Pre-Marathon Thoughts

Last night I had a conversation replaying in my head over & over. I picture two miniature Sabrinas, one strong & tall & loud, one fat & cowering & whiny. And then Dustin (the Voice Of Reason) throws open the door, delivers his line, and walks back out, leaving both of their little minds blown.

Whiny Sabrina: What if I can't do this?
Strong Sabrina: I can do this.
Whiny Sabrina:  But what if I can't because my foot hurts or because it's too fast and I tank or because the weather sucks or just because I suck? What if I can't?
Strong Sabrina: Dammit, as long as the foot holds out, I know that I can do this.
Whiny Sabrina:  But what if I can't?!
Dustin: So what if you can't?

And, scene.

If I can't hit 3:30 at Fargo tomorrow, or if I have to walk, or if I can't even finish, it's not the end of the world, now, is it? Planning to run a marathon tomorrow is an accomplishment in & of itself, given how things have gone.

Here's why I have all these doubts, in case you haven't been paying attention to my obsessing:

My goal time is 3:30. This is a pace of 7:55. That's 20 seconds faster than my TC marathon, 7 months ago. In theory, that's plenty of time for me to speed up to the new pace. But my TC marathon training went absolutely perfectly. I trained up to 24 miles, and had no injury issues. Fargo training, however, has been like the polar opposite.

I had hip pain after (and due to) the TC marathon off & on, which got progressively worse until a physical therapist (James) finally fixed me up at the end of February. I then worked my long runs up to 18 miles (on 4/9) and was feeling great!

And then, a new pain hit in my left foot. James & I battled that for ages; in the 4 weeks after my 18-miler, I ran a total of 27.82 miles, most of them less than a mile and cut short due to foot pain. I even at Fargos' website to see whether my entry could be deferred or switched to a shorter race. I honestly didn't think it was going to happen.

Finally, James figured out that orthotics would help. I got them 11 days before the Fargo marathon and tested them with a 2.41-mile run. It didn't hurt while running, but it did ache a little bit afterward. However, on that run I developed a massive blister on my right arch. When I ran the next night, 2.39 miles of run/walk intervals, only the blister bothered me; the foot ache was not better or worse. (After the speedwork, I ran .59m totally barefoot, and felt no pain at all. Curious.)

Two days later, 8 days before Fargo, I needed to test whether I could even expect to do Fargo. I headed out for a run but didn't get 20' from my driveway before the blister stopped me. Feeling dejected and defeated, I returned home. The only other shoe options I had were my old beat-up Nike Frees, which have around 400 miles on them from last summer. I expected to get maybe 2 pain-free miles in, and that Fargo dreams were done.


They don't look this good anymore!

Instead, I somehow ran ten glorious pain-free miles. I only stopped there because I was damn tired, from intentionally starting out fatigued. The next day, my foot wasn't even sore. So I ran another four miles in them, stopping there only to prevent a new blister. The next day, I ran another 5.25 pain-free miles. I cut it short there because it seemed pretty obvious the foot wasn't going to hurt.

This should not have worked, my friend. I don't know what kind of reasons the sweet goddess Nike has for blessing me with this miracle, but I am deeply, deeply grateful. After the Sunday run, I was finally certain I'd be able to run Fargo.

So, that's the whole backstory behind the "But what if I can't?" line of thinking. Because it's really and truly possible that I can't. But the only acceptable reason for me to stop running is if the foot hurts. I cannot control whether my foot fails me, but I can control my brain and prevent it from failing me. As long as the foot holds out, it’s all mental. No matter how tired I am, no matter how blistered & chafed I am (thanks to the weather), I will not stop running.

To help me stay confident, I tried to recruit Dustin's relay team to run with me. I think I've got Dustin convinced (he's first) and Mike is after that, so it's just possible he would hang with me for a while. (Side note: he is actually planning to keep running past his 8-mile leg to make it a long training run - that man is my running idol. I just want to be as awesome as him some day.) I'm also trying to convince Darrin Johnson he can pull off a 3:30. And finally, Kenny Klaudt is planning to line up with me, but I fully expect him to take off and ditch me once we hit halfway and he's still feeling good. Having friends to run with makes everything easier. But if all that fails, I will just have to become bestest buds with Pacer Rich and he can motivate me to my goal!

Spectators will be my wondertastic, fantabulous, superbulous friends Amy & Lisa. I am so grateful to them for planning to be there that I well up with tears when I think about their support. I absolutely love them. Heather is intending to run the half-marathon, but I know she will be thinking of me as she does. Off-course, I know that my parents, husband, and many friends will be anxiously awaiting news. I'm really hoping the online runner tracking is up and running and they can see my progress live! I intend to do them all proud, but I also know this: they are already proud. I am humbled by the immense support I receive from the many wonderful people in my life.

The weather is one thing I can't get too positive about, though. 63 degrees and 70% chance of rain transitioning to a 70% chance of thunderstorms. On the other hand, it beats 95 & humid, and since there's not a damn thing I can do about it, I'm not letting it get to me.

Well, I think that's a full brain-vomit of everything running through my head in these final hours. I'm still super anxious, and I probably will be tomorrow until 7:30am, but in the meantime I’m trying to remember to be grateful that, given all the history I just shared, I am even planning to run tomorrow.

Bodyfat Beatdown: Day 31

Thursday was decent other than the 3am wakeup due to being a mogwai, and a stupid one at that. Was feeling good both physically & mentally. Session with Dustin was a piece of cake. 1.5 hours picking up trash afterward: sunshine, chatting with the CFO, lots o’ squats, feelings of righteousness, pretty fantastic way to spend an afternoon!

After work I attended the LAPW picnic, where I ate very well; but when I got home I was doing a whole lotta anxiety eating. Kept it to fruit & veg, but still, it was stupid. I was packing up for the marathon and just let myself get anxious as hell.

Food details:
6a-2.5oz pork, c sauerkraut, T bbq sauce, c reg
7a-c reg
8a-1.5c reg
10a-apple & Sunbutter
1p-3oz shrimp, apple
3p-12 almonds
6p (picnic)-brat, burger, c honeydew/cantaloupe, .25c blueberries, c broccoli & cauliflower, 2T guacamole
7p+ snacking-2c honeydew & cantaloupe, .25c blueberries, 2c broccoli & cauliflower, 2T guacamole
Totals: 1842 cal, 98g fat (26 sat), 158g carbs (36 fiber), 100g protein - dig it, I actually landed where I should have been all week long. Go me!

