I’m Not Dead…I’m Just Running

I know, I know. I’m still really sucking at this whole blogging regularly thing. And that makes it so some people worry about me because of my depression and stuff, especially if they aren’t IRL friends and  don’t know eveyrthing that is going on in my life. This is doubly the case when my most recent blog post is all criptic.

I’m still ok (although my emotions have bene through a bit of a rollercoaster lately and spoons have been in short supply).  Basically the short form of what happened that I mentioned in my last post is that the place where all my stuff that I didn’t take with me to college was kept was robbed. Lots of things near and dear to my family were taken or ruined. Some have been recovered, but not all. Among things stolen were identifying documents, so I’m at serious risk for identity theft (not that they can do much with my crappy credit score, but I don’t need them making it worse). I can’t afford something like lifelock, so I’ve put a freeze on my credit with different agencies and will have to moniter it closely. But on top of the stress I just feel violated. These are my families things and memories that have been taken/destroyed. That’s deeply personal stuff and it just feel so wrong. 

Some other stuff happened, unrelated to that. There has been some growing tension between AMIL and I and I kind of blew up at her this past week when she sold my collection of N64 consoles (I had 2 of them) and games. She had mentioned that someone at work was interested in them. I told her my asking price, $100. She sold the entire collection for $25. And then didn’t tell me. I didn’t find out until I asked where the box went (I was looking for it because I had another buyer interested). That’s when she told me she took it to the guy as work. When I asked about the money she said “oh he gave me $25 for it.” I was livid that she 1) didn’t tell me she sold it when she did and give me the money and 2) that she sold it for 1/4 of my asking price. That $100 was going to help pay for Rebel Challenge registration next week, so I’m upset that I’m now going to be short because she grossly undersold my collection.

So yeah. I’m sorry if I worried anyone with my silence and that criptic post. There has just been a lot going on. And while, yes, there has been some emotional stuff, I’ve been doing ok. I’ve just been really busy. So it been hard for me to blog reguralry, even though I want to make that a habit.

Eventually, I’ll be back in the habit. Right now the challenge is finding the time.

Work keeps me busy, but that’s a good thing. I really do love my job at the Martial Arts Academy. And there is already talk about me getting a promotion when we move into our perminant location.

I have been running regularly. I’m back to running 3 days a week. I’m working on getting my milage up so I won’t struggle so much when I start Dopey training in July. I’m up to 5 miles on my long run, which is fantastic, considering a month ago I was still struggling to run 3.1 miles (which I now do on my weekday maintiance runs)

I’m making a lot of changes to my health and wellness routine. First off, I’m working on running in the mornings. Right now its not going so well, but I know this is a change I need to make and it will happen over time. I need it to happen for a few reasons. 1) I need to get used to waking up early for morning races, since that is what most of the runDisney events will be and 2) Its getting to be bear season. 

I wrote about the bears in a post last fall, and the needless worry one of our neighbors had for us running with EJ at night. While we scoffed at her worry, it was mostly because there hadn’t been a bear sighting in well over a month. But the danger of bears are real. The day after Memorial day we had a big one walk around our neighborhood. He wasn’t terribly agressive, from what I heard, but its always better to be safe than sorry.

Right now I’m still mostly running at night, but I’m doing 1 day a week where I get up in the morning. As I slowly start training my body to wake up earlier I’ll do more and more runs in the morning.

I’m also trying something new. I’m trying to eat healthier. Now with my and Hubby’s science backgrounds, I’m always super skeptical of any and all diets, especially popular diets that promise to change your life. But I recognized that eating correctly is an important part of training, and I want to give myself everything I need to take on #RunAllTheRaces2016.
So as I’ve done research on proper nutrition for running I came to the conclusion that I needed to be eating more complex carbs in between training sessions, and only eating simple carbs before/after a work out.

That got me thinking about the Paleo Diet, because that diet does a good job replacing the simple carbs of refined grains with the complex carbs of vegitables. So I thought maybe I’d give it a try.

