How is it that things get more complicated the more I try to simplify?
Last year I was all in by February. I had bought and paid for the Triple Challenge in Chicago, a race that wasn’t for 7 months. I had also signed up for a half dozen other races and was hard core into a weight loss challenge.
So this year rolls around, I’m in much better shape and really doing well. I decide to simplify back down to running only, with a sprinkling of duathlons and triathlons for flavor and just focus on feeling good and the love of the run. I sign up for a trail marathon and optimistically look at also running a road marathon and even a 50K.
Then January hits. All but one of my long run days are C.R.A.P. weather. I get sick (for the first time in over a year). I get sick again (for the first time in… a week). I fight off (successfully… so far) a THIRD round of the plague. I roll an ankle (first time in a year).
So at a point in my training where I should be base building and running 30-40 miles per week EASILY… I got 108 miles in, FOR THE MONTH! I actually got in more SPIN class miles than I got running miles in. Thank the GAWDZ my trail marathon isn’t until May.
I actually looked at the pool at my gym yesterday and WANTED to get in.
That’s just sick.
And today, as I gaze longingly out the doors, knowing I’m already 8 miles behind because yesterday was another C.R.A.P. weather day and all I could do was spin… I see beautiful sunshine, roads and trails glistening in new snow, temperatures at a balmy 17 degrees and our roads… ice covered and impassable. C’mon county road crew!!!
I don’t mind snow, and cold, and rain, and wind… and injuries, and flu, and tummy bugs. I would just politely request that they not all converge on me AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!
Is that too much? I mean… really?
OK. Whiney pants off. Moving on.
I did get in 11 on Saturday and felt pretty good. I’m occasionally having a problem with dizziness and headaches AFTER my longer runs. I’m pretty sure this is hydration/nutrition related. It’s still no fun to stand up and get the spins, regardless of the reason.
I’ve been very impressed with Tailwind. I didn’t take any with me on Saturday because I was only running 11. This may have been a mistake. Just like in real life, my biggest downfall with exercise is nutrition. Hydration and fueling are a mystery to me. If it ain’t pizza or bacon… I don’t get it. However, Tailwind is the only stuff I’ve ever tried that actually feels like it works. I carry a handheld Nathan bottle and that usually gets me through 14 or so. The next big mystery to solve, especially if I want to go marathon or longer, is where to go from here. I have a CamelBak hydration pack that is 70 ounces. I don’t mind the bounce/slosh and it fits well (no chafing) but I’m not sure it’s enough. I’ve looked at Orange Mud, Ultimate Direction and other hydration solutions, but I feel like they are almost overkill. I don’t want to run with two handhelds either.
I’m not complaining, this is just new to me. I need to experiment. I don’t want to drop $$$ on a system that doesn’t work and you can’t rent them, so I’m going to have to test what I’ve got.
The bigger mystery to me is eating solids while running. I’m losing interest rapidly in bars of any kind. Most are too processed, sweet or loaded with chocolate. Now, before you bring out the pitchforks and torches… I love me some chocolate. Just not 3 hours into a run. Other bars made of mostly nuts and seeds don’t help a lot either. I have had people suggest everything from bananas to Big Macs and everything in between. The classic PBJ is always popular, but I still don’t feel like it’s actually getting processed well enough to do much good.
I seem to favor savory over sweet. I like Epic bars but they tend to be dry and the Power Bar Performance Energy Blends actually work really well (yes, I know… baby food) and even though they are fruit, they are not too sweet.
My biggest problem is the frickin’ internet. I need to stop READING everybody elses’ nutrition ideas and just find what works for me. But in trying to get ideas for things to try, I get wrapped up in Sid Soandso’s power maple, brussels sprout, quinoa, chia and dirt bars and by the time I’m done I actually think “…huh. That doesn’t sound half bad…” Ugh.
…maybe I just need to make my own Big Bob’s bacon, pizza, Dorito and bean dip bars. And make my own hydration drink… I like to call it “Barley Juice”. Only 4 ingredients: Water, yeast, natural assorted grains and hops.
…And now you know why I look like I do. 🙂