Bodyfat Beatdown: Day 24

Wow, day 24 already? Doesn't seem like I've made a lot of progress. But, I had some serious mental setbacks with the running, and I'm still trying every day. That's all you can do; fat loss is a process.

Wednesday started out difficult, mentally. My foot was hurting after Tuesday's run, so I was back to being very anxious, feeling like Fargo wouldn’t happen, wondering whether I was doing absolutely everything I could be doing to make the foot happy and make Fargo happen. Chatting with my friend/Wellness Manager helped, as did the foot getting progressively better throughout the day.

Plus, you are reading the blog of the newest-instructor-to-be of The Well! Heather got budget & my lead's approval to get me certified (to teach, people, to teach) since one of the current instructors is leaving. Woot woot! You can bet that helped me climb out of the woe-is-me hole, since I've been thinking I'd like to do this for two years now.

After work, I joined the NSS crew for track repeats, which felt really good – hurt the blister like a mutha, but the left foot did not feel any worse. And then I took a short .59-mile barefoot jaunt afterward, which felt absolutely fantastic and made me want to run forever and ever and ever.

At home did very well on eating, because I had planned on being snacky due to the evening workout: go me! I'm getting so smart!!

Details:
6a-.5c egg whites, gr turkey, c reg, supps
745a-1.5c reg
9a-4oz Pollock, 12 almonds
11a-12 almonds
1p-chicken & veg
215p-1.5c decaf
3p-sm orange
330p-12 almonds
7p-2 fried eggs w/ gr turkey, c decaf, apple & Sunbutter, supps
Totals: 1544 cal, 80g fat (14 sat), 80g carbs (25 fiber), 129g protein

A really stellar medium day with zero cravings. Today I'm aiming for medium again; Fri, Sat, & Sun will all be fairly high, because I'll be eating to fuel some long runs. I hope hope hope, at least! Planning to fast again on Monday.

Strategy tip: Just in case the running attempts do not go according to plan, and my brain tanks, and I want to binge, tonight I'm going grocery shopping. I'll be picking up fresh veggies: carrots, asparagus, cabbage, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. These are low-calorie, high-crunch foods that I can eat a ton of without destroying my fat loss progress for the week. My only other potential binge triggers at home are Sunbutter (individually packaged and thus highly unlikely to happen); almonds (on which I have never binged - they are good, but not eat-a-million good, like cashews or pistachios or macadamias or pecans); and ribs (which I plan to finish up tomorrow for breakfast). So I am feeling confident about both running and nutrition for the weekend! Here's hoping that feeling carries all the way through!

I just had the most surreal experience in regards to snacking: I was standing in the break room eating my Pollock, and looked at the food in the snack vending machine. I asked myself, "If I could eat anything in there, what would I pick?" (thinking, simultaneously, that this exercise was a very bad idea). And I looked at everything, from Doritos to Twizzlers to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to beef jerky. And nothing really appealed to me. None of it screamed out PICK ME PICK ME - not even the jerky. I eyed up the scotcharoo for a bit, but really, felt nothing for it. This is bizarre; I fully expected the answer to be "EVERYTHING!" I guess those Whole9 peeps know what they are talking about when they say your cravings are going to change!

Bodyfat Beatdown: Day 31

Wednesday was another great day! The taper is going well. I'm feeling very, very good.

I took a noon bike ride for 7.1 miles, which was easy peasy. After work I fetched groceries then headed home. The hubster & I took a motorcycle ride to eat out. We went to a place with all-you-can-eat chicken buffet & salad bar. Nice: my parents were there. Nicer: dad's buddy gave us a buy-one-get-one-free coupon! That rocked my socks off.

What didn't? The pathetic salad bar: iceberg lettuce; ranch, French, & Italian dressing; creamy cole slaw; vinegar cole slaw; 4 creamy pasta salads. You call that a fucking salad bar?! I was able to eat only the iceberg lettuce and vinegar cole slaw. Where the hell are the vegetables? I was highly disappointed and honestly have zero intention of returning. The chicken buffet was incredible, though: bbq chicken, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, an amazing-looking stuffing, baked beans, and fresh dinner rolls. But obviously I was only able to take chicken. And probably consumed soy in the bbq sauce and breading. So frustrating.

Food details:
6a-fried egg, 2oz venison sausage, c reg, supps
7a-dried pear slice, c reg
8a-1.5c reg
 9a-apple, 12 almonds
11a-12 almonds
1p-chicken & veg, 12 almonds, 1.5c reg
340p-3oz shrimp, 6 almonds, c decaf, .5c reg
515p-bag snap peas - on sale at Elden’s for $1.99/bag! I bought three and sadly, this one did not survive the long difficult journey home.
630p-2c iceberg, 2c vinegar cole slaw, 3 chicken breasts
9p-few grapes, few cubes cantaloupe, honeydew, supps - stupidly forgetting that I am a fucking mogwai and because of that I was wide awake at 3am, hot & sweaty & gross
Totals: 2019 cal, 92g fat (21 sat), 110g carbs (29 fiber), 162g protein

Again, high on calories, but this week it's okay. Next week, back to cutting intake; but this time, actually doing it.

On the other hand, take a look at this victory: my supper was 736 calories.

Had I eaten whatever I wanted, the way I might have a year ago, it would have looked like this (iceberg w/ French dressing, 2 pasta salads, creamy cole slaw, mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked beans, 1 piece chicken): 1443 calories. IN ONE MEAL.

Bodyfat Beatdown: Day 30

Tuesday was a fairly good day. Got good sleep and felt good physically. I did spend the morning feeling sorry for myself over the lack of marathon support but kept trying to just get over it.

At noon I had a really good session with Dustin, including some therapy and marathon strategy talk. The workout itself was short, easy, light reps, low weights. I walked out feeling pretty great!

Then my afternoon was a big improvement, as two wonderful friends (Lisa & Amy) said they are thinking about coming to Fargo, which totally made up for my family. I feel so spoiled.

