thought it would be quite enjoyable. In this neighborhood, no matter which way we head out, coming back is always uphill!
I decided that we should run after lunch today, as it has been cooler the past couple of nights and I wanted to be out in the warmest part of the day, which was promised to be about 3C (38 - 40F, I think).... and a bit breezy, but sunny.
This morning I made sure that we had a good breakfast. I cooked oats and added vanilla protein powder to them... then served Chobani Greek yogurt and nut butter on top, with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Almond Butter for me, chunky PB for him
At 11:30 I made lunch... home make potato and leek soup with crumbled bacon and Chobani Greek yogurt stirred in, a small grilled cheese sandwich, some grape tomatoes and a glass of fat free milk. Then about 20 minutes before we got our shoes and jackets on to head out the door, I got The Captain to share a nuun with me. And I prepared another to pack along in my water belt.
I was determined not to overdo today. I have learned that I should not be trying to run faster and longer at the same time, during the same run. So I told The Captain that today would be a long SLOW run and that if he felt he needed to walk at all, it was all right with me. I would not be running faster than I felt comfortable with and that I hoped not to need any walk breaks. I wanted to wear my HRM to give me some backup on this pacing thing, but the battery on the chest strap was dead so that didn't pan out. I knew though that I could just keep an eye on my watch if I needed.
So, off we went, down the hill and onto a familiar stretch of trail... then we took a turn onto a different section... one that we biked in the Fall, but have never run. It is a very gentle downhill and we got to the turnaround point in 40 minutes. I was feeling pretty good and The Captain had only walked a short way once or twice. We chatted quite a bit and that is a good sign to me that we are running slow.
At the turnaround point, we started sharing the nuun that I was carrying. We kept the same pace for about a mile and then I began to slow down a little, as the uphill started to get a bit more taxing. But I was feeling good and The Captain was not complaining. With about a mile to go, and most of it a steeper uphill slope, I was still feeling good... and I sprinted the last block to our corner.
We finished the nuun as we walked up the steep hill to the house and I was pretty excited. We had run out in 40 minutes, and back in 44 which resulted in 12 minute miles overall. I would have been happy with 13 minute miles today and the BEST part was, I still had lots of energy left. I felt I could have gone a lot further.
W3 R84 W4 no walk break
We came into the house and changed into dry clothes and drank some water while I made us each a smoothie from a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a banana. We drank those while we stretched..... and I stretched for 10 whole minutes today where normally I have been stretching only 5 minutes. (Stretching was a recurring theme in the advice I was lucky to be given.)
All of a sudden my right calf started cramping up, and so I put some relaxant gel on it and it helped right away... and then my feet started to cramp a bit too. The Captain had me drink 2 more glasses of water and I put on some sneakers and walked around till the cramps let up. Odd, very odd.
Then I had a hot bath! And just laid in it and relaxed... and it was wonderful... and then after I dried I put a Recovery sock on my left leg, and my Tommie Copper calf sleeve on my right leg, and have been feeling good but tired ever since.
Dinner was pasta with meatballs and lots of veggies, with some fruit and Greek yogurt for dessert.
I have decided that:
- eating more protein throughout the day has stopped the sugar cravings and made me less hungry overall
- drinking nuun before the run as well as during, helped me feel better during and after the run and more energetic, and I wasn't thirsty once
- I need to stretch for at least 10 minutes after a run
- I do need to eat some protein within half an hour after I run and will be experimenting with protein powders, eggs and egg whites
- When I run longer, I am going to be tired and my muscles are going to need more time to recover
- I need to keep my feet warm and supported after I run. I should wear shoes not slippers.
- Asking other runners for help and advice is the best thing for me to do when I have concerns and doubts.