What This Vegan Ate to Train for a Marathon – Part 13
This week I finished my longest run to date. 18 miles! Of course, it was also the most humid day of the summer, or at least it felt like it. This was NOT an easy run, and it wasn’t because of the mileage, it was because of the conditions. The air felt thick, like a wet blanket, so it was hard to breath and I was dripping with sweat ten minutes into it. I knew that I had to be careful with hydration and nutrition so I made sure to run where I knew there was a water fountain nearby so I could refill my water bottle. I also packed two packs of Clif Bloks Energy Chews and one Larabar, because I got hungry during my sixteen mile run.
The first ten miles were great. I felt good, although my pace was slower than it should have been, but this wasn’t the kind of day to push it when I had eight more miles to go. I took sips of water every half mile or so and ate two energy chews every four miles. All was well until mile fourteen. That’s when I started to feel a little queasy, and I thought it might be hunger, so I had half of the Larabar that I brought with me. That made me feel a little better and by mile sixteen my stomach felt fine, but my hip flexors and feet were ready to call it a day.
Fortunately I did a good job planning my route with my Strava app, and I knew that I’d hit mile eighteen in front of my house. As I got closer to home I picked up my pace a bit because I just wanted to get out of my wet and heavy clothes and drink a glass of pickle juice. Yes. Pickle juice.
The app turned to mile eighteen right in front of my neighbor’s mailbox. When I saw that number I said, “Oh thank God,” stopped running, took a picture of my mileage on my phone, and walked into my front yard and projectile vomited lime green water. Then I did it again in my flower bed, and once more in the middle of my driveway, just for good measure. It took me by surprise because I didn’t feel sick when I was running, and I couldn’t control it. It was a Linda Blair/Exorcist moment that frankly, gave me a scare.
After I finished vomiting (hopefully my neighbors didn’t catch that lovely display) I immediately felt better. I walked into my house, ate a banana, drank a glass of pickle juice and a glass of water, and headed to the shower. Such a weird morning!
Why am I telling you this? Not because I like giving too much information, but because I learned a few things that I want to share with you so you won’t experience the same. Hopefully.
After doing a little research I found that you should NEVER stop running abruptly after a long and difficult run. The reason is because during a stressful run you blood supply goes to your vital organs, such as your heart, lungs, and kidneys. They’re being stressed and they need it. If you stop moving, like I did, the blood rushes back to your stomach and pushes what’s in your tummy out. The moral of the story is this, once you reach your goal, don’t stop running. Slow your pace and cool down, let your body return to normal, then walk a bit before standing still.
Another issue that I think I had was fueling. I ate two energy chews every four miles, which was probably too many. My stomach didn’t have the ability to digest the simple sugars (which are more difficult to break down) that are in the energy chews, even though I drank water to dilute them. On my next run I’m going to cut the amount of fuel that I consumed during this run in half and see how it goes.
Finally, running in extreme heat and/or humidity takes a toll on the body. Like I said, I was dripping sweat one mile into that long run, so I kept drinking water, and it was hard to know how much was too much because I felt thirsty. I also drank a lot of water when I stopped to refill my bottle and when I ate the energy chews.
All in all, it was like the perfect storm. Heat, excessive humidity, the longest run of my life to date, too much fuel, too much or not enough water, and stopping abruptly instead of slowly cooling down.
Now that I have that experience out of the way, I’m looking forward to the next long run so I can make it better and less dramatic at the end.
What A Healthy Vegan Diet Looks Like When You Train for a Marathon
Water with lemon, coffee with almond milk, a banana, and a piece of toast with jam.
During the Run
One and a half packs of Clif Bloks Energy Chews and half of a Larabar and several bottles of water.
After the Run
A banana, a glass of pickle juice, a glass of water, a spinach, blueberry, pineapple, protein powder smoothie.
A taco salad filled with spinach, black beans, red pepper, corn, red onion, mushrooms, guacamole, and a few chips, water, and an apple.
Pickles, almonds, potato chips, and a green smoothie filled with spinach, pineapple, hemp seed, and blueberries.
Pasta with spinach, mushrooms, red onion, garlic, corn, tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, and flat leaf parsley. I had about three heaping cups of the pasta. A glass of wine and water.
I consumed plenty of protein, iron, folate, potassium, and other nutrients to fuel my body and help it recover. I felt great the next day!
Activity for the week:
Friday – Ran 6.1 miles, played 2 hours of tennis, walked 2 miles.
Saturday – Ran 4 miles and walked 2 miles.
Sunday – Active rest day, walked 3 miles and lifted weights.
Monday – Played 2 hours of tennis, ran 5.8 miles, walked 2 miles.
Tuesday – Ran 18 miles.
Wednesday – Interval training and walked 2 miles.
Thursday – Ran 6 miles and walked 2 miles.
Friday – Played 2 hours of tennis, walked 2 miles, arm weight training.
Total miles run: 39.9 miles
Total miles walked: 15 miles
Total hours of tennis: 4 hours
I hope you all had a great week! Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!