At home, the hubster had grilled up a fantatic supper: pork chops, ham steak and yams & peppers. OMG delicious. After supper we went on an easy & enjoyable 6-mile bike ride. It was quiet and peaceful and just plain lovely. We even saw a bald eagle! AND, Hop said that if it rains and races are canceled, he will come to Fargo. Aw.

Food details:
6a-fried egg, gr turkey, c reg, supps
7a-c reg
745a-1.5c reg
845a-med apple, 12 almonds
9a-1.5c reg w/ almond syrup
11a-24 almonds
115p-4oz pork, c sauerkraut, c grapes
330p-3oz shrimp, 4T salsa
6p-papaya spear
645p-4oz pork chop, 2oz ham steak, 2c cabbage w/ 2T balsamic, c yams, .5c peppers, supps
Totals: 2034 cal, 101g fat (31 sat), 155g carbs (29 fiber), 148g protein

Supper was a bit much thanks to the irresistible meat  (the way to Sabrina's heart = pork!), thus calories are a little on the high side; but it's pretty close to maintenance given the calories burned. And race week means no worrying about fat loss; eat healthy foods at maintenance level, to feel good both mentally and physically.

I'm getting excited about logistics now! I have food all figured out:
-Friday night supper: steak, asparagus, sweet potato, peppers, zucchini
-Saturday morning breakfast: fried egg, venison breakfast sausage, coffee, usual supplements
-Pre-race snack: oz brain food (almonds, raisins, cinnamon)
-Race itself: water at every stop (no Powerade or whatever), and GU at 6m, 12m, 18m, 23m

Bodyfat Beatdown: Day 29

Mentally beat myself up over the weekend's ridiculous amount of food, but worked on forgiving myself.

Did another 24-hour fast. Was hungry in the morning & again at noon, but it didn't last. Very cold again, spent all damn day just freezing. (Also constipated again, hooray!) I ate fish stew at 6pm, was so tired/cold/lethargic. I did make more of an effort to drink enough water this time, so I felt a little better than last week, but not as good as the first week.


Details:
6a-c reg, supps
7a-c reg
9a-1.5c reg
1245p-1.5c reg
3p-1.5c YerbaMate
6p-fish stew, supps
Totals: 350 cal, 14g fat (3 sat), 15g carbs (4 fiber), 34g protein

Brain tanked a bit at night again, as no family is coming to Fargo; less about them not being there than about them not wanting to be there for me. Hurts. Disappointed. Trying to get over it.

The rest of this week I am eating at maintenance; no foolish low days before the marathon; no acne testing, nothing new in my belly (unfortunately this also means no pre-race kettle corn); all healthy food; lots of water. I am an athlete and I need to eat like one!

Motivation: a 3:30 Boston re-qualifying time.

And post-race, I found a pizza place with Daiya "cheese" (non-dairy); I emailed the owner asking whether the crust would have soy, and she said she could make me a batch without the customary soy oil (though it will have wheat, so it's not Whole9-legit, but it won't cause me acne). Holy shit, now that is amazing service; I must go!!

3 Simple Steps to Weight Loss

It really doesn't get much clearer, people. Forget the supplements and magazine fast fixes and all that bullshit. There's just three simple steps you need to follow.

If you want a fit, muscular, lean physique, follow these steps:

1. Eat a diet consisting mainly of lean meats, fruit, and vegetables.

2. Perform body weight movements and lift heavy weights for the following exercises: squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, rows, and military presses.

3. Finally, add 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity each day.

That’s it! I know it isn’t sexy, but it’s the truth!

-Courtesy of Mike Snader, via EliteFTS

Bodyfat Beatdown: Days 25-28

Failure again. My weekends are terrible! I must get this under control, or I'll never drop this fat. The details read like I'm not even trying...

Friday:
545a-3oz ribs, c sweet potato, c decaf, supps
645a-c reg
730a-c reg
9a-4oz Pollock, 1.5c reg
1030a-med banana
1230p-papaya spear, pear slice, 2oz mega omega mix (walnuts, pistachios, cranberries), 2T blueberries (went shopping at the Grain Bin and sampled everything on the drive home)
1245p-fried egg, gr turkey, 2c decaf (then I ate my normal lunch)
1p-oz cashews (supposed to be eaten pre-run)
4p (pre run)-oz mega omega mix, 6 Brazil nuts
6p (post run)-med apple, Sunbutter
7p-fried egg, gr turkey, 8oz snap peas, 2c decaf, supps
Totals: 3061 cal, 161g fat (29 sat), 239g carbs (41 fiber), 151g protein - unfuckingbelievable - clearly I cannot control myself around nuts. And yes, I ran 10 miles, so this lands me near maintenance, but that's not my goal.

Saturday:
7a-3oz pork ribs, 2 raw carrots, 3 cooked carrots, oz mega omega mix, 2c reg, supps
9a-2c decaf
11a-oz mega omega mix
1p-fried egg, 6oz pork roast
3p-sm apple, Sunbutter, papaya strip
4p-oz mega omega mix, 4T blueberries
630p-6 raw carrots, eggplant, c decaf, 6oz shrimp, supps
Totals: 2809 cal, 149g fat (35 sat), 262g carbs (54 fiber), 140g protein - again, what the hell? At least this day I decided to stop eating the mega omega mix; nuts other than almonds seem to cause constipation. And I did burn up about 750 calories, so again, near maintenance, but again, not my goal.

Sunday:
8a-2 fried eggs, gr turkey, c reg, sm apple, Sunbutter, supps
945a (pre run)-papaya strip
11a (post run)-med banana
12p-pancake (egg, applesauce, Sunbutter), 4oz pork, c sauerkraut, 2T bbq sauce, c reg
2p-c reg, 2c cabbage w/ balsamic
4p-oz corn chips, 1/3c salsa, freeze dried grapes, c caramel corn
6p-.5oz almonds
630p-2c cabbage, .5oz raisins, 3oz turkey, 2T balsamic, 3 cooked carrots, 2T sassy sangria grill sauce, supps
Totals: 2641 cal, 116g fat (25 sat), 291g carbs (40 fiber), 121g protein - sigh. Again ate at a maintenance level. No real effort whatsoever made to avoid the constant afternoon overeating.

