Monday, April 30, 2012

The Great Carb Experiment

I know how to carbo-load before a distance race:  eat a good, carbohydrate-rich meal a couple of nights before and don't go crazy at the night before a race.  Sounds good right?

Well, for what I'm pretty sure is the first time in my life, I'm wrong.  I think I hear an angel crying.

I'm someone who likes to know the numbers behind what I'm eating.  I track everything I eat on SparkPeople for about a week each month, just to see where I am with caloric (and protein/fat/carb) intake.  Of those three macronutrients, I am always on the low side on carbs - my calories aren't low; I just tend to eat more fat and protein than I do carbs. 


Looking back on the last week of meals I tracked, I averaged about 100-125 grams of carbs a day.  So imagine my surprise when I read in Runner's World that the average runner carbohydrate loading for a race should be eating 4 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight.

Let's break out the trusty calculator... four times one hundredmumblemumble.... carry the one.. square root of pi... equals..


Holy crap.  But that's just the day before the race, right?

Uhh, no.  According to the nerds at RW, we should be getting 85-95% of our calories from carbs for 2-3 days before the race.

I was just about to order myself a sheetcake when I read the kicker:  We should NOT be eating significantly more calories than usual, just not getting a lot of of calories from protein and fat.  Goodbye peanut butter....

Another potential bummer - for every gram of stored carbohydrates, our bodies store three extra grams of water.  Great for hydration, not great if you don't like seeing high numbers on the scale... the Runner's World article said get ready to see about four extra el-bees on that little digital bastard.

I've got to be honest - that carb goal seems impossibly high, and I'm really going to have to alter how I eat to even come close to hitting it, but I'm going to try.

I am running the Wisconsin Half Marathon on Saturday, and I'm going to stuff my face with bread on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I'll keep you posted.  

I'm really curious to hear your thoughts on this:

Do you track your food intake?

Have you ever or would you try to hit a specific carbohydrate goal before a race, or is the traditional pasta dinner good enough for you?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Twenty Six Point Crazy

Hey, good morning.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Over the last few months, I've a series of conversations about training for a full marathon.  They went a little like this.

Kim's Friend/Family Member/Blogger Buddy:  So, when do you think you'll start training for that first marathon?

Kim:  Marathon?  F*ck that.  I haven't been able to run pain-free since 2009, I'm not going to abuse my body like that.  Not happening. End 'o story.

Fast forward to April, my Run Less Run Faster book is looking increasingly tattered, and my browser history looks a little like this:

Which of these things is not like the other?

So, Good Will Hunting fantasies aside, my mind has been increasingly preoccupied with finding... drumroll please... a marathon plan.

And not just finding one.  Carefully researching, creating, editing and re-editing, switching my calendar around long runs... basically, planning to run a marathon.  

What's my problem?  I wanted to wait to run a marathon until after I'm definitely done having kids, until I'm a few years post-injury, and until life slows down a bit.  But now, I feel like my mind is all systems go for training, and nothing has changed with my uterus, my femur, or my schedule.  

In four weeks, I'm running the Wisconsin Half Marathon in Kenosha, WI.  If this goes well (a decent time, and feeling strong and happy, and not wishing for death the whole time like at my last half), then I start training for the Fox Cities Marathon in September.  As in the full marathon.  Yikes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mystery Bruises and Jelly Bean 5k Recap!

Good morning!

You know how farmers sometimes wake up to find big designs in their fields, presumably crafted by aliens or bored field mice or something?

I come to your planet to dazzle
 you with my wheat-trampling skills...

  Well, I've got something like that going on... only instead of in a field, it's on my leg.  And instead of sweet shapes... it's bruises.

Somehow, doesn't have quite the same awe-inspiring effect as the crop circles.
They showed up on my inner calf right after my run on Wednesday, and I have no idea what happened.  Is it possible I'm sufficiently uncoordinated to be actually kicking myself in my own leg when I run?  I should put that on my resume.

Anyway, the bruise-inducing run was none other than The Jelly Bean Virtual Race!

I'm in the jungle!
I had a serious case of pre-race jitters.  Ridiculous, I know, but it's the first 5k I have raced since July.  And I know it doesn't reaalllly count, but I wanted to push myself a bit to see where I am fitness-wise.

It was a bit windy and chilly, but otherwise a perfect morning for a run.  I thought I'd be all sly and choose a super flat, fast course, but apparently race planner I am not.

I ran for a few miles to warm up, tightened my shoelaces, and reset my Garmin.  Around the halfway mark, I turned around and retraced my steps.  I cruised over a bridge and through a park back to my starting point that was to be my finish line.  But somewhere in my oxygen-deprived haze, I miscalculated, and ended up having to run the last .25 mile uphill.   Not stellar planning, but that's what I get for trying to be lazy.

I finished the 5k in 24:03, which, drumroll please, is a post-injury (and post-pregnancy!) PR.  So that's pretty sweet.

7:46 average pace.  I'll take it.

So big thank you to Jess for putting on the race!

 And, an extra special shout out to my partner-in-crime, Rachel, who submitted the freaking funniest HTC application video out there.  I'm only a tiny bit biased due to my undying love to Rachel, and the fact that I got to help her make the video.  Go watch it now!

Thoughts on the bruising?  I figure I'll blame it on field mice and call it a day.

Are you applying to be on Nuun's Hood to Coast team?  

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Recap

Run Miles Planned/Miles Ran: 77/54 - Had a small injury break for a week, but am super happy with my mileage overall... it's going in the right direction!

Cross Training Workouts Planned/Completed: 18/12 - Definitely fell off a bit on the cross-training.  I am finding that I need to do something every day or I tend to skip a bunch of days in a row.

Swim Meters Planned/Meters Swam:  3200 - 2400.  Skipped one swim - going to do better next month.

Highest Run Mileage Week: - 3/25-3/31 - 17 miles!!

Races Completed:  Point Bock 5 Mile - 42:48.  Great race - read recap here.

Current Book:  My textbook from my Entrepreneurship Class.  Not the most thrilling read - but not a ton of time for pleasure reading this month.  

Current Song: I love running to Linkin Park's "Reanimation"... specifically Pts. of Athrty - gets me all fired up - "forfeit the game before somebody else takes you out of the frame, puts your name to shame.  Cover up your face you can't run the race the pace is too fast you just won't last."

Current Triumph: The pace of my runs.  I think I'm actually faster now than before my stress fracture, but haven't tested it out in a race yet.

Current Goal:  Remain injury free, increase my long run distance, and focus on cross training.

Current Happiness:  I should just rename this category "Cute Video of My Kids"

2012 Goals 


  • Run 1,000 miles in 2012 - 107 miles so far.  
  • Run a sub 1:55 half marathon 
  • Get a new 5k PR - current PR 23:17 
  • Complete a triathlon
  • Run Ragnar Madison to Chicago relay.
  • NO MORE STRESS FRACTURES! - through March - none so far!  

    • Join Toastmasters to face my fear of public speaking. - I went to one meeting, but haven't taken the plunge.
    • Pass the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer exam.
    • Knock out at least eight items on my "Fear Can Suck It" list. - Completed: #9 (Jan)

    How was your March?

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