As I sit here writing this blog, I am looking out the window at a cloudy, cool (47 degrees) Colorado afternoon, sipping a hot cup of tart cherry juice. Yep, Fall is here finally and I love it! Perfect running weather.
A huge thanks to Generation UCAN as they sent me some goodies for my training - chocolate energy powder, energy bars and more Hydrate. Yay!!!!
This past week was highlighted by a big lesson I learned. I did a bit of an experiment toward the end of the week to see if it would make an impact and…well, let’s just wait a bit on that. Let’s get to this week’s stats first!
Monday: 1 hour trainer ride and 205 pushups
Tuesday: 9 mile run, strength and 60 pushups
Wednesday: 1 hour Powercranks and 100 pushups
Thursday: 4.25 mile walk, 5 mile trail run, 20 minutes indoor rowing and 100 pushups
Friday: 21 mile run (mostly on dirt/paths)
Saturday: 1 hour trainer ride, strength and 200 pushups
Sunday: 13 mile trail run and 100 pushups
Total running miles for the week came in at 48.1. Total walking miles 4.25. Grand total “time on feet” was 52.35 miles. I backed off my running miles just a bit this week because both of my knees were beginning to feel a bit “tender”. Total TSS was 552 and total elevation gain was 3726 feet (down from last week because I stayed low for my long run).
I have noticed that I really need to keep up with my recovery program with the higher weekly running mileage. I believe that is really my saving grace at this point. iKOR, myofascial release with the Trigger Point Grid, Halo (more of a primer, not necessarily recovery tool), Modus protein powder, Recovery Pump boots and a few old fashioned naps are doing the trick right now!
Now to my experiment…I was planning my longer run for Friday so I decided to try a slightly new dietary strategy the day before. I thought I would be smart and increase my glycogen (carbohydrate stores) the day before my long run to see if it provided any benefit. Current research indicates that we can increase carbohydrate stores about 24 hours beforehand so I woke up on Thursday morning and started chowing down the carbs! Toast for breakfast, oatmeal for a snack, pasta at night, crackers, fruit, sports drink. Anything I could get my hands on. This led me to follow a slightly lower protein and fat intake and while it was fun the first 2/3 of the day, I started getting really sick of it right around 4:00pm. I felt full, stomach distended, lethargic and “heavy”. My stomach felt like it was going to explode and my digestive system was rebelling. Still, I pushed on in the name of science (or at least this n of 1 experiment).
After a very restless night of sleep (interesting side effect I noticed), I woke up still feeling gross and full and bloated, ate some toast with butter and jelly and headed out for my long run. I did manage to hit decent paces (because I did run mostly flat), I noticed that my gut was not happy. I had to make 2 bathroom stops and with every step, I could feel my stomach. I’m not sure how to describe it other than my stomach just felt “big”.
Nutrition during my long run was about the same as last week: 1 bottle mixed with Birota Foods Smart Cocoa and Generation UCAN Plain energy powder, 1 bottle of Generation UCAN Watermelon Hydrate and 1 UCAN Cinnamon energy bar. Because I didn’t do too much climbing, I didn’t need to consume as many calories.
The digestive woes lasted 2 days after the long run but one of the most interesting findings from this experiment was that I felt extremely inflamed after my long run on Friday. This lasted until Sunday morning. I’m not sure how to describe it but you may know the feeling…very sore, muscles not recovering the way they should, feeling of whole body fatigue, headache, the whole nine yards. My body shouldn’t have felt like that after a somewhat flatter run.
That was certainly not fun and I am very glad I did that experiment this past week because now I know what NOT to do…EVER AGAIN! Power to any athlete who can consume a high amount of carbs but for this guy, it just doesn’t work. I have found that my carbohydrate “threshold” is around 150-175 grams per day. If I go over that, I have all of the symptoms that I described above.
So, take that for what it is worth but I truly feel that everyone does possess a carbohydrate threshold. It sometimes takes a silly experiment like I did this week to realize it.
This week, I really need to get better at hiking with a weighted pack on. I keep mentioning it but just love running more than hiking…but, the R2R2R will force me to hike so it’s time to buckle down!
To wrap up this blog, here’s a “funny” story. On my 13 mile trail run today, I didn’t see anyone except for two mountain bikers. One of whom I haven’t seen for about 20 years but he recognized me and we chatted a bit. I told him that just up the road from us was my first and second bear encounters of the year a few weeks ago and told the guys to keep an eye out. I started running a bit up the fire road and wouldn’t you know it…I see a bear hightailing it away from me. He was a big boy and I sure am glad he was running the opposite direction from me. He was so fast that I was, unfortunately, not able to snap a photo. Anyway, weird week for sure.
Here’s to a great week coming up!
PS-I keep mentioning the Smart Cocoa product from Birota Foods. As one of the co-founders, I do have extreme bias but believe that my business partner and I have created something truly special and I know you will think so if you try it. It will redefine the cocoa market…guaranteed!
There is also a Smart Coconut Creamer with similar benefits as the Smart Cocoa…just minus the cocoa…