One of my favorite recipes (4 Layer Sweet Potato Casserole) came from a Paleo cookbook, so I thought I’d start with that book. While at the bookstore I came across Paleo for Athletes (affiliate link). I ended up downloading the kindle version. 

I’m not at 100% adherence yet (mostly because life is still a little insane, and so we still reach for the “easy” meals that are in the fridge and freezer) but it will become easier as we eat all the “bad” stuff in the house and replace it with good things.

Despite the adherence hovering around 50% I am noticing a difference in my performance. I think a lot of that is due to fueling properly immediately before and after my workouts.

This diet is broken down into 5 sections, referred to in the book at “stages,” each with their own unique requirements. Stage 1 is immediately before your workout. The book recomends that you eat about 2 hours or more before you work out, but it should be mostly complex carbs and protein high in branch chained amino acids. However, very few people want to wake up 2 hours before their workout just to eat, or they are like me and struggle running with food in their system (I’ve been know to loose a lunch I ate over two hours before working out) so if you cant eat over an hour before you work out, the recomend that 10 minutes before the workout that you have some simple carbs. While you could have a bagel or muffin, or something of that sort they recomend avoiding things with high fiber (like grains) as they tend to sit in your stomach and make you uncomforable, not to mention raise the acidity of your blood. So they recomend using energy gels/chews, which is what I’m doing.

A friend of mine had a stridebox subscription, and she gave me a bunch of stuff she wasn’t using, including a bunch of energy gels. So I’m slowly going through those and learning which ones I like and don’t like. I struggle a bit with the texture of gels, so I’m thinking I might have to go buy a bunch of different types of chews and see if those work any better for me (if you have any recommendations for gels or chews, please leave them in the comments)

That alone has made a HUGE difference for me. Just in the last two weeks that I’ve been doing this I’ve seen my pace improve, as well as my endurance. I no longer hit the wall between mile 2 and 3 and I even end my long runs without feeling like I’m going to die before I start my cool down.

Stage 2 is during the workout. Right now for me this is just about staying hydrated, because even my long runs are currently under 90 minutes. But once I cross that 90 minute threshold (which will likely be in about 2 weeks when I do a 7 mile long run) then I’ll have to start worrying about fueling during the run. The book recomends fueling plans based on the length of the workout.

Stage 3 is immediate recovery and my favorite stage. Sage 2 is the first 30 minutes post-workout. I call this “Smoothie time.” I’m not going to lie. Sometimes the knowledge that I get a smoothie when I get back from my run is the only thing that gets me out the door on those days where I really don’t want to run. The smoothie is formulated to have both simple carbs (there is powdered glucose added on my long run days) to help with immediately replenshing glycogen stores, complex carbs (in the form of fruit juice and fresh/frozen fruit) to help with further recovery, and protien powder (affiliate link) (and I even found an unflavored powder that I can’t even taste in the smoothie, yay!) to help with muscle repair.

I will tell you, there is nothing like coming in from a run and having that delicious drink there waiting for me.  I’m a huge OJ fan, so I use that as my juice base, but I’ll probably mix in up in the future and use Apple Juice or Pineapple Juice, depending on what fruits I end up buying (I like to go for what’s in season). Last week I used rasperries as my fruit, which was DELICIOUS, this week I used pineapple, which give it a nice tropical flavor. I’m thinking I might to OJ and peaches next week for a fuzzy navel sort of thing.

Stage 4 is the short term recovery. Stage 4 plus the 30 minutes of stage 3 equal the total time you spent working out. This is still carb heavy, and not strictly paleo (because you need to get your glycogen stores repleneshed as quickly as possible during this window), but protein is to be eaten in a specific proportion to continue to help with muscle repair. It actually really surprising how much food you are supposed to eat to meet the dietary and caloric recommendations. But that’s not a bad thing becuase usually around that 1st hour post exercise I get as insatiably hungry as an adolescent boy. 

