It's officially week 5 of my marathon training schedule, and I'm feeling pretty good! After reading from a variety of sources that say it is wise to keep a training log, I started one of my own. Keeping track of my daily food intake and performance has helped me tremendously. I can see if I'm meeting my nutrition goals and how what I eat affects the way I feel before, during, and after my hard and long runs. Also, the Paleo gods will strike me with lightning for saying this, but I need carbs to go the distance and climb those hills, so I've had to incorporate yogurt and grains back into my diet- with the notion that I choose only the healthiest and most wholesome forms of those mentioned: plain greek yogurt, wheat or multi-grain bread or pasta, and wild or brown rice. If I time when I eat these non-paleo "bad" carbs right, the result is as if I never ate them at all and never feeling like I'm going to crash or "hit the invisible wall".
The biggest, most important lesson I've sadly learned is that I don't need 3000 calories every single day to do what I do. With that being said, I've never actually hit "the wall" during a race from not eating enough carbs. I've slowed down or had to walk because I "undertrained", but certainly not because I started low on fuel. I've only "hit the wall" once during my running life. For those of you who don't know what hitting the wall feels like, it literally feels like you ran out of gas and you can't go any further. The feeling sucks, to say the least, (especially when you have a few more miles left to go) and I knew that I never wanted to feel that way again. There's a delicate balance between mindlessly eating way too much- what I've had to stop doing- and eating enough to fuel my body so it does what I want and need it to do. I'm intent on finding out what that balance is for me so I can sustain a life of running long distances.
I've also included a snapshot of how I started out during this training season. This is a smidgeon of how I use to eat, but with more sweets and less wholesome food. I've had to cut back and be mindful of eating quality over quantity.
Week 4 Monday before the calorie counting started (cross-train & no run day),
Notes: 5 am wakeup. Day after my long run day and was suppose to rest, but we have mandatory physical training with our department on Mondays. My legs felt really tired and sore after the 35 minute circuit workout, 3:45pm. Felt "hungry" for most of the day.
Post breakfast 6:30
8-9 oz of cucumber, celery, & grape juice (from my juicer)
Paleo pumpkin waffles w/ strawberries and maple syrup
Morning snack 8:30
plain greek yogurt w/ strawberries and honey
4 oz grilled chicken breast w/ green beans
Unplanned afternoon hunger attack snack 1:30
spaghetti squash with sunny side up eggs
Afternoon snack 4:20
1/4 c. of oatmeal w/ blueberries
6 1/2 oz of grilled chicken breast & 1 1/4 c. wild rice
Evening snack 6:30
1/2 c. granola
*Holy crap I ate a lot!
Week 4 Sunday long run, 9.2m difficult hill course
Notes: 5 am wakeup. Wore my compression socks in the morning as well as during my run. Felt a little tired at first, but felt good after 1.5 miles. The big, long hills didn't feel as bad as I thought they would. Hallelujah!
2/3 c. coffee w/ almond milk
1 slice multigrain toast w/ 1 tsp butter
3 glasses of water
1 GU gel & water
water app. every 3 miles
gatorade at miles 4.5 and 6
3 sport jelly beans at mile 6
Immediate post-run snack 10:02
1 small apple & a whole bottle of water
Final post-recovery snack 10:45
crunchy cocoa coffee shake (Runner's World recipe book)
Football game party food 1:30-4:30
2-3 servings of 3 layer bean & cheese dip w/ chips
3 bbq chicken drumsticks
2-3 servings of pancit (Filipino dish with noodles, chicken, and veggies)
glass of wine
lots of water
Hungry at dinner time dinner 7:30
glass of oj (feeling the onset of a cold)
1 plate of pancit
lots of water
*Gawd, do I eat much???
Total miles ran in Week 4= 23.2
It wasn't until week 5 of my training, that I became curious as to how many calories I was actually consuming. It was also the week I had to scale back mileage because of overtraining. In the next week or so, I'll share how my diet has changed to ensure that I feel and perform much better than when I first started. I've seen improvements in time and recovery, and the muscles are coming back in my legs!