Here's what the biggest problem was there: I wanted to splurge on kettle corn, give corn an acne test. But my microwave kettle corn had soy. And my husband's plain popcorn had butter. I seriously considered driving to town to purchase some Angie's Kettle Corn but dismissed it as ridiculous. And it was. But I would have consumed fewer calories had I just eaten what I was desperately craving. Lesson learned.

So, other than eating, I had a great weekend. Ran with no foot pain which was a total shock, decided I can run the Fargo Marathon this Saturday, enjoyed a nap, a visit with my dad, laziness with my kitties, plenty of time to read, even picked up trash in my town - all truly wonderful things. So why did I feel the need to eat, eat, eat?

I will say part of it is due to all the running. That triggers snackiness normally, but I did a LOT more running than normal, and my body strove to restore all of those calories. And my brain did not work very hard (or at all, really) to keep those calories appropriate.

Additionally, I was letting the allergies get to me. My husband brought home pizza Saturday night. I couldn't eat my kettle corn.

I bought that fucking addictive nut mix.

I think hydration may have played a part; I definitely should have drank more water than I did, and sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. A strategy for next time.

And finally, although the running was a truly fantastic achievement, finally feeling certain I can run Fargo and confident about it, after months of issues and setbacks; it was a hugely emotional rollercoaster. I want to cry when I think about Fargo now. Such a relief after months of anxiety. So while some eating was celebratory, it was also stress-eating because it is just so overwhelming. I literally have tears in my eyes as I'm typing this.

So, main lessons learned:
-buy no more nuts other than almonds
-buy no more dried fruits; just eat the fresh stuff
-drink more water
-forgive failures
-keep trying
-every day

Body Fat Beatdown: Days 22 & 23

On Monday I fasted again, to make up for my awful weekend.

Mentally, it was not an ideal day to do it, as I was extremely anxious about running/orthotics/Fargo/etc, as well as worrying about a friend of mine. But not doing it would have been even more mentally difficult, as I'd have beat myself up over the high calories for quite a while. Lesser of two evils was to fast.

Physically I wasn't hungry but I was freezing all day (hence too much coffee again), and then I got very tired in the afternoon. I was able to leave work a bit early & veg on the couch with a book. Then I napped off & on for an hour. My in-laws had a photography session scheduled for 7, and I just couldn't face it on such low energy, so I ate (protein). When we got back home, I ate a bit more (protein again).

All told, I did 23 hours of fasting, which is still a success. The biggest advantage to a fast comes inside the hours 18-24, so I am cool with what I did accomplish. Eating means my weekly calories trucked up higher than desired, putting me at maintenance level. Sure enough, my weigh-in this week was exactly the same as last week!

Details:
5a-c reg, supplements
6a-c reg
7a-1.5c reg
945a-1.5c reg
1p-1.5c reg
4p-c decaf
630p-egg whites, gr turkey, c decaf, supps
8p-gr turkey, supps
TOTALS: 309 cal, 15g fat (4 sat), 5g carbs (2 fiber), 35g protein
NOTE: 6.5c reg & 1c decaf = too much coffee whether eating or fasting! I don't include water here, but I have 32oz bottles at work & home, and usually drink 4 of them per day, so 128oz.

Averages for the week: 1913 cal (target was 1775), 90g fat (24 sat) 42%, 156g carbs (28 fiber) 33%, 136g protein 28% -- Up 4%, 79 cal avg & 551 total, from prior week -- Burned 2796, up 421 from last week

On Tuesday, life returned to normal AND I got my orthotics, so my brain was in a much better state. I indulged at breakfast (ribs!) but was otherwise on track. In the afternoon I gave my team a treat of apples, bananas, chocolate graham crackers, marshmallows, gingersnaps, and white chocolate fondue. I ended up eating a leftover apple & banana over & above my plan, just because I cannot throw away perfectly good fruit! I also swiped a T of white chocolate as I cleaned the dish, and it. was. phenomenal. I'll take that as an acne test, see if I can handle tiny amounts of dairy.

Then due to my evening run I was snacky again. So I had another apple, but this one was a special dessert apple: cut an apple into cubes, microwave it for 1.5-2 minutes, then sprinkle it with cinnamon. If you have spare calories, add a T of honey, or a few oats, or some coarsely-ground nuts. If you're not as super strict about sugar, sprinkle on some Stevia. If you're not avoiding peanuts, sprinkle on some PB2. Or use cocoa powder instead of cinnamon. So many ways to make it even better (without going into a full-fledged fatty sugary apple dessert), but it's also perfectly delicious without anything but the cinnamon! And you know what else? I bet it works really well with peaches, too. Or pears. Or any hot fruit, really. Go test your favorites!

Details:
545a-6oz ribs w/ BBQ sauce, c decaf,
7a-c reg
745a-1.5c reg
1030a-gr turkey, 1.5c reg
1p (PWO)-med banana
130p-4oz Pollock
230p-med banana
330p-.5 med apple, 4oz Pollock
530p (PWO)-.5med apple, T white chocolate, med banana
630p-chicken & veg, T Tastefully Simple Ole Ole Fiesta sauce*, med baked apple w/ T cinnamon
TOTALS: 1943 cal, 84g fat (29 sat), 170g carbs (28 fiber), 137g protein
*No soy, no HFCS, but does contain rice starch and xanthum gum so it's not quite Whole30 - but really damn close, and really damn tasty!

---

I saw two good quotes today:

"It's not the hours that you put in; it's what you put in the hours." - Elmer Letterman

I immediately thought of this in terms of fitness. You could jog for a half hour on a treadmill, or you could go do speedwork for that half hour to build muscle, get faster, and burn more calories. You could climb the stair stepper for an hour every day, or you could go do deadlifts and squats and snatches and cleans for an hour and more quickly develop a booty you'll be dying to show off. Yes, you do need to train hard and put in your time, but it's more important to train smart during the time you put in.



Make decisions today that you will be proud of tomorrow.


