Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Not every mile is beautiful

Remember last week when I said marathon training is going amazing?

"I am just loving my long runs" -- She said.

Ha! I am writing this Sunday afternoon while the feelings are still fresh, and the wounds are still gaping.

No, I don't really have wounds.

I had 20.5 very humbling miles.

My last 20 miles, I literally sprinted the final 3 miles. I felt so amazing, and wanted to keep going!

Today, I wanted to lay down and take a nap at 10 miles. So from mile 10-20, I kept questioning "What. Went. Wrong."
  • My nutrition was spot-on all week long.
  • I rested on Saturday to get fresh legs.
  • I ate a great, well-balanced meal Saturday night. I even had a small bowl of ice cream to give me some extra calories to burn ;).
  • I hydrated all day long Saturday. Didn't drink any alcohol.
  • I had a banana with peanut butter 1.5 hours before the run. And foam rolled pre-run.
  • I had bites of fuel (gels) along the course to keep me going.
I was the perfect athlete. But that did not come to play on the run.

At 16 miles, I fell behind my partner, texted her and said "I'm walking to my car. You keep going! I'm done". Well, she came and got me and reminded me "Abby, marathon training isn't easy. Are you injured? Are you hurt? No? Then we push through the hard miles."

It was a good reminder. Not ever long run is going to feel amazing. Marathon training should be tough! And race day, I may not feel "amazing". So I need to learn to be uncomfortable! (Isn't that true with life, too?"

Luckily, she had a protein bar in her car. (which I never eat stuff like that on a long run! But I needed it!) And I had a few bites of that at mile 17, and finished that baby off. I totally hit a wall! And post run I felt weak and defeated.

I returned to my car wobbling, covered in mud (there was a LOT of mud on the path today....), wind-blown, and very thirsty.

Now, hours later - I realize, "Wow, I didn't die." Kind of makes me smile - because I think we all go through these feelings in life. Something can feel so hard - and then when we reflect on it, we find ourselves saying "Well, that wasn't so bad!"

And all I can pray is that I don't feel like that come race day! But I am confident that my much-needed taper will prevent that from happening!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What's in the kitchen?

Cooking good food - it's kind of a goal, but more of an evolving lifestyle for me.

This is something I struggle with when Ryan is away, because it is so easy to grab cheese, hummus, and crackers for a "meal".

But that does not fuel me for the 45-mile weeks I've been running lately ;)

One thing that has helped with my cooking is purchasing in a spiralizer. I 1st ordered the cheap one on Amazon. And immediately sent it back. You get what you pay for....

So I went with the Amazon best seller. And am in love!

I have done many batches of spiralized zucchini.
I've done spiralized sweet potatoes - sautéed in sea salt and coconut oil (my favorite, thus far).
To fuel me up for my 20 mile run, I spiralized red potatoes last night.

I am guilty of using ketchup with potatoes like this. But crisping them up with cumin, sea salt, and coconut oil? -- NKR (that's No. Ketchup. Required) :D They were a great accompaniment to Dijon chicken breasts and roasted garlic.

Besides sprializing a lot of vegetables.

I have been roasting away. This is the time of year where it is okay to use the oven, as it's not 9000 degrees outside. My new favorite food to roast? Broccoli! I highly recommend you all try this!

Toss broccoli in olive oil, salt, pepper, and lots of garlic.
Roast at 450 degrees x 20 minutes
It will crisp them up, and taste so good!

Last Sunday I roasted my 1st chicken! Ryan and I eat roasted and grilled whole chickens all the time. But guess who cleans the chicken, handles the gizards, and carves it?

Not me ;)

I felt like a real "grown up" when I did this last weekend!
This provided meals all week long for me!

And my final new food I tried last week.....my own home-made Larabars!

Lara bars are a "Paleo-approved" (not that I'm 100% paleo...more 80/20). But they are so easy to make, and quite good for you. I really like knowing exactly what I'm putting in my stomach, and that happens with this recipe!

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup pitted Meejol dates
1 cup unsweeted coconut flakes
2 Tbsp good cocoa powder
1/4 cup 70% cocoa chips
~ 2 Tbsp water

I put the coconut and almonds in my food processor, added in the dates and cocoa, and enough splashes of water to make it stick together. I pressed it into an 8x8 in pan, and stirred in the cocoa chips. These are a great pre-workout snack! Or when I'm craving something sweet. It's like a piece of fudge.

Okay, I lied. They aren't as good as Mom's fudge. No paleo recipe will ever be as good as real, Christmas fudge. ;)

I am going to make a Vegetarian Moroccan Stew tonight for dinner, to give me leftovers for the whole week. It will have lentils, chick peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and many wonderful anti-inflammatory spices. I hope it cures me. I had a really brutal 20 miler this morning.

What have you been cooking lately?