Food: You Should Eat It!

That’s pretty much what I’ve learned from my new sports nutritionist. You’re probably saying, “Duh.” But hear me out.

How many of you recognize even a little bit of yourselves in this? Your stomach hurts so you only eat a little bit before heading out to run–a gel or a serving of chomps. Then you drink some water on your long run, which you may or may not carry with you. I didn’t carry until I hit 10 miles unless it was really hot. But sometimes you have to stop eating or drinking because you get the dreaded “gu belly” or you can feel the water sloshing in your stomach. And then you finish and sit around chatting and you head home and get distracted and just grab whatever’s easy to eat.

Anyone? Ok, fine, I’m weird. I used to have a less-than-healthy approach to food (which I’ve replaced with a less-than-healthy devotion to exercise, but hey, that’s an improvement, isn’t it?). Once I learned to use food as fuel, I had a much better relationship with it, but I still struggled with a sweet tooth and a few extra pounds and fatigue problems and an ever-more delicate stomach.

So I went to the nutritionist. Who told me, and I’m not kidding, that if I didn’t start eating more, I was going to end up in the hospital instead of at the finish line during the marathon. “You’re only getting away with this because you’re 28,” she said. Whaaaaaa?

She made me a plan that calls for 1900 calories a day until I lose 7 pounds–but I’ve already lost 2!–but I can eat up to 2400 if I really need them. 2400 calories! I know that’s what most Americans eat in a sitting at Burger King, but I don’t eat that much. And remember that nutritionist who told me I needed 1600?

And guess what. It’s working! You could chalk it up to the fact that I’ve let the fatigue mole get some rest on digging fatigue holes, but last weekend I did get in 19 miles over two days in intense heat. And then this week I cranked out 44, including the best track workout I’ve had in two years. How do I feel? Fine. Pretty good, even. I’m not in any pain; I’m not too tired to be alive right now; and if I didn’t have to clean my entire house, I would go for a bike ride. (The Fatigue Mole hates to clean. It’s always the first thing to go.) Oh, and I never take rest days either. So know that I was swimming, cycling, and doing yoga on the two days I didn’t run this week.

Keeping every shoe I own in the living room helps me focus on digging holes.

I’m a convert. While I do now find myself picking up random foods to meet my calorie goals for each meal (egg sandwich and granola bar for breakfast? ok!), I was able to have a day out and about both yesterday and today. Usually I spend Sunday in a stupor. I’m going to say it was the 40 grams of protein I had for breakfast. I drank 7 raw eggs after my run.

Just kidding! That’s old school. I drank a cup of chocolate milk and made a smoothie with banana cream muscle milk light–which is DELICIOUS by itself. And then I went out to lunch and had a crab omelet,* so I’m eating an exorbitant amount of protein for me. I should also mention that I drank a lot more on my long run, and used GU Brew to very good effect–it tastes just like Lemon Lime Gatorade (which is my favorite–I know, I’m crazy) but doesn’t give me debilitating stomach cramps! So instead of my usual 200 calories for a 2-hour run, I had closer to 400…still probably not quite enough more, but a good start.

Next week is a bit of a step-down week for me. George suggested we take them to be able to bump our mileage up more than 10% a week, so I went 35 to 25 to 40 to 30 and now to 45 (well, 44), so back to 35 next week. I thought I was going to stay at 45 for a while because I’ve been so sore, but I just might be able to push right through to 50 in two weeks.

I also want to mention that my legendary sweet tooth has all but disappeared. Turns out my body wasn’t craving sugar so much as it was craving food. You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to quit sugar in the past. One time I even fainted after taking a week off from sugar and then binging because I couldn’t take it anymore. I was at one of Wes’s shows. That was a good night. So, yeah. Eat food!

Stay tuned for a post about my new boyfriend: CW-X compression shorts. They can’t catch me when I pass out on them, but they do hug my ass oh-so-nicely.

*I have no f-ing clue how to spell “omelet.”

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6 responses to this post.

  1. This is amazing info! I was talking with Erica yesterday and Ms. 4:55 miler said she has recently added the protein shakes to her diet and is getting around 100 grams a day and now she’s smashing her own PRs! I definitely need more fuel for my long runs! 6 saltine crackers and a gatorade aren’t enough. Lemon-lime & Orange are my favorite gatorades too. I can’t wait to try out your new boyfriend, I wished I was near citysports, I’ll have to wait…

    Reply

  2. I made Lauren read this last night. She’s still not convinced going to a nutritionist is a good idea, but is definitely further along after your commentary. Can’t wait to hear more!

    Reply

  3. This sounds fantastic! 1900 sounds much better than 1600, and 2400 sounds even better for those high-milage weeks. I’ve also noticed the more I’ve leaned my diet towards protein and away from being so carb-heavy, the more energy I have and less naps I need. So glad to hear you’re feeling so great!!!

    Reply

  4. 1900 to 2400 sounds like a healthy plan! I occasionally track my food intake on http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov and I really like all the nutrient breakdowns they give. And they adjust your recommendations based on your activity level, which you can also track on the website. Actually, they recommend that I eat around 1900 calories when I don’t exercise, and it maxes out at 2650 for high activity days. I highly recommend it!

    I just clicked a button and they analyzed my intake for the past week: I average 350g of carbs, 120g protein, 75g fat and 2500 calories a day. And they showed it on a graph. I love graphs and pretty pictures and unnecessary but cool training/tracking tools!

    Reply

  5. At least you are reaching for good foods to hit your calorie quota and not m&m’s or something! 🙂

    hmm. Rid of the sweet tooth? This may be something I need to look into…

    Reply

  6. WOW! I wonder how many female athletes your nutritionist has to scare straight? I totally sympathize with this: “I still struggled with a sweet tooth and a few extra pounds and fatigue problems and an ever-more delicate stomach.” I can’t wait to read more!

    Reply

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