Or something like that. It was a sign at the drugstore, that I saw out of the corner of my eye but didn't really read - it registered about an hour later. This, to me, is all about food. When I was snacky, I made the apple dessert rather than fetching one of Sunbutter packets (side note: binge-proof at 200 calories!) to eat with an apple, because I didn't have the 200 extra calories. I absolutely wanted the Sunbutter - but I knew that I'd be mad at myself for it today, because those 200 calories would have to come off another day. But cinnamon? That's a decision I can be proud of! This quote is going on a posty on my cupboard door for sure.

Body Fat Beatdown, Days 20 & 21

Ah, failures. How much fun they are! And how much more fun when we share them with the world! I keep thinking that the more public I am about this, the less likely it is to happen...wishful thinking, so far.

On Saturday morning I volunteered at the Minnewaska Warm-Up. I was a block from the finish line, cheering on runners, seething with jealousy, and getting super anxious to get out for my own run. I ate brunch with my favorite running buddy, and then on the way home, I started eating pistachios. I intended to have 1 oz. I stopped at 2. At home, I hung out with a book, letting food digest for 2 hours before trying to run.

And then the run failed, I was very depressed, and I returned home to eat and eat. My brain was in the shitter, and I binged, and I desperately wish I had found some way to stop. So far, I continue to find myself powerless when I get that depressed. I even binged again after the races instead of going to bed! Pistachios: no longer allowed in my house.

On Sunday (Mother's Day) I had decided I'd fast on Monday to make up for Saturday, but I was still planning to eat reasonably well at the holiday gatherings. Well, that's tough when provided with all of my favorites. Damn my families for their great food choices! I have no control around BBQd meat, my friends. None. Then go ahead and make that BBQd pork ribs, and you'd damn well better stand back!

Saturday's details:
530a-c yam, 3oz pork roast, sm apple, c reg coffee
730a-1.5c reg
830a-1.5c reg, banana
11a (cafe)-2 fried eggs, ham patty, 2c reg
1130a-2oz pistachios
130p (pre-run)-6 brazil nuts, oz raisins
230p (post-run-fail)-6oz pork w/ 2T mustard, c cabbage, sm orange, 2oz pistachios
630p-chicken sausage link (<-at the races - hooray for portability!)
10p-4oz pistachios
TOTALS: 3384 cal, 221g fat (49 sat), 207g carbs (46 fiber), 169g protein

Sunday's details:
630a-egg white omelet, chicken & veg, c reg
730a-c reg
9a-c grapes
12p-6oz bbq ribs, 3oz bbq chicken, c asparagus, 4c reg
3p-c sweet potato, c reg
430p-small banana
6p-5oz bbq ribs, 3 oz chicken, c asparagus, .5c watermelon, .5c honeydew, .5 sm apple
TOTALS: 2557 cal, 126g fat (43 sat), 202g carbs (27 fiber), 173g protein
A small victory: avoided feeling sorry for myself over not eating bread pudding, peach cobbler, or corn muffins - all of which I had made in the morning.

Pre-cooking (see, I did do something smart over the weekend):
-Slow-cooker chicken & veg (carrots, dandelion greens, spinach, kohlrabi, green peppers)
-Pork roast w/ honey mustard
-5 servings pollock

Whole30: I consumed some corn (high fructose corn syrup, why not go for the gold star of nutrition, eh?) and soy in the BBQ sauces. Really hoping that such small amounts will not trigger reactions.

Body Fat Beatdown: Days 18 & 19

Two more days of successful fat loss eating! My caloric average is chugging a wee bit higher than planned for the week, and so I'm possibly considering another Monday fast. (Maybe a half-day fast would be enough. Plenty of experiment options.) Depends entirely on how well eating goes today & tomorrow.

I'm planning a long run at noon today (volunteering at the Minnewaska Warm-Up this morning) and if that goes as long as I'd like it to, that means more calories - which is 100% fine. A good recovery requires calories. Where I struggle is eating before the run, facing the unknown distance. I want to have enough intake to feel good whether I run 1 hour or 2 or 3 (oh, how I wish!), and that's a tough balance to find.

But the biggest question of the weekend is how much I'll eat at tomorrow's Mother's Day festivities. Holidays make it harder to stay in a normal calorie range. At my mom's, Dad is grilling home-butchered and -smoked ribs: NOM FUCKING NOM. We are bringing asparagus & potatoes & dessert, of which I'll only eat the asparagus. At the hubster's mom's, I'm expecting to eat a similar meal, grilled meat & asparagus (because we're bringing that again). So it should, in theory, be a good calorie level, the rest of the my world doesn't eat like me, & I don't expect to encounter any irresistible Whole30-approved starches. But I'm telling you: my meat-eating capabilities are pretty ridiculous in general, but especially so for someone my size. And pork is not a low-calorie meat option. But it's worth it to me!

Details, day 18
530a-oats, honey, cashew milk, & strawberries, chicken sausage, c decaf coffee
630a-c reg coffee
730a-1.5c reg coffee
845a-banana, 1.5c reg coffee
10a-orange
1045a-fish stew
145p (PWO)-6oz chicken breast, .5c cooked each: tomatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, collards
330p-oats, cashew milk, raisins, & cinnamon, c decaf coffee
7p-fish stew, 2c raw cabbage, T balsamic
TOTALS: 1987 cal, 71g fat (18 sat), 239g carbs (39 fiber), 140g protein
NOTES:
-I'm going to stop putting my supplements on here. They don't change, and are kind of obnoxious to read through. I'll just share changes when they happen. On that note, I ran out of the acidophilus Thursday and haven't replaced it. Will monitor. I also dropped to 3 FiberSmart tablets instead of the dose of 4. Again, will monitor.
-Workouts: noon hour w/ Dustin, eve hour of circuits w/ Amy
-Whole30: the oats felt like LEAD in my gut. Even if I don't have an allergic reaction, I don't want to be eating them. Felt fat and disgusting all day. Gave all the oats/oat bran/muesli I had to Heather.

