Three Friends

Three Friends
Three Friends

Monday, March 10, 2014

Halfway to the Half

 Seven more weeks till the Irongirl Half Marathon ... am I going to be ready? It's getting down to the get-serious point.

Ducks in a shallow puddle ... is this a metaphor for my training?

I was doing great till a few weeks ago, then I hit a slump.

 Train Tracks to Nowhere

 My doc strongly advised me to bring my added-sugar consumption down to normal (which is 24g a day for women) as opposed to the 80 or so I was consuming through granola bars, super-sweet yogurts, protein bars, etc. Have you ever looked at your sugar intake? It's pretty much in everything. You have to make a special effort to exclude it from your diet. I don't mean the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and dairy products. I am referring to added sugars. Nutrition labels don't differentiate between the two, so you have to look in the ingredients and find all the different words for "sugar." I don't eat pre-prepared meals, so that helped. I just had to go through my snacks and weed out the sugar.

Once I got the sugar intake under control, it was certainly worth it. I stopped feeling shaky/hungry all the time, and I lost 5 lbs very quickly. I feel much better now ... but when I cut back on the added sugars, I inadvertently cut back on carbs, as well. That made it really hard to train. I think I'm on the right track now, but I lost a few weeks in training. I was supposed to be at 10 miles by now, but I only managed 9 yesterday. To be fair, it was really windy :-). 

So despite that little setback, I feel as if I'm on the train again. 

Ignore the trees. This train is goin' somewhere!

Although I'm 2 weeks behind, I did accomplish most of yesterday's run without having to walk much. I did have to stop three times to get rocks out of my shoes, and twice to blow my nose (I just cannot manage the snot-rocket, no matter how hard I try). And of course, I stopped to take pictures. 

Here's my pit stop. Charming, isn't it? There's a lot of construction on base, which means a lot of port-a-potties.

I have no qualms about using a port-a-potty (Or, in this case, "Bobby's Potties.") This one comes with a nice little table I can use to set my stuff on while I avail myself of the facilities. 

My overshirt (which I put back on two minutes later because the wind was so cold) and my water belt.

So, how did I change my diet? I gave up all sports gels/gummies and replaced them with honey packets and raisins. It is highly advisable to stop running to consume a honey packet. I'll spare you the details, but it is hard to run and maintain steady breathing while coughing and choking.

Instead of peanut-butter granola bars, which I love :-( , I switched to packets of mixed nuts. No more protein bars, either -- between just those two items, I was slightly exceeding my daily sugar intake. After a run or a workout, I eat a banana and some nuts. My snacks are cheerios in soy or almond milk (dairy milk upsets my stomach), boiled eggs, and string cheese. The carbs are still difficult -- I still need more. I'm working on it!

The biggest challenge was my coffee/tea habit. I love sweet, light coffee and tea. But the sweet/light part had to go. I bought some Truvia and put just the barest sprinkle in black coffee. I don't want to rely on artificial sweeteners, but Truvia is from Stevia, I think, so it's natural. And I use just a wee bit. It's all worth it, because it's making me healthier. Sugar is not necessarily evil, but we sure do abuse it.

Seven weeks to go. I'm nervous, but the last 2 years have taught me something. On race day, everything is different. Race-day nerves don't stand a chance against the energy and excitement of the runners and spectators and music! It's just magic.

Told you it was windy!

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