Monthly Archives: February 2015

Eating and Drinking While Running? (+ Injury Update and Week 5 Summary)

This week’s runs have been fantastic! I approached all of them with so much motivation, gratitude, and excitement. I was motivated to be fitter, healthier, and faster! I was incredibly grateful for my body, both mentally and physically, for not breaking yet. And the nerd in me was very excited knowing that with each extra mile I log, my little capillaries of increase in size and bifurcate; thus building more efficient circulatory system. So here’s to those little colonies of muscle fibers and neurons for delivering excellent results this week!

1423422856221

It was a happy week indeed. Even my celery were happy!!

INJURY

That has been said, every body has limits, and mine was stretched pretty extensively. Last week’s mild discomfort in my right leg materialized into a full-fledged pain- though one that can be managed with NSAIDs. I suspect it being some inflammation in the peroneal muscles (longus and brevis). I went my scheduled physical therapy appointment only to find out that my stupid insurance does not cover PT. It would cover 70%/visit only after I pay my deductibles- which is a big number.

Peroneus longus is where the pain and discomfort.

Now, even though it has not interfered with my training schedule I decided to take things slower starting on Monday. I ran 20 miles last week. I, like many runners, am used to pain. I’m used to popping Tylenol or Aleve before running or day after running. After reading this article on Runner’s World, I decided to cut back. Just this Saturday I took three Tylenol pills prophylactically to prevent pain during the run. Little I knew that those pills will raise my blood pressure, dehydrate me, and pretty much does not prevent pain. I pretty much got cramps and pain 2 miles in. I was limping few hours post-run. The mechanism by which those pain killers work is disrupted during running. So I decided to man up and suck up the pain. I did a lot of stretching after the run; I utilized my compression sleeves as well. That seemed to do the trick. Leg is slightly better- though still painful.

I’m set to run 13 miles next week: 3+strides, 4, 6 on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, respectively. In light of the new leg drama I decided to cut that short by 60%: 1.2, 1.6, 2.5 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I will reassess the following week if I have to change my scheduled 20 miles. So fingers crossed I won’t have to!!

EATING WHILE RUNNING

Okay, I'm not there yet. Imma sucker for cookies!!

Ahh cookies!!

Since I was set to log 10 miles on Saturday, I decided to eat while running to keep my body happy. I also did not want it to chip away at my muscles! I worked so hard on those and would hate to see my body munch on ‘em. I usually wake up 1.5-2 hours before the run to have a good hearty breakfast. My pre-run meal is comprised of 2-3 scrambled eggs (toast optional) + a medium-size banana.

So I used those little energy gels called GU! I figured they’re packed with carbs and vitamins which is typically what I need while running. They also don’t have any fiber or protein which may upset the stomach or at the least take forever to get broken down. Indeed, while running throw away your favorite dietary and healthy tips!! You want carbs! No protein. No fiber. No something you cannot pronounce. Get your good ole sugar and carb up. Your belly is working so slow while running since your body is shifting attention towards working muscles: legs, arms, etc. Protein will take long time to be processed. Fiber will simply fill your belly with unwanted gas. Last thing you want on a run is to poop!!

 

It was great. I got zero stomach issues. I ran for ~1:40 hours and used up one gel. I divided it into three portions; basically wherever there was a water stop. I took the first 1/3 after 20m of running and washed it down with a cup of water. At first, it felt weird. Then I forgot about it. I did get some cramps in my legs that made me walk for a good minute but I don’t know if I attribute it the gel. Anyways, I took the second gulp after ~45-50m on the road and washed it with a cup of water. This time, for some reason, I felt better. I could feel it sitting in my belly for a minute then it’s gone. Last dose was after 1:15ish hours of running + water. I was not tired or unmotivated towards the end of the race. I honestly was not looking forward to end the run (maybe my legs were like c’mon, but mind was high!!).