Details, day 19
6a-2 fried eggs, chicken sausage, c regular coffee
7a-c decaf coffee
8a-1.5c reg coffee
9a-small apple
10a-1.5c reg coffee
11a-fish stew
115p-small orange
330p-fish stew, 1.5c decaf coffee
530p-small banana
630p-fish stew, c cabbage w/ T balsamic, 2 Brazil nuts
830p-oz cashews, c decaf
TOTALS: 1540cal, 64g fat (15 sat), 88g carbs (19 fiber), 139g protein
NOTES:
-Another 4-meal day, but was feeling rather hungry this afternoon. Reminded myself I fasted for 33.5 hours earlier this week so SUCK IT UP. And drank more water, and survived just fine.
-Workouts: Noon stroll outside in the incredible weather, 1.34m, was so good for the brain! Eve 6-mile bike ride. Legs were pretty beat up from Thursday's double, but the bike ride felt good (other than the bugs).
-Late eating experiment with the cashews. Didn't wake at 3am, but I did not sleep good at all. Still a mogwai.
-Whole30: having an acne reaction to something. I've emailed friend Katy asking about the oil she used w/ Tuesday night's chicken fajita mix, and also boss to see whether Sunday night's filet mignon had any seasoning on it. Otherwise everything I've eaten was home-prepped or raw or plain lobstah. Can't think of anything else unless the oats caused an instant reaction - takes 2-4 days with dairy & soy, so that seems unlikely.


Fat-loss pre-cooking:
Friday night slow cookers:
-pork roast with Tastefully Simple's Sweet & Sassy mustard (had some this morning for breakfast: fantastic!)
-half chicken w/ carrots, spinach, kohlrabi, green beans, dandelion greens

Saturday's cooking:
-fish (to top w/ fruit salsa)
-turkey burgers
-another overnight slow-cooker of pork (husband's choice)

Whole30, A Summary: In Pictures

Moved!! This post is now located here:
 

Reading Recommendations

Whole9's Melissa blogs about Fear of Failure, and it's really, really, really good. Go read it!

A 4-part series titled "Tips For Anyone Who Wants to Improve Performance and Look Better Naked" - and come on, who doesn't?!
Part 1: Training
Part 2: Nutrition
Part 3: Cardio
Part 4: Supplements

Body Fat Beatdown: Day 17

Another successful day! I had planned on slightly lower calories, but I did a track workout after work, so my low day turned into a medium day. It seems that anytime I exercise after work, I end up super duper snacky at home. Not bingey, quite, but snacky.

But I've learned I can satisfy this feeling with healthy options! A big ol' bowl of asparagus w/ balsamic vinegar is extremely delicious and filling - and a teensy tiny 70 calories. I'd get the same satisfied fullness from a giant serving of junk, too. But which one aligns with my goals? You know the answer.

In fact, let's have some fun and take a look at just a few nutritional advantages in 2 cups of asparagus: 61.6 calories - .5g fat - 12.2g carbs - 6.1g protein (!) - 31.2% RDA Vitamin A - 59% Vit C - 85.8% Folate (!)

Why on earth would you choose junk when you can be just as full from something so super healthy? My other go-to options: fresh cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, or any greens, really, w/ balsamic vinegar; carrots (get them organic and they are amazingly good); cauliflower. Buy lots of any non-starchy vegetable that you like to eat raw - keep it on hand for those snacky times, then go to town on them. Unlike chips or cookies or nut butters, you're never going to beat yourself up for eating 3 servings of cauliflower! Well, you might when your intestines get to work on you, but that's a different issue. :o)

Fruit is a nice option but you must choose wisely, due to the higher calories. Grapes are a smart choice: a cup is 60 calories & mentally quite filling, with all those trips from cup to piehole. And you can also use my brilliant [if I do say so myself] tip of purchasing only small fruit to slyly save you untold calories.

Details:
6a-fried egg, chicken sausage, c regular coffee, fish oil, zinc, vit D, dandelion root, acidophilus, probiotics, FiberSmart
7a-c reg, c decaf
8a-1.5c reg
11a-6oz chicken breast, .5c cooked each: tomatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, collards [gotta love my slow cooker & my CSA!]; dand root, acid/probs
1p-1.5c reg
3p-Brazilian fish stew
4p-.25c oats, T tahini, T honey, t cinnamon
7p-6oz chicken breast, .5c cooked each: tomatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, collards; c decaf, dand root, acid/probs, FiberSmart, fish oil, vit D
730p-.5c grapes, 2 cashews, 2c asparagus, T balsamic
9p-magnesium
TOTALS: 1684 cal, 69g fat (20 sat), 138g carbs (28 fiber), 143g protein

I modified my eating schedule today to be 4 meals (6a, 11a, 3p, 7p), and one carby snack (4p) to boost me before the track workout. And I felt very good! This would not work on a lunch-workout day, though.

After I noshed on grapes and snuck 2 cashews, I realized I needed to find a GOOD snack, and that's when I went for asparagus. So proud to have stopped myself from loading up on cashews!

And I broke the Whole30 plan, did you catch that in my pre-run snack (delicious, BTW)? I've decided to test oats next. But instead of courting a massive breakout with a 5-day test like I did with soy, I'm going with only 3 days. A face full of acne is too debilitating for my wee brain. And if 3 servings isn't enough to cause a breakout, then I'll call it non-allergenic. This doesn't mean oats return to my regular diet, it just means I don't have to avoid them at all costs when eating outside of my own home.

Body Fat Beatdown: Day 16

It felt awesome to eat plenty after the full day of fasting! I felt very good all day. Highlights:
-Good sleep is always extremely helpful: another solid 8 hours in bed! I actually had planned on 8.5 but was wide awake at 530 & feeling good, so I got up early, worked from home until my PT appointment.
-My PT is thinking early next week on the orthotics. Assuming they work fine, I plan to wear them all day every day, and run low miles in them daily if it feels fine, otherwise walk at least an hour in them on non-run days. I really can't hope to get any truly long runs in them, probably 15 is the longest I should do a week out from race day, but daily miles will help a lot with breaking them in to prevent race-day issues.
-I finally had a happy weigh-in, down 3 lbs is great for the brain! Now just another 5.6 to go to be back to where I was on January 1.
-Training session with Dustin was nothing super awesome numbers-wise yet it was a tough, solid workout, and I felt pretty stellar walking out!
-Girls' night with my bestest buds! With all healthy food, and none of us felt remotely deprived. That ruled!

