Thanks for sharing, Kelly! Still proud of you, Sherri and V! We always learn more from our "failures" than our "successes".
“You can’t out-train poor nutrition.”
I’ve seen it scrawled on the whiteboard. I’ve heard it from Coach Chris countless times. I’ve worked it, I’ve embraced it, I get it. But last weekend, I finally understood it – completely (and its compadre, “you can’t outrun poor nutrition.”)
I looked forward to the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon since fall: A road trip with my best training buddies, time in amazingly beautiful southern California, and a respite from work and motherhood. A few weeks before, Sherri, Vanessa and I decided we had gotten a bit too squidgy around the middle and made a pact to shed some poundage before we had to drag it around for 13.1 miles. I went right back to what I learned from Chris and Bridging the Wellness Gap - logged daily calories, went to sleep without a full stomach, ate good stuff – and quickly lost 4 pounds. I headed west with my new bright pink Nikes and a great deal of gratitude and excitement.
It started slowly - After a delicious dinner of steamed fish and veggies, I was searching for that sweet treat, and dear Vanessa had no chocolate in her home! Was it because of the time change? Was it because I was finally feeling relaxed and almost carefree? Who knows? All I know is that with each meal, I kept driving the nutrition bandwagon into a ditch. I ate a few snacks here and there. I spent hours of sampling protein bars and shakes and other goodies at the race expo, and followed that with a big dinner and wine. My rock bottom is unfortunately documented on Facebook, where you can see me devouring a huge custard-filled doughnut for Saturday’s breakfast. I rationalized that the 90-minute sweat-fest of Bikram Yoga later that day had washed away my sugary sin, but I know better.
My pre-race dinners are usually fish and veggies and sweet potato, cooked at home while my feet are nestled in compression socks. This time, I still had fish and some veg (potato) but they were slathered in a buttery sauce, and my feet were tuckered from a fun frolic on the beach and boardwalk. We didn’t time our meals very well, either – mostly because we were too busy having fun to care about being off schedule. (Trading in the burpees for burps, I guess)… Of course, no decadent beachfront dinner would be complete without a soft-serve ice cream cone at the Beach Wave hut. Imagine DQ on steroids - that was it. Endless cone and cream down the gullet, less than 12 hours before the race.
Race day dawned with perfect temperatures, no humidity - glory! But my insides were far from rejoicing. I spent much of my pre-race time intentionally and intestinally challenged due to my food faux pas. By the time corral 28 reached the start, I was worried less about the impending heat than where the porta-johns were located. Everything about this race felt different: At mile 5, I felt my legs tighten the way they usually do at mile 8; my fingers swelled more than usual and I could not keep my head firmly in the game, much less in a pace. I kept telling myself “just run this out, run past this,“… but really I couldn’t – because “this” was me, not something to outrun.
I finished. It was a blast. And I am in the toughest recovery yet from any half marathon I have done. I had a lot of all over pain, I am still not eating well, and my usual umph! is more ugh!
At the race finish - lesson learned and all smiles. A win/win...
I share this not because I am proud and not because I enjoy talking about my personal digestive habits with all of you. I simply want to share a lesson learned, may it benefit someone somewhere. I know that poor nutrition played a big part in my performance and recovery. I guess I needed to test the theory, learn the hard way.
Now, I’m looking forward to Whole30 and Whole9 – perfect timing! Time to make my body feel good and I know I will perform better. I know it won’t be easy to say no to soft serve and other summer treats. But I also know the alternative – and I’m not trying to outrun anything anymore.