“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was a much more successful week for me. Not because I accomplished something big, I didn’t run very far or very fast, and I didn’t accomplish the milage goal written on my training schedule. This week was successful because of the small victories. It’s not news that I’ve been feeling a little disappointed with my running and eating lately, but this week I made some small changes that I’m hoping to build on next week. For me if I try to change my routine too rapidly I just get overwhelmed and sit in a static state on the couch, frozen in place.

The first thing I did was meal plan! After eating some healthier, homemade, non-processed, or restaurant made meals I found myself waking up feeling more refreshed. I just feel better when I eat better, and I certainly run better. Even though I only planned for the second half of the week, since I was in VT until Tuesday, starting small has brought back some inspiration. I’m looking forward to starting next week off on a positive note.

My second small victory was getting some somewhat pain free running in. I had some achilles pain which went away but was quickly followed by patellofemoral pain syndrome. I’ve had this before and my sports doc says it’s basically irritation/inflammation beneath the kneecap. Unfortunately the only thing I can really do for it is rest/ice it. This only allowed me one 8 mile run while in VT 😦  On Wednesday I still upheld my #verbal for November Project and showed up to Harvard Stadium with my friend Christine who was visiting from the Denver tribe. I walked about half the stadium and made sure once I felt a little tightness in my knee I stopped before things started to hurt. Thursday I woke up expecting to feel soreness but my knee was feeling ok. Unfortunately I was waking up at 3:30am to get back to work.

After a really crappy at work I came home feeling exhausted and grumpy and not in a mood to run. After a semi-unintentional nap I basically shamed forced myself into going running. I knew I would just go short since I didn’t wanna push my knee too hard. Jogging up my hill in the light rain and cool breeze took my mind off everything else stressing me out. I don’t know what came over me but I was drawn to the trail behind my neighborhood. I usually run most of my miles on the road just because that’s what I’m used to and pretty much all my races are on the road. For whatever reason this trail run was exactly what I needed. The light rain and overcast sky left the woods enveloped in a misty haze. It felt like I had left civilization behind, and I liked that. It was just me, the trail, and my shoes. Even though it was a short three mile loop this run really left me feeling rejuvenated. My knee felt good, and my mind felt clear. Sometimes it just takes a change of pace to get back on track. This run also made me want to start running trails more often, even inspiring me to buy a pair of Merrell Allout Fuse from 6pm.com on killer discount.

I know this was a longer read than usually but if you’ve stuck in there through my poor sentence structure thank you! I chose the Emerson quote at the top because I feel like it perfectly summed up my feelings about this week. I’ve learned I need to be more patient with myself to get back on track; something I hadn’t really thought about until after my stress relieving trail run.

 

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What I’m eating this week 8/20/14

So in trying to get back on track I’ve actually done some meal planning for the rest of the week! I spent the first part of the week in Vermont, and made a quick overnight trip to Boston so I only have a few nights left of dinners this week. I’ll be honest after making the first meal tonight I can say I already feel better and it has helped me feel excited to start following my training/eating schedule again.

  • Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Spinach– I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! A great alternative to all the pasta I ate last night while in the North End of Boston for dinner. I’m excited that spaghetti squash is coming back into season, can’t wait to find more creative ways to use it.Processed with VSCOcam
  • Red Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers– I’ve made these before and the flavors were great, however they ended up a bit mushy from over processing the ingredients. I’m planning on only processing two thirds of the ingredients before forming the patties. Hopefully this gives them better texture.
  • Coconut Zucchini Muffins– I know this doesn’t count as a meal but Kate and I are going away this weekend for our friend’s annual “Raftzilla” float on Cape Cod and we figured these would be great for a quick breakfast/snack on the ride down. Fresh zucchini from Hudak’s Farm Stand in VT will make these even better!

Happy Raftzilla to all!!

Raftzilla of years past

Raftzilla of years past

 

 

I think I fell off the wagon?

After last weekends long run I feel like I fell off the wagon. I can safely say it was my worst run ever. I thought the dehydration fiasco was bad, but this was a different kind of bad, a worse kind of bad. Don’t worry I’ll get to that.

As I already admitted during my last brief post I’ve been a bad blogger as of lately. I think I was in denial but last weeks run has lead me to also see I’ve been a bad eater, and even a bad runner the last few weeks. Without my weekly meal post to keep me accountable I haven’t been eating too great. I’ve reached for more convenience foods, and because last week was my birthday I ended up eating out quite a few meals for “celebrations”.

On top of bad eating habits I also haven’t run as much because after my November Project workout a few weeks ago I had a sore achilles. I attribute this to my lungs cashing a check my body couldn’t cash. I had the cardio to run a stadium PR which got me a picture with Phoebe the PR Pig; however my joints/muscles/tendons weren’t used to so many stairs and my left achilles paid the price. This made me miss my long run two weeks ago, plus half a week of training. It doesn’t sound like much, but trying to bounce back this week I’ve felt a difference.

Phoebe the PR-PIG

Phoebe the PR-PIG

These two lapses caught up to me Saturday during my long run. It was the most miserable 18 miles of my life. I had GI issues, muscle cramps, fatigue, and I swear I touched “The Wall”. I’ve never been the type to “walk-run” during workouts but I was forced to for about 1.5 miles. I just felt zapped. I couldn’t get leg turnover, my form was awful, and I could feel myself slipping into a survivor shuffle at mile 15. I probably wouldn’t have finished the 18 but my girlfriend Kate was nice enough to ride along on her bike for my last 8 miles so I could have as much Nuun for hydration and samples from my RunnerBox for fuel.  After the run I was totally useless. I had to lay down on my lawn, could barely stand, and slept like a zombie while Kate drove me to the store to get ice for an ice bath.  I’m just happy I finished, but it was a real wake up call for me. It also helped me see how important nutrition is for my running. I know eating out so much last week hurt me a lot. I’ve got to get back on the horse and back on track or else this fall marathon isn’t going to happen.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Ever fallen off your fitness horse? How did you get back on track?