My experience was fantastic! I ordered a whole box of vanilla been gels. I did not want to try different kinds because I’m the most indecisive person in the world. I was afraid I won’t be able to decide which flavor was better. 🙂

Week 5 Running Stats:

Monday 2/9 4 miles (+ strides)= 42:19 minutes, pace= 10:34 min/mile

  • Rough run! Leg was slightly acting up. I felt heavy for some reason. Could be whatever I ate that day?
  • Wednesday 2/11 1 mile= 8:17 minutes, pace

  • Okay run just to see how the leg feels.
  • Thursday 2/12 5 miles= 49:19 minutes, pace= 09:51 min/mile

  • Fun run! Definitely the longest on a treadmill.
  • Saturday 2/14 10 miles= 1:38:45 hours, pace= 09:52 min/mile

  • Few couple miles were very hard. I had to walk for quite some time until mile 4 maybe. Then pain subsided and I was able to run comfortably for the remainder of the run. Towards the very end I felt slightly exhausted and some very minor discomfort in my quads.

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of "I run because.."

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of “I run because..” Responses were hilarious!! All good reasons to take on running this year 🙂

  • All in all, great week. I look forward to next week’s scaled down run. Hopefully legs will be sweet and ready for the following week’s 20 miles of running.

    Happy running, minions!

    Advertisements

    Week 4 Summary (And Potentially Shin Splints??)

    Marathon training is still on! Despite week 4 being less than terrific, due to pain and discomfort in my legs, I soldiered on and did 2/3 of my scheduled runs. On the bright side, I no longer have car issues (yay!). My mechanic hooked up a new engine (new to the car, lightly used though) and a radiator.

    That's how Mike gets everybody's attention to start his pre-run speech!

    That’s how Mike gets everybody’s attention to start his pre-run speech!

    Monday’s run was a little challenging probably due to eating so much pasta and whole-wheat bread!! It did seem to help the night before my long run on Saturday but definitely not the day of my runs. I seemed to lose focus, feel heavy, and get cramps faster than if I go pasta-free. I’m so bumped for not being able to run on Wednesday- I did ~2 miles and stopped due to shooting pain in my left leg along the lateral side of my anterior tibialis. Saturday’s 9-mile run was filled with tingling and numbness in my right foot and some serious cramping after mile 5 in both of my legs. I’m still feeling some discomfort as I write this.

    Enough negative Nancy, and onto the bright side, I did see my doctor for leg pain and scheduled an appointment on Friday for physical therapy. Given that I have a history of shin splints, I figured I’d skip sports medicine and go straight to physical therapy. So fingers crossed this will pass and I will be able to run like the weeks before.

    Some things I would probably need to implement to have a better running week would be staying

    Fire department trying to be funny!

    Fire department trying to be funny!

    hydrated- especially for long runs! I was not adequately hydrated for my Thursday run L. I often felt thirsty on Saturday as well- but there were few water stops on the route. The stomach empties out the water roughly every 15 minutes, so maybe shoot for rehydration every 15-20 minutes? If I feel water sloshing around then probably bump it up to water every 30-45 minutes or so.

    With the exception of Saturday’s long runs, I run on the treadmill. While research shows that running outside is pretty much the same as running on a treadmill with 1% incline, I’m starting to feel that treadmills are harder to run at. Do they offer less shock absorbance and maneuverability when compared to running outside? Probably not. Could it be that my brain just thinks it would be easier to run outside? Probably yes. I wish I could incorporate more outside running but because of work schedule (7am-5pm) it is rather challenging. I thoroughly enjoyed running on Saturday as everybody I passed was happy and had big smiles on their faces.

    Week 4 Running Stats:
    Monday 2/2 3 miles= 27:38 minutes, pace= 09:12 min/mile (woohoo! Fastest pace since I started training!)
    Thursday 2/5 1.95ish miles= did not record time but it was slower than Monday’s.
    Saturday 2/7 9 miles= 1:30:02 hours, pace= 10:00 min/mile (despite awesome scenery, it was a slightly difficult run with serious walking between miles!)

    This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

    This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

    Hopefully next week’s runs will be better both mentally and physically! I have been slightly concerned about losing muscle while running so I have focused rather a lot on building muscle and neglected endurance training. I will need to incorporate that more often in the next weeks.

    Broken Car, Muscle Loss, and Awesome Running Week! (Week 3 of Marathon Training)

    Some snowy trail it was!

    Some snowy trail it was!

