Sunday, March 16, 2014

Don't Expect to Get it Right on the First Try

Over dinner tonight with a couple friends, we were discussing how we can't believe it's already March. Where has this month gone? More importantly, how is it that I've already started training for marathon #1 of 2014? Rather than wonder where the time has gone, I'd rather share with you some things that I've learned this week about gluten- and dairy-free living, as well as my training updates. 

Diet Tidbits

-Jesus is made of gluten. No really, the Eucharist at mass contains wheat. ( I first realized this three days after Ash Wednesday, during which I went up and received communion. (The last time I had been to mass was Christmas, which was way before I did the gluten-free thing.) If you happen to be Catholic and GF, you have two options. One, walk up and cross your hands over your chest. This tells the priest/Eucharistic Minister that you won't be receiving communion, and that they should give you a simple blessing instead. Or two, save yourself the trip and not go up there. Aren't you already getting blessed if you're at mass.


-Take an iron supplement. I'd like to credit the lovely Annabelle for this tip. This is important for endurance athletes anyway, as the constant pounding on the pavement breaks down the hemoglobin in your blood, thereby breaking down your iron stores. This is a much bigger concern for female endurance athletes, because of the blood lost during menstruation. (

-Eat lots of rice. Again, another Annabelle tip. I recently discovered black rice at Trader Joe’s. It contains as much protein per serving as quinoa, but takes about 3x as long to make. If you decide to buy it, get it simmering, and then go clean your house. Or foam roll. Or both, depending on the size of your house. And since you'll want to make multiple servings at one time, here's an idea for what to do with your leftover rice (and leftover peanut butter jar too, for that matter). Take your nearly empty PB jar, and add 3/4 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup milk of your choice, and whatever else your heart desires. Seal it up, and let it sit in your fridge overnight.

-Do your due diligence whenever you go out to eat. Otherwise, you'll end up with an oyster hash that's made with fried oysters. (FWIW, the hash was good, but I'm not sure if it was worth the stomach cramps that ensued. Now the shrimp and grits that my companion ordered would be worth it. I need to try making a dairy-free version of those.) I'm just telling myself that it was accidental, and trying to use it as a learning tool in this journey toward GF living.

-If you want a good excuse to deviate from your diet plan, use alcohol. It's how I ended up with a $6 block of cheese in my fridge. And when said $6 block is only 1/4 lb., you kind of want to ration and enjoy it. So I spread it out over four days/sittings. And an ounce a day sounds reasonable, right? (So yes, I ended up eating dairy most days this week.)

-Unless you're looking for an oversized cracker, don't buy Trader Joe's Brown Rice Bread. Yes, it's gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, but it is not soft and pillowy like normal bread should be.

Anyway, week 1 of training is done. And now, the workout recaps!

Planned: rest or xt
Actual: Work Challenge

Good excuse to do core and strength conditioning.

Planned: 8 mi with 10x100m strides
Actual: 8.40 mi with 8x100m strides, plus Work Challenge

I'd call this a runch (because I left work, ran, and then came back to work), except it was at 3pm, so it's a little late for runching hours. Either way, great weather! Spotted my favorite coffee guy (i.e., my friend's uncle, who happens to own the coffee shop in the lobby of my office building) twice. Got hungry by about mile 4 (I hadn't been particularly hungry all day -- I guess my appetite caught up with me), but otherwise, this was good. Worked in 8x100m(ish) strides. And in a moment of "I'm going to try to be hard core", I used the challenge as a cooldown.

For some reason, I thought there were only 8 strides. Bad recall on my part.

Planned: rest or xt
Actual: Work Challenge

Nothing too exciting to report. Or really, different from Monday.

Planned: General Aerobic (GA) 9 mi
Actual: GA 10.07 mi
This was supposed to be a 9 mile run. But in the midst of checking out a slightly new route, I underestimated so much that I figured I'd just round it out to an even 10. Unfortunately, I only felt springy for the first half of this run. The second half, all I could think about was, "Ooo, this neighborhood's rundown", "Ooo, this is NICE!", and "FOOD!" I think I smoked myself by doing the work challenge three days in a row (one of which was right after my 8 miler on Tuesday).
Oh, and since told me it was 59ยบ, I left my gloves at home. And by mile 1, my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand were white. And after the other 9 miles, they were red/purple. Poor life choices?
Also, I saw three people I knew while running. Fortunately, I saw all of them while I was still feeling good (one between miles 1 and 2, and the other two between miles 3 and 4).

Planned: rest or xt
Actual: rest

Planned: Recovery 5
Actual: Recovery 5.01 mi

It's so nice here today, and there's a chance that it's going to rain tomorrow, so I thought about switching my recovery and long runs around so I could do the long run today. Except my legs weren't having any of that. And by mile 4, my plantar fascia wasn't having it either. Around mile 4.3 or so, I remembered that the Downtown 24 was about 0.6-0.7 miles away, so it just seemed like a wise idea to run there and foam roll. And was it ever! Oh, and then I rolled out my plantar fascia when I got home. And also ate, because I got hangry on my way home.

Planned: 13 mi
Actual: 13.15 mi

After yesterday's run, I really wasn't sure what to expect out of this. I was just hoping that the foam rolling and plantar massaging I did yesterday would help. The couple hills I encountered were tough, but overall, things felt good. During the last mile, I had this weird pain in my left adductor (and by weird, I mean I've never felt it before). But it didn't hurt enough to abort the run.

Post-run was the brunch with the oyster hash that I would've been fine not ordering. 

Planned total: 35 mi
Actual total: 36.63 

This was my first week over 35 miles, so I'm quite pleased about that. Maybe not the injuries, but the 35+ mile week seems like something to smile about. Now let's bring on week 2!

How do you react when you fall off of the wagon?


  1. Not sure how I missed this earlier in the week. Damn! Anyway. Lots of good stuff here. When I fall off the bandwagon, particularly if it's in the realm of not making very healthy choices with my food/beverages, I try to quickly get over it (and myself) and do better at the next meal/opportunity. For me, it has traditionally been super hard to not get totally bent outta shape about it and think totally self-destructive thoughts like 'well, there goes the day...' or the week, or the month, or whatever; it can quickly become a rabbit hole for me. Nobody's perfect, ya know? Do what you can, and when you screw up, because we all do, just try harder and move on :) SO STOKED TO RUN WITH YOU AGAIN SUPER SOON! xo

    1. E! LOVE the feedback! Totally agree with all of that. I think that's why several diets (e.g., Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Body) factor in a cheat day every so often. I've also read before that if you eat clean 80% of the time, what you eat the other 20% just cancels out.

      HUGE congrats again on your awesome race in Oakland! So so so proud of you, and CAN'T WAIT to run with you again in two months! :) (And also five months, but SR is a distant thought right now.)