I discovered a handy bonus from Monday's fasting: I had skipped an afternoon snack to be sure I had enough calories for supper, and I was truly hungry at 5pm. I was eyeing up a banana. And obviously this is a healthy choice, not high calories, great nutrition, but I knew that I had a very big supper coming and wasn't going to hold back. So I said to myself, “Knock it off. You went 1.5 days with no food. You’re not starving. You will eat plenty in 1.5 hours, so for now, just shut the hell up.” And it worked. Hooray for a bit of newfound willpower!

Details:
530a-2 fried eggs, chicken sausage, c sweet potato, c regular coffee, fish oil, zinc, vit D, dand root, acidophilus probiotics, FiberSmart
6a-c reg
7a-c decaf
9a-1.5c reg
1030a-chick saus, acid/probs
115p (PWO)-banana, Brazilian fish stew
2p-dand root acid/probs (forgot to take w/ lunch)
3p-1.5c decaf
630p (girls night)-2c snap peas, c baby carrots, c cukes w/ 6T fresh salsa & .5T guacamole; chicken fajita filling (6oz chicken, 1 sweet pepper, .25c onions, .5c black olives), zinc, vit D, dand root, acid/probs, FiberSmart
815p-c grapes, c pineapple, c strawberries
930p-fish oil, magnesium
TOTALS: 1931 cal, 61g fat (20 sat), 215g carbs (36 fiber), 150g protein

A Whole30-specific tip: I had let my friend Katy know all about the allergy testing and how there were a bunch of foods I was avoiding. I sent her links to the Whole30 plan & the Whole9 "Steal this Meal" posts. She had no problem making something appropriate! What she had provided that I did not eat: ranch dip, sour cream, shredded cheddar, and tortilla shells. Otherwise, everything was okay for me to eat.

Now obviously for most gatherings I'm not going to send this kind of request, but girls night is just three of us, and I know both she & Shari would be unnecessarily sad & guilty if there was little I could eat. So in this kind of situation, I feel it's appropriate to give my "list of demands." But in a larger gathering or party or anything beyond the host being a very close friend, I'd probably just check on the host's planned menu, with a little heads-up that as long as there is something dairy- and soy-free, I'm golden. No other requests. (At least, until I determine whether there are any other true allergies.)

And on that note: I'm adding oats this week. Testing for the next three days only, so that if there is a reaction, it's not hopefully not as depressing as with the soy where it was a HUGE reaction.

Body Fat Beatdown: Day 15

I fasted. I ate nothing. For an entire. freaking. day.

Holy crap! I am amazed that it wasn't a struggle, and that I didn't feel horrible.

To start with, I spent 8.25 hours in bed and slept well, so I started the day feeling very good! Then I did 9 nonstop chin-ups, a major PR!! My BHAG, set before I could even do one, is ten non-stop pull-ups. Very close!! So going in, I had a wonderful mental state to keep me buoyed.

So, what did I consume all day? My usual supplements (minus FiberSmart), coffee, tea, & water only. I was certain I’d feel perfectly awful, but I was willing to sacrifice one day. I knew work would keep me busy, keep my mind occupied, and I was feeling mentally strong, so I was 100% committed. And? I honestly didn’t notice a difference. I really figured that morning would be the worst, that I'd be feeling low blood sugar effects, but I didn't feel any differently than a day with my usual breakfast. I had a growly tummy at 1230p & 7p but it didn’t last. Brain was surprisingly FINE.

After work Lisa & I ran 3.52 miles, which were a total struggle. I would say more water would've helped a little bit, but with no easy calories to access, it was bound to be hard. (I would have sucked it up and pushed through to the planned end of the run, but I landed on my left foot coming off a curb, and had to stop.) 

When my stomach started growling at 7, I took my book & ice pack & a cup of decaf coffee outside with the cats, so I wasn't near food. I didn't come back inside until 7:30, so this little mogwai simply couldn't eat! All I could have was my cup of magnesium, which helped a little. That timeframe was probably the only tough part of the day. Very surprising!

All told it was 33.5 hours of fasting, from 8pm Sunday to 530am today. It was an interesting experiment that I'll probably repeat. Maybe only on weeks that calories got too high, maybe regularly every 2-3 weeks, maybe once a month...hard to say at this point. The other thing I'm taking away from this is that I might throw in days where I do little to no snacking, but instead have three normal meals. I've been eating 5-6 meals per day for 3.5 years now, and it's just time for me to experiment a little, more for mental change than physical need.

Details:
6a-c regular coffee, fish oil, zinc, vitamin D, dand root, acidophilus, probiotics
7a-c regular coffee
8a-1.5c reg coffee
9a-1.5c decaf green tea
11a-1.5c reg coffee
1215p-dand root, acid/probs, 1.5c reg coffee
230p-1.5c decaf green tea
6p-dand root, acid/probs, zinc, fish oil
7p-c decaf coffee
8p-magnesium
TOTALS: 94 cal, 9g fat (2 sat), 0 carbs (0 fiber), 2g protein

My week came out like so:
-Burned 2375 calories, up 792 from last week
-Average intake: 1834 cal (target was 1800), 90g fat (25 sat) 44%, 122g carbs (25 fiber) 27%, 133g protein 29%
-This is down 3%, 59 cal avg & 413 total, from prior week
-2011 averages so far: 1991 cal, 88g fat (20 sat), 168g carbs (31 fiber), 139g protein

And I lost 3 pounds. FINALLY some happy downward movement on the scale! No, I do not attribute this to a fasting day, nor even to all water. I attribute this to my overall average intake, and kick-ass workouts.

Caution: I am not calling fasting an easy fix to dropping weight. If you do it intelligently, yes, it will yield results. But if you do it too often, you will certainly fuck up your metabolism, on top of missing out on necessary nutrients. Read about it first. If you're interested, here are some sites where I got info on fasting. Or just Google "intermittent fasting" and see what you find.

http://bradpilon.com/
http://extremehumanperformance.com/
http://fitnessblackbook.com/
http://www.leangains.com/

And also? Definitely don't go out and buy some $50 one-week cleanse. Don't drink nothing but some expensive juice for a week. Just pick one day at the most, and drink water, green tea, and take the supplements you normally take. And, uh, don't drink as much coffee as I did. And for the love of Pete, if you are still drinking any kind of diet pop or juice or whatever, cut that shit right out.

