In less than a month the USTA National Championships will be a sweet memory. A week after that and I’ll (fingers crossed) be able to put that 26.2 mile sticker on my car. Woot-woot! How in the blazes is it already September? Thankfully, marathon training forced me to get outside more than I normally would have. Long runs to the beach, through the forest preserve, and exploring residential streets that I hadn’t seen before made me appreciate my sweet little town more than ever. It’s been a good summer.
This week I got to dial it back a bit on the miles. If you’ve trained for a marathon, you know that you ramp up your mileage, then you decrease, then you ramp up, and so on until the marathon. Last week I ran eighteen miles, this week my long run was twelve. Never in a million years would I have thought that twelve miles would be no big deal, but after eighteen, that’s exactly what I thought when I walked out the door to pound the pavement.
As I approach the twenty miler next weekend, I’m focusing on my nutrition more than ever. I’m making sure that I’m getting enough calories and that they’re coming from clean foods. I’m making sure that I’m eating enough healthy fats, protein (not a problem), carbs, iron, folic acid, and aminos. I’m also making sure that I get enough sleep and that I’m stretching and foam rolling before and after every run. Finally, I’m watching my hydration like a hawk. If my urine is even slightly yellow I increase my water consumption.
If this sounds like too much, it’s not. I’ve actually really enjoyed the journey thus far. I’ve learned so much about my body and my mind over the past several months. I’ve pushed past physical challenges that scared the bajeezes out of me. I’ve become hyper aware of how my body feels, which has made me more aware of when it needs more water, more sleep, more carbs, etc,. And the best thing about training for a marathon, I’ve learned to enjoy being with me, myself, and I.
At mile 12 of my 18 miler. Makeup free and sweaty.
Running twelve, fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen miles alone (yes, I went solo) has forced me to get to know myself pretty well. I didn’t have a partner to keep me going when I wanted to walk. There wasn’t someone there to distract me when I started thinking about things that I’d rather not think about. Every hour, minute, and second that I’ve run since May has given me the opportunity to be honest with myself, to realize that I’m so much stronger, both in body and spirit, than I ever thought I was, and I learned to really like and respect the person who looks back at me from the mirror every morning. Finally, at the age of fifty-two, I can honestly say that I’m happy to be me.
Now let’s get to the real reason for this weekly post, FOOD!
Eating a Plant-Based Diet and Training for a Marathon
Here’s a glimpse of what I ate on a short run day. I only (ha, only) ran six miles, so I didn’t feel the need to stuff my face all day long.
I began my day with a glass of lemon water, a cup of coffee with almond milk, a banana, and a handful of almonds.
Since it was Sunday my sweet husband made me a delicious tofu scramble with spinach, black olives, bell pepper, red onion, and basil and tomatoes from our garden.
I let my breakfast digest for a few hours and then I ran. When I got home I made a protein smoothie with a lot of spinach, pineapple, blueberries, and coconut protein powder.
I made my Pulled BBQ Carrots for game day on Saturday so I had a big sandwich with a side of pickles. Iowa, Wisconsin, and Bama won!!! Saturday was a good day.
I’m currently obsessed with the cherry tomatoes growing in my garden, so I had a bowl of them and later I had a bowl of blackberries and strawberries.
I was too tired to cook so we ordered sushi. I had cucumber rolls, spinach rolls, vegetable rolls, seaweed salad, lettuce salad, and my husband put tempura on my plate so he wouldn’t feel guilty eating it, then he ate mine. I also had two glasses of white wine.
Water, Water, Water
I’ve spared you endless scrolling by not showing you pictures of how much water I drank. Aside from my morning glass of lemon water I consumed at least eight more glasses during the course of the day.
Total Activity for the Week
Friday – 2 hours of tennis, leg strength training, and a 2 mile walk with the dogs.
Saturday – 6 mile run and a 2 mile dog walk.
Sunday – 6 mile run and a 4 mile dog walk.
Monday – 12 mile run and a 2 mile dog walk.
Tuesday – Active rest day. 2 mile dog walk and yoga.
Wednesday – 5 1/2 mile run and 2 mile dog walk.
Thursday – 1 1/2 hours of singles tennis, 6 mile run and upper body strength training, and a 2 mile dog walk.
Friday – 2 hours of doubles tennis, 6 mile run, 2 mile walk.
Total mile run: 35 1/2 miles
Total miles walked: 18 miles
Total hours of tennis played: 5 1/2 hours
Have a great weekend!
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