Next Race: 10th Annual 10K on the Noland Trail (Newport News, VA)

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Philly here we come - a week in review

Well, we are one day away from getting another notch under our belt and I couldn't be more excited.  Running has gone tremendously well this week - about 20 miles under my belt with a mix of 2, 3, 4, and 5 mile runs (treadmill, trail, and pavement).  I even tried a two-a-day earlier in the week, cross training in the morning and running 3 miles (easy/tempo) at Sandy Bottom Nature Park after work.  Overall it felt great!  I am at a point in my training where waking up at 4:30 AM is no longer that bothersome.  Yes, there are days I struggle, but the excitement of being able to explore before sunrise takes over.  Nothing beats a good sweat and a challenege before work, the sense of accomplishment just makes the day that much better.  Running means a lot, and going a day without doing it doesn't feel right.  Among other things, it serves as a stress reliver, and a common point between the wife and I; we seem to talk about it for hours on end, planning out races and supporing one another to the end.  Great bondning type stuff - her enthusiasm is contangious. 

As I said before, it was a great week on running with one exception.  That is, the "breathing through a straw" feeling that has bugged me for a few days.  I love getting the wife flowers, but it is not my intention to have them as a permanent staple in the home; this seems to happen whenever I bring some home.  So, when this does happen, after a fews days I begin to wonder why on earth breahting all of a sudden is not second nature.  After some intial pondering - am I losing it, getting sick, etc. - it hits me...time to throw out those flowers that have been sitting on the counter past their shelf life.  After a day or two, the house airs out and all is well.  Half glass full approach - at least she likes them enough to keep them around, even when they are looking less than lively :)  By tomorrow, I should be good to go for 13.1, so all is well.

Since it has been a few days, I have some things to cover.  Namely, my visit to the nutrtionist and my running analysis.  The nutritionaist visit went well and was certainly an eye openning experieince.  Initially, it stressed me out - I was told that I need to hit x amount of grams of carbs, fats, and proteins, have at least x amount of calories per meal, etc.  As a result, the first few days afterward had me glued to fitday WAY TOO MUCH.  I kept working different meals to get that perfect balanced ratio of carbs-fats-protein (55-25-20) that was as close to 2,100 calories as possible.  By the time I had a proper meal calculated, I has burned off the meal in keystrokes.  Just getting up to 2,100 cals is enough to worry about. 

Case in point, on Thursday night, I adopted a pretty straightforward policy on eating that will allow me to maximize my running performance (the reason I made the visit) and take the stress out of the equation.  First off, as long as my carbs intake (with regard to total cals is) is roughly 45-65%, fats 20-35%, and protein 15-30%, I am happy.  In order to do this, I just try and eat balanced meals - some good carbs (whole wheat bread, bananna, apple), fats (almonds, avocado, light mayo), and protein (lean turkey, ham, or chicken).  In addition, I focus on carbs before/after exercise (proteins after as well), and having most of my proteins and fats at times when I am more sedentary.  Since I plan out my workouts in advance this is a plan that is easy to stick to. 

Honestly, there is no point in stressing out too much when it comes to sports nutrition, just use common sense.  This means, trying to avoid white sugar, flour, and fat, and focusing intake on all-natural foods.  Basically, stick to the neandrethal diet of Dean K - if it doesn't come from the earth - it is processed -try to avoid it.  Those all-natural, unrefined, "caveman" type foods are the best.  Most importnanly, I feel at my best when I am full of veggies, almonds, avocado, lean turkey, and eggs as opposed to pizza.  While I LOVE pizza, this is the truth.  Don't gte me wrong, if I want pizza, I will have it.  After all, I am in Philly :).

As not to ramble for too long, here is the bottom line on the Gait Analysis: improve arm swing, relax arms at a 90 degree angle, push off more with my toes, bring up the bottom part of my leg more while running, and STRETCH everything, a lot.  Since buying a Stick, I have had no issues with feeling tight while running, and would even say it has increased my performance.  I highly recommend one of these bad boys.

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