Anyway, I returned in full to my regularly scheduled program this morning: I had my typical high day breakfast of 2 eggs, chicken sausage, sweet potato, plus some bonus cashews. This week's target is going to be an average of 1775 calories, down just 59 from last week. I have high-cal meals expected at girls' night tonight, and Mother's Day on Sunday, so I am planning around them, with no expected fasting needed.

Body Fat Beatdown: Days 12-14

Got a little off-track again.

Friday I did fine all day, and I GOT TO RUN 4.03 miles after the PT taped up my foot. I can't tell you what this did for my brain! I was flying so high, it was incredible. After work I went to Lake Carlos State Park with two friends and we just strolled and chatted and enjoyed nature. It was lovely.

We went to a bar in Carlos afterward, where I easily ordered water, but then at home?

I could Not. Stop. Eating.

I cannot explain this.

Details:
6a-fried egg, chicken sausage, c regular coffee, dandelion root, zinc, fish oil, acidophilus, probiotics
7a-c reg
9a-chick saus, FiberSmart, acid/probs, c reg
1p (post-run)-5oz pork roast, 1.5c sweet potato w/ 2T apple butter, acid/probs, FiberSmart, dand root
330p-chick saus, 4oz pollock, acid/probs
730p-2c Brussels sprouts w/ T balsamic, 2c cabbage w/ 2T tomato dressing, chicken leg w/ .5c cooked cabbage, zinc, acid/probs, dand root, FiberSmart, vit D, magnesium, fish oil, 3oz pork roast w/ 2T mojo sauce
TOTALS: 2183 calories, 103g fat (34 sat), 141g carbs (30 fiber), 163g protein

Saturday morning I ran 5 miles, and was the happiest little camper in the world. After that I ran a bunch of errands, including an hour at the library - again, wonderful for my brain.

I even had zero problems eating, get this, COLD FISH. I had pollock with me (that I had intended to microwave after a strength workout [which I skipped since the run went well]) and no way to heat it, but easily ate it cold. Can hardly believe I did that! Who knew fish was also a portable snack?

I did well the rest of the day, snack-wise, but I had a monstrous steak at supper. My wonderful husband had purchased two great big delicious ribeyes, and stupid stupid me ignored my own advice and put the entire 12oz beast on my plate. I should have cut it in half and put the other half into the fridge immediately. GAH.

Details:
6a-2 fried eggs, 3 sl bacon, med apple, 2.25c reg, fish oil, zinc, vit D, acid/probs, FiberSmart, dand root
9a-c decaf
930a (pre-run)-2 Brazil nuts, few raisins
11a (post-run)-4 Brazil nuts, .25c raisins, acid/probs
1p-3oz Pollock, med apple, dand root, acid/probs
230p-5oz pork roast w/ mushrooms, .5oz cashews, c decaf, acid/probs
4p-med apple, T honey, c green tea
6p-.25c grapes, 12oz ribeye w/ mushrooms & merlot sauce, c sweet potato, 1.5T Sp butter, fish oil, zinc, dand root, FiberSmart
8p-.25c grapes
TOTALS: 2609 cal, 117g fat (33 sat), 196g carbs (27 fiber), 163g protein

Sunday I was all set to try another run, but the foot still hurt. So instead I did a kick-ass Spartacus workout and freaking loved it. Lifting rules, people. DO IT.

I was very snacky again in the afternoon, and should have made more effort to control it, as I was facing a party for supper, at the tax boss's house. But I expected I'd be limited in food options to protein (lobster tail, filet mignon) & MAYBE some vegetables (also usually on the menu: baked potato, green  bean casserole, dinner roll, brownie & grasshopper), so I wasn't too worried. Fool. Compared to previous years, I did do very well without all the high-cal sides (thank you, allergies!), but this time around my downfall was mixed nuts. Why must they be so damned addicting?!

I've also decided I really don't need to eat a bigger breakfast before a long run. Eat what's normal, maybe add one serving of fruit, and then supplement with GU after the first hour of a run. No more using runs as an excuse to load up on eggs & bacon!

Details:
6a-2 fried eggs, pork/beef patty, .5oz cashews, 2c reg, fish oil, zinc, vit D, acid/probs, FiberSmart, dand root
930a-c decaf, sm orange, acid/probs
1115a (PWO)-sm orange, pork/beef patty, acid/probs
130p-1.5c Brussels sprouts, 2c cabbage, 2T balsamic, chicken w/ tomatoes, sprouts, eggplant, carrots, collards, acid/probs, dand root
4p-med apple dipped in T tahini & T honey (delicious!), acid/probs
5p-baby carrots, peas, celery, mixed nuts, pickles, olives
6p-1.5 lobster tails, 1.5 filet mignons, .5T garlic oil, baby carrots, peas, celery, pickles
7p-mixed nuts, 2c decaf
8p-fish oil, vit D, acid/probs, FiberSmart, dand root, magnesium
TOTALS: 2763 cal, 148g fat (34 sat), 189g carbs (45 fiber), 192g protein

NOTES:
-My party supper tally was 1118 calories; of this, 619 was lobster & beef, thus I consider these to be a wonderful calorie decision. The other half was half nuts (gah), and half raw vegetables & relish, which are obviously healthy, but dang, the calories still add up.
-I can only imagine what my calories were in prior years, adding butter, a baked potato, sour cream, green bean casserole, and bread!!
-While I walked out quite full, I was not STUFFED and ready to be rolled out the door. Definitely felt better without all those starchy carbs, and still 100% satisfied.

So you can see my calories were pretty high all three days. Disappointing, but today I am ON IT.

I'm fasting all day. I'm drinking water, coffee (this I should not), and green tea; taking usual supplements other than FiberSmart. And that's it. I've had no food since last night, and I won't eat again until Tuesday morning breakfast, which makes a total of 34 hours.

I figured I'd feel like absolute and total ass, but that it would be worth suffering for one day. But you know what? I'm focused, I'm not shaky, I'm not hungry, I'm not feeling bad at all! I am not sure how my evening run attempt will feel, betting that it won't be great, but I'll survive.

I've actually been wanting to try a fast for a while now, but just couldn't commit. I'll provide a full report tomorrow!