    Terrific training week as far as running goes! I far exceeded my weekly pace goal running an average of 09:40min/mile!! Aside from that, this week has been an emotional roller coaster. I started off the week a little mad because I did not have a car due to the engine acting up for some reason. I brought the car back on Saturday only to find out that it still has the same problem. What sucks even more is that I do not understand the science behind the problem- which really bugs me. I’m like a kid whose couple years old favorite Christmas toy is broken and he does not know how to fix it. Anyways, I just want it fixed so I can sell it and get something else.

    Apart from that, I noticed that I have lost some weight (both fat and skeletal muscle) since last year. It appears that endurance training has been eating away my sweet little muscles that I worked hard for the past couple years. While my legs look big, my upper body does not. At least I do not have chicken legs! Those are not aesthetically appealing at all. Starting tomorrow I will carb up to maximize my glycogen and hit muscles hard to build/maintain my musculature. I’m thinking of a diet along the lines of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 20% fat with caloric intake of roughly 2500-3000. Earlier today I made some whole wheat pasta with spinach and garlic for work week starting tomorrow. I also baked some fish fillet with olive oil, lemon and garlic to get my protein. I may utilize MyFitnessPal to keep track of all that? Reassess in couple weeks. Currently, I’m 148.6lbs and have 10% PBF.

    My mechanic has a kitty, Tess, who helps him around apparently.

    My mechanic has a kitty, Tess, who helps him around apparently.

    As far as running goes I did not have a problem with any of my runs. The only time I walked was during my long run on Saturday. It was not even long, maybe 30 or 40 seconds tops. So yay me! I have this dull discomfort along the lateral side of my anterior tibalis, It goes away or is managed with a calf sleeve. I may utilize Ohio State’s Sports Medicine Department (who Columbus Running Company has graciously provided for us) to check that. Last thing I want is to be off running for couple weeks recovering from an injury!

    Obligatory post-run, pre-caffeine selfie.

    Obligatory post-run, pre-caffeine selfie.

    Last Week’s To-Do List Results:

    • I far exceeded my pace goal running an average of 09:40min/mile! Next week’s goal is to run somewhere between 09:00 and 09:25min/mile pace. So fingers crossed!
    • I have actually minimized walking to a great degree this week. I ran 3- and 4-miles non-stop on the treadmill. The only time I walked was on Saturday’s 8-mile run. I can’t decide if I was tired or bored. But I definitely made three stops, two for water and one when I saw a puppy! Could not resist petting the pupp.
    • As far as nutrition goes, I have been eating fairly clean and healthy following a 30-40-30 diet to build muscle and whatnot. I’m changing this to 50-30-20 because my priorities are slightly different now that I want to build up energy storage so that on my long runs my body does not turn to muscle to chew.

    Yesterday after I got back from my run (and had a grande pike roast coffee) and did yoga! It was a great session filled with plenty of stretching. Although the instructor’s voice was not particularly calming, I was able to zen and bracket out the week’s negative energy. I was there for me. My body needed it. I felt rejuvenated and more appreciative and grateful. Despite his deep voice, I liked the instructor for he allows people to do what they like and branch off of whatever he’s doing. I like to stretch a little longer sometimes or go deeper in a stretch or a pose. I think this will be my new ritual on Saturdays. I used to go to yoga on Mondays but in the past few weeks work has gotten in the way.

    Kubbah hamudh (or beef and cilantro stuffed rice shells). Each ball has lots of protein and carbs for my body to snag on.

    Kubbah hamudh (or beef and cilantro stuffed rice shells). Each ball has lots of protein and carbs for my body to snag on after a run.

    Week 3 Running Stats:
    Monday 1/26 3 miles= 28:37 minutes, pace= 09:32 min/mile (woohoo!!!)
    Wednesday 1/28 4 miles= 38:00 minutes, pace= 09:30 min/mile
    Saturday 1/31 8 miles= 1:20:45 hours, pace= 09:58 min/mile (great run, awesome scenery, and I got to make some new friends :))!

    Week 3 average pace= 09:40min/mile

    Lastly, it appears that we’re expecting a snow storm tomorrow morning. More snow, because we miss it you know? NO. Hopefully snow does not start falling until I get to work at 7am!! At any rate, I’m excited for tomorrow! New week and new page in the book of life..

    A little dry, cold morning.

    A little dry, cold Saturday morning!