A little less than a month ago, I went drastic with my diet. I cut out breads, grains, legumes and dairy products. I’m taking the Paleo challenge, and though I was really pissed at having to do without pizza and peanut butter, I’ve managed to keep my head afloat. I am allowed bacon, after all.
The biggest challenge I faced came yesterday as I was running in the LA Marathon. First off, my routine pre-race breakfast included a slice of bread (not allowed) with peanut butter (not allowed) and banana (allowed). I switched it up and ended up noshing on banana and a handful of almonds. Not nearly as filling. I need my carbs. I swore my stomach was growling before I even began running.
Secondly, and more importantly, my favorite part about running in races is finishing. I love not running so much that I’m all smiles at the finish line (even when previous photogs have caught me giving them the evil eye). What’s not to love? You get a mylar blanket, medal and bombarded with food and drink. There’s water and Gatorade. More bananas and fruit cups and energy bars… and my personal favorite — BAGELS! God, how I love post-race bagels. I’d always walk out of the finisher’s area, arms overflowing with goodies and bagel in mouth.
Yesterday, after I finished my leg of the charity relay, I got slightly depressed at all the stuff I couldn’t eat. No granola bars or pretzels or Gold fish or bagels (sniff sniff).
Ok Paleo-ists, I’m open to some race eating insights because stupid bananas don’t seem so cool now.
PHOTOS (from top): Gorgeous day for a run in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 18. Mother Nature apparently likes runners since it didn’t rain at all during the race (though was still nippy during bits of it); All those bagels for all those runners who don’t know how good they have it.
There are two schools of thought in race training. The first is you work hard and consistently so you can rest the week before the race. No long runs. No hills. Pure maintenance. The second is you work inconsistently all the way to race day because planning is not your strength. No rest the week before. You do long runs. You do hills. You get sideswiped by a kid on a bike. You almost fall into a storm drain.
One guess where I lie… Yes, almost in a storm drain.
The half marathon is next weekend and I have no clue what the course will look like. I know it’s in Pasadena, which of course means hills. Here’s the rub: I didn’t really train for hills. Oops
This weekend, when I should be well-trained and well-rested, I ran 10 miles full of hills. It began and ended with mammoth inclines. I didn’t calculate slopes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were around 75 percent. This shit was steep. Like too-steep-to-drive steep.
As can be expected, it sucked. Big time. I was running so slow up the hill I should have just walked and saved my energy. What I was missing was my own assistant coach with a spatula.
Anyone ever see David Schwimmer’s masterpiece Run, Fatboy, Run? It’s classic Simon Pegg as an out-of-shape security officer who decides to run the London Marathon as a way to show up the sexy douche (Hank Azaria) who’s dating his ex-baby mama. Anyway, part of Pegg’s team includes his landlord Mr. G who encourages with more of a stick (aka spatula) than carrot. I feel I could respond to that.
If you see me dying on the course, please feel free to give me a little shove.
PHOTO: Dennis (Pegg) running and Mr. G. close behind with spatula.
Coach Wooden is everywhere at UCLA. And rightly so! But I’ve had him ringing in my ears all week. More precisely, this little truism…
‘FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL’
Alright, Coach! You got me. I’ve been slacking on my training. The half marathon is 16 days away and I still haven’t run 10 miles. I did no running this week (again). I could blame it on the wind or the freak Achilles’ heel pain. But really? Would you believe that?
I hereby pledge to run 10 miles this weekend, come hell or high winds or sporting events. Furthermore, I pledge to conscientiously put on my socks (no wrinkles) and look deep within for my own personal Pyramid of Success.
I am a Bruin, damn it. It’s in our stock. I will not fail.
PHOTO: Wooden wears the net after winning the 1975 NCAA championship.
During my last update, I had nothing to report. This one is much more positive. I ran my 7 miles. I picked a hilly route around my house and attacked it with my new shoes and new soundtrack.
I was feeling some ’90s R&B girl power. Who better than my chicas from En Vogue? Luckily, “The Very Best of…” was just long enough to get me through the distance. That and it gave me the extra kick I needed around mile 6. Made me channel my inner funky diva.
I know “Free your mind” talks about prejudice. But damnit if it isn’t also good advice on a run: Free your mind, the rest will follow.
Ooh, also occurred this week: I signed up for the LA Marathon as part of a two-person relay team. More on that later…
PHOTO: The album cover that’s becoming my new running soundtrack.
It was only a matter of time before I went back to my old routine, meaning no routine. This time around it occurred in Week 3.
I ran a whopping ZERO miles this past week.
Just to recap, I was meant to run 7 miles on the weekend plus some short maintenance runs during the week. When I said zero, I meant ZERO. I didn’t run 7 miles. I didn’t run 2 miles. I didn’t even go out for a 30-minute walk. I racked up a total one hour of cardio — but from Zumba, not running. Oops.
It’s time to re-jigger the ol’ training schedule. I’m supposed to run 9 miles sometime this weekend. Scrap that. I’m going to plan for my 7 miles and catch up with my schedule in two weeks for the 10-miler.
All’s good 😉