Stage 5 is where I struggle, because this is the part that is strictly Paleo. But I’m not struggling because I miss all my non paleo foods (although I will admit that the part of my heart that belongs to cheese is really hurting). The struggle is actually stocking my fridge with Paleo-friendly foods. The emphasis is on protein, with carbs coming mostly from fruit, vegitables, and other nutrient dense products. This is a struggle for me just because we have a tight budget and fruit and veggies are expensive, not to mention the milk, flour, and sugar alternatives for when I do want something sweet or dessert like. And lets face it, aside from chicken and ground beef, meats are not exactly cheap either, so it hard to find variety to do with those items, because fish and steak and pork are not always in the budget (but hopefully that will change when I start getting more hours at work).

As I get closer to proper adherence (they say that 15% non-adherence is recomended so you don’t go completely crazy) I look forward to reporting on the results.

Now, since I’ve already had a few friends bring this up, there is one thing I’d like to make clear. I’m not going on a “diet” to loose weight. I know I don’t need to loose weight. I don’t even feel like I need to loose weight. In fact it would probably do me some good to gain a bit of weight. But just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I’m healthy. Do I think this diet will help cure my mental illnesses? NO. I do think it will help me maximize my performance and lower my chance of injury/illness do to pushing myself too far in my training while not giving my body the nutrients it needs to recover properly. And that is what this is about. I’m following a diet that will help me give everything my body needs to maximize my training and to be healthy. Because the last thing I want is to gain a crap ton of weight from eating too much unhealthy stuff, or to end up suffering from malnutrition because I’m not eating enough for all the calories I’m buring.

In other news: Star Wars Half Marathon registration is next week. Once again I missed AP registration due to not having enough money, and I’m once again worried that I’m not going to make it. I’m having another garage sale this weekend, plus I should have some money coming in from recruitment bonuses at work. Then I have AP registration for Princess a week later. I wasn’t worried about that because work was going to sponsor me for it if I could bring in 20 people by the end of this month. I thought I was going to be close, because I had a bunch of people come to take free classes after we had a table set up at our memorial day picnic. But of the 12 people who came and took classes, only 2 have signed up. So instead of being 4 people away from my goal, I now only have 6 people signed up in total. So now I’m kind of worried.

I’m in the final steps of getting my fundraiser set up. I’m going to use a site called Fundrazr. I chose it because it had open-ended funding (like GoFundMe) but still had the options for Perks (like Indiegogo). I’ve got all the donor levels figured out, and the kind of perks people will get. There will be everything from me filming myself doing a shot of Beverly at Club Cool in Epcot to pins, magnets, waterbottles and tech shirts, to getting your logo (or name) on the shirt I will wear at each race. All I need to do is figure out the design for the merchandise.

I even figured out the charity that part of the donations will go towards. I will be giving 10% of every donation to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). I’ve been in touch with them and all that I need now is permission from the Board of Directors to put their logo on my blog and other promotional materials (but they need to see samples before they can approve that). And I plan to increase the donation percentage as part of the “stretch goals” if I meet more than what I need to cover my registrations (because lets face it, registration alone for all those races is several thousand dollars, plus the cost of the perks and the fees associated with the campaign, let alone hotel room and flights). I figure once we surpass my funding goal I’ll increase the donation to 25%, then if somehow this campaign gets really popular and the donations still come in I’ll increase it to 50%, and so on and so forth, to the point where I’ve covered all my costs and everything else (minus the fees and perk fulfillment costs) goes to the ADAA.


One thought on “I’m Not Dead…I’m Just Running

  1. There really has been a lot going on in your life. I am very sorry to hear about the robbery. My sister was robbed in a break and enter, and feeling violated was the exact words she used as well. But also the fact some items taken were personal effects that had a sentimental value, which would make very difficult to accept.

    With all this happening, am glad you are out running regularly. That and the eating healthy has been very helpful to me.

    Thank you for sharing, and sharing so honestly. All the best in your events this summer! 🙂



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