Exceed Your Limits!

One Step and One Day at a Time!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Unintended Experiement on How NOT to Fuel Your Body.

For those of you that are Facebook Fans you may have seen that my run Friday morning was less than stellar! I started my normal warm up (stretching, then walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes at 3.5 - 3.8 mph). Then I started jogging at just under 5 mph. Within minutes I was just spent, and annoyed, and discouraged. I thought just push through it; it will ease as you get going. Just not the case. By 8 minutes into the run, I was kind of panicking by how horrible I felt. Two minutes later, I was back down to a walk.

I was discouraged and already thinking "If this happens, how on earth am I going to finish that 5K at the end of a sprint triathlon!" Oh, the power of negative thinking, right? Then I started to wonder why this was happening. I turned immediately to what had I eaten that previous day.

On Thursday I was extremely busy and on the run. I had those dreaded errands to run during lunch, my fridge and pantry were showing the signs of just not having the time to effectively shop for the week. I was late for work in the morning, so I grabbed a couple of bananas, and apple, and made myself a sandwich with two tablespoons of peanut butter and two slices of low calorie whole grain bread. I never ate breakfast, per se, but I had eaten half a banana before my run and shoved the rest in my mouth on my way out the door.

At 11 am I was hungry, so I decided to eat half my sandwich, but finished the whole thing (I was seriously hungry after running that morning and failing to eat any "real" breakfast). I ran my lunch time errands and, I was so proud of myself for not throwing a candy bar in with the Valentine's I needed to get for my child's preschool party the next day! I returned to work and ate a banana. That was it for the day before dinner.

We had planned on plain old baked chicken (we throw it in the oven with a sprinkling of bread crumbs), baked potatoes, and a vegetable. When I got home, it was more of the same craziness. My spouse, while trying to make my life easier, ordered a pizza. I didn't even know it until it arrived at the door. So, I ate two pieces of pizza. I love pizza, but know it is far from a nutritious meal, and I can usually always predict scale results after eating pizza the night before, and those results aren't results you hope to see (yes, I am using the pound goal, but perhaps this is a good thing in this circumstance!).

That was my day. I can't even recall, but I don't even think I had a glass of milk. I drank sufficient water, but that was about all that was sufficient about Thursday's diet!

It became clear why, 16 minutes into my run, I was spent. Now I had eaten a small pre run snack, but even that wasn't my usual snack. I usually eat half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter on it about 20 minutes before I run. Friday morning I skipped the peanut butter! So, even after eating very little protein the day before (a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, maybe some negligible protein in my pizza in the cheese and ham) I further deprived my body of protein by skipping it in my usual pre-run "snack!" And, right after that epiphany, my stomach gave a little confirmation by growling out of hunger.

So, some things I have taken away from my unintentional experiment:

1. Plan my week better, recognize deficiencies in my nutritional supplies, and try to stock up so I don't find myself hungry for lack of variety of nutritious foods.

2. Be creative if you find yourself depleted in time, money, or just sanity, to think about nutrition. I was so excited I passed up on the candy bar, but couldn't I have found myself something suitable to eat? I passed three grocery stores on my errands, and I could have simply even stopped and gotten some deli meat for a snack (and eaten it with the uneaten apple I had brought from home) and perhaps added a small container of low fat milk, and given my body more of what it requires to just operate!

3. Communicate more effectively. If I had been better at communicating my need to eat a well balanced healthy dinner I could have avoided the unnecessary purchase of a pizza by a well meaning spouse. Our chicken dinner for four may have cost $5-$7 but instead we spend $14.00 on a pizza (and that was with a 50% off coupon!).

4. Have a plan to execute the healthy dinner as I walk in the door. I was seriously stressed. If I had communicated my needs as discussed in (3) and then had a plan to get it started as soon as I walked in the door, it would have been cooking and ready as I dealt with all the other insanity while it was cooking. All it would have taken would have been thinking about the plan for less than 5 minutes of my 30 minute commute.

Many of the things I learned are subjects I have a million ideas and confirmed tricks to deal with, but even I have crazy days where they are not so second nature as to kick in when things get a little nutty.

Now, in my Facebook post I also mentioned how my horrific run turned into something positive. I am not forgetting that part, believe me! When I hit the treadmill on January 4, 2010, I noticed and committed to memory my distance at thirty-five minutes. Even with walking more than usual on Friday, and admittedly struggling and feeling horrible, questioning my abilities, and then being frustrated with my lack of attention to nutrition for the previous 24 hours, I reached that distance 3.5 minutes sooner than I had January 4. And, here I thought how my workout was such a failure - but really, that failure was still so much better than my "best" had been not even a month and a half before! That was inspiring! So much so, although I had planned to quit, I added another run interval and kept moving for 10 minutes more than I had planned as my run began to fall apart!

So, here is the question for you, my readers - When you have a crazy day, what is one thing you can have readily on hand to provide adequate nutrition to fuel your body? And, can you make it a priority to make sure this weekend, as you hit some store, you be sure you pick some up to have it on hand? Let me know what you decide on and how it works out for you!

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