I met the run team for an early Sunday run today for what was supposed to be 12 miles. Only by “run team” I mean one person. Because apparently there was a memo out saying that everyone was meeting 30 minutes earlier to begin their runs and the other people are tapering for Disney Marathon & Goofy Challenge so they didn’t show up at all. That left me and my sick distance partner there trying to quickly log a single mile before the sun started up.
I was upset we didn’t get notice about the earlier start because I love starting earlier. It gets so hot and the sun is so bad even by 8am. But we weren’t going very long anyway so I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Sorta like I didn’t think me not putting on sunblock because I was late getting there was a big deal. Wrong on both counts. My run partner was recovering from a stomach bug. I couldn’t believe she even came out if she felt bad, but she’s really strong-willed like that. She needed to walk at mile 4 and didn’t know if she would continue or head back and told me to go on ahead. One of the run team had come back that way and stayed with her.
So now I was free to do…. what? I was only doing 12 because she said 12. What would I have chosen on my own? I was doing marathon training before I dropped Disney so do I continue high mileage or drop back in training? I thought, well let me see where 6 miles out gets me. Ok, well maybe another mile north won’t be a big deal. Well, if I’m going 7 miles out, is 8 miles out really that much more?? After all, I have been doing 15’s, right? And that’s how I decided to do 16 miles. I probably didn’t start questioning this wisdom until around 11-12 miles. At that point I realized I didn’t bring extra GU gel for a 16 miler, my face was burning, and I didn’t drink water beforehand and only had my CamelBak. If you think that a full 50 oz CamelBak is enough down here, you’re sorely mistaken. I had that thing drained dry by the end of my run, stopped to buy a large juice on the way home, and still weighed in 2+ lbs lighter than when I had started – all water weight lost.
Other than that, I had to walk off ankle pain here and there and that sucked. And I very much realized that I did the right thing by dropping out of Disney. I didn’t feel strong today. I felt like 16 miles was really difficult and 16 hasn’t felt that difficult since early last summer when I was first getting started. I really think it’s my weight and diet the last month. I gained weight during the holidays and ate horribly the entire time. I can completely feel it on training runs. I have to drop some of this weight before Miami or it’s going to be terrible there too. My pace today was awful.
I realize more and more how important it is to eat well and how that fuels or enhances your training performance. Today, after my run, instead of having my usual Panera bacon egg and cheese sandwich and full-sugar soda (ok, that sounds bad doesn’t it?), I had a Picky Bar and orange juice. Instead of coming home and having a celebration of guilty pleasures because I ran 16 miles, I made the vegan alfredo sauce (roasted cauliflowers and onions pureed with almond milk) and quinoa pasta from my new vegan cookbook. I probably would have had regular alfredo before and the calorie difference between the vegan and the regular is in the 4 digit range I am sure! I feel like I’m definitely doing what Matt Fitzgerald talks about in his book about making the food you eat as nutrient dense and meaningful as possible (my words, not Matt’s). Tomorrow it’s lentil and mushroom burgers instead of Five Guys burgers. Surely I’ll see a weight change with all of this and hopefully I’ll see it in the time on the course.
I’m nervous though. I’ve never gone vegan completely and I hope it doesn’t backfire. I worry about protein content and have been tossing back every kind of plant protein powder you can imagine. We’ll see how it goes. If it works out well, I’d completely consider staying vegan. It’s actually pretty easy for us since not many people push meat or dairy on us. And even coffee has been easy to let go. This could be very premature of me to say though considering school starts tomorrow.
I actually did the Disney Marathon after all. I made a last minute decision to go do it, even though instead of tapering I had run 16 miles the weekend before! Oh well. It went fine and I’m glad I did it!