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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When the obvious eludes you.

My last post was about an ever present issue that most runners can identify with - pooping. As you may recall, I was stressed about what was going to happen in the Eugene half, worried if I would get through it without a pit stop or two or three. I am happy to report, I did indeed get through it with NO stops. Happy on that front.

However, it is not as simple as it sounds and now it is time for a confession. . . I am not as smart as I think I am. Yes, that is right - shocking I know (perhaps a bit of sarcasm here). Let me explain. This realization came from a number of sources. First, last week I went to coffee with my good friend and registered dietitian, Chris Chandler - also a stellar designer, follow him at - I confided in him that I was truly stressed about this stomach issue and asked for advice. He suggested keeping the fiber down for several days before the marathon and of course, not eating anything different from the usual. In passing, he made a comment about the stomach and how it will begin to shrink when deprived of food for a period of time then kicks back into gear when fed. Thus, erratic eating could easily cause stomach issues. Later that day my amazing massage therapist, Laura, made mention of the same thing. It all got me thinking about my eating habits.

This is where my confession comes into play. While I would say my eating habits are quite good - all the right things go into my body and very few 'bad' - I am erratic in the timing of my eating. For example, it is not uncommon for me to eat breakfast after a run and then not eat for up to 7 or 8 hours. I am in no way attempting to starve or lose weight or anything of the sort, I just don't feel hungry or am just too busy (lame excuse) to take the time to eat. Once I began examining how often this is the case I realized it is the rule rather than the exception. And so, for the three days before my Sunday race I began an experiment, I ate something every two hours. Lo and worked! From day one, everything was solid and more regular. When I got through three runs without stopping more than for me initial "clean out" I knew I was on to something. Something so obvious that it made me feel stupid.

It has not escaped me that often the rules we apply to others we tend to ignore. Somehow we think we already do it right, when in reality we could all use regular reality checks. So, real quick like, how is your training going? How are your fueling habits? Are you hydrating adequately? Are you getting adequate rest? Are you running recovery pace on the right days? Are you crushing your workouts just because you can?

In short, are you actually listening to your body? Are you applying all your 'rules' to you? If not, why not?

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to keep following the rules you set for yourself when you are injured and you feel like it won't do you any good anyways, when in fact, this is probably when it's most applicable. But when you have runs of only up to 15 minutes (at one time!) you may tend to ignore the rules you keep when you are training at your best.