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!
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.
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
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
Wednesday 2/11 1 mile= 8:17 minutes, pace
Thursday 2/12 5 miles= 49:19 minutes, pace= 09:51 min/mile
Saturday 2/14 10 miles= 1:38:45 hours, pace= 09:52 min/mile
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!