Slow + How I Carb-Load.

While I’ve been very aware that I have a half marathon this weekend and next, it didn’t really hit me until last night. I’m nervous but also have taken the approach to running that works for me… very laid back. I’d say I care about my pace somewhat and it would be great to run 9 minute miles “easy”, but I know I’m slow and ACTUALLY slow. Nothing annoys me more than reading blogs about runners who say their 8:30 minute miles are sooo slow. You KNOW that’s not slow. It may be slow forΒ you and that’s totally fine because we are all different, but stop considering that slow. I can’t even sprint an 8 minute mile. Let’s keep it real. You have natural speed talent, OWN it. Be proud! I think it’s safe to say 11 minute miles are pretty damn slow but I’m pretty damn proud that I can run at all Β πŸ™‚

My point to that is that I know I’m not going to win any race and while I think it’s great to compete against yourself, you never know how you’re going to feel on race day. I give myself too much anxiety thinking about all the outcomes of a race, and I think that’s one component of why it’s so exciting. But I tend to get too down on myself thinking that my paces are embarrassing… and then I remind myself that just 4 years ago, I was carrying 110 extra pounds and couldn’t evenΒ WALK a mile without dying. It’s not that I don’t go out there and run my heart out, but keeping a 10 minute mile pace for 13.1 miles, right now, would have me dry heaving by the 3rd mile. Maybe one day I’ll have some speed back, but it just isn’t natural for me right now. And I am okay with that, and that’s great since I’m the only person who HAS to be okay with that πŸ™‚

I’m starting with this stuff because this week I felt so unmotivated to run at all. My 10 mile race last weekend was great, and then I stressed myself out about being so sore for the following days. I finally ran Wednesday and it hurt. Everything hurt. I took Thursday off, then when I got to the gym yesterday to run I was over it before it even began. I ran 1 mile on the treadmill, then did some upper body work because I didn’t have it in me to run 1 more foot. I thought about why I was so over it all day, and I realized that I’m making races too much about the outcome. I run because I love it and I have to allow races to just be a day of running that I had to pay for (WTF) and that happens to be with thousands of other people while getting water handed to me for free. Pretty sweet deal. So I have to stop worrying about my pace and enjoy the ride! The fact that I have the ability to run and the ability to run these amazing races is enough to make me happy.

Moving on to the good stuff. If you are new to running longer distances or races, I will share with you what seems to work the best for me when it comes to “carb loading.” If you are also new to reading my blog, first of all… thank you πŸ™‚ Second of all, I have a little history with binge eating. It was a period of about 4 months ofΒ bad binge eating… I would eat normal all day, then come home and eat a ton and wake up in the middle of the night to eat. It was in between my lowest, unhealthy weight when I needed to gain some back and I lost control. I had restricted for so long that suddenly eating more became MUCH more, and I put on 20 pounds in those 4 months. I am thankful every day that I have overcome it but it did take over a year to really rid myself of it completely. How this relates to carb loading is that I HATE feeling overly full now, so when I got into distance running I thought it would be a little tricky to add extra calories and carbs the day before the race without that feeling. The trick is to start carb loading the 3-4 days before the race by adding in extra calories and carbs without overdoing it. Trust me, you do NOT want to wake up the day of the race (or a long training run) with a food hangover. If my race is Sunday, I start to add a bit more to my day starting Thursday.

Oats in a jar with some lovely flowers and reading material.

Oats in a jar with some lovely flowers and reading material.

photo 3

Thursday’s breakfast was oats in a jar with a few scoops of apple butter. I eat oats every morning, but on this day I added in another banana (well, ate it on the side) and these scoops of apple butter.

Yesterday’s lunch was amazing. I had to go to the Upper East Side to get my race stuff for Sunday, and since Panera Bread is up here and I am never up there I decided to grab it for lunch.

photo 3 (1)

I ALWAYS get the greek salad with grilled chicken (which costs more to add, of course) and once I got back to my desk I was beyond pissed to see that no grilled chicken had been added. SO PISSED. Luckily the pumpkin pie bagel I got to carb up with didn’t disappoint.

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I just had it toasted with nothing on it and it was perfection!

Last night John and I went to the great new restaurant in our neighborhood, Heights Tavern. It’s so great to have a restaurant in our neighborhood that’s really good and not entirely spanish food!

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I had grilled chicken, avocado & goat cheese on ciabatta with sweet potato fries. Nothing is oily and greasy there which I absolutely love!

Today’s breakfast was extra carby of course, since it’s the day before the race.

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Just so happened to have another almost empty jar of Justin’s deliciousness, so I added in my heated up banana chia oats and added 1/4 cup of dark chocolate macaroon granola AND a mini dark chocolate mounds bar. Chocolate coconut heaven! I found that granola at TJ Maxx and it’s amazing.

As for lunch today, I will have a bagel and some Popchips with guacamole and dinner later is my pre-race ritual of cheese-less Domino’s pizza! I’m aiming for about 2500 calories today so even with the pizza I still need a snack of about 500 calories! Hard job fueling for a race, huh? πŸ˜‰

One other thing… if I had ran more miles this week I would be eating a bit more than I am since I would need the extra fuel from burning more calories. I have this worked out for my own body and its’ needs, keeping in mind that I still want to lose a few pounds so there is no need for me to go out of control with calories! It’s a constant learning process and since it involves food… it’s pretty fun.

How do you fuel for races or long runs?

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19 thoughts on “Slow + How I Carb-Load.

  1. Larabars are my favorite. No prep, and only 3-6 ingredients. LOVE them.

    And I have thought SO often about what other people think about my posts when I say I hate a great run and my miles were 915ish…but then I try and remind myself that, like you said, it’s just pretty awesome to be a runner. Nothing else matters.

    • Ive actually never tried a larabar but i will have to!! 915 miles i hope to get back to one day cause thats speedy in my mind!! You rock πŸ™‚

  2. I needed this so bad. I have done numerous 5k races and am good enough…I will never win but that’s okay. Two weeks from today is my first 10k. I know I can walk it, jog some of it but cannot run it all. I am nearly paralyzed with my fear of being the last one to finish. I am near backing out at this point. I’m not sure what I will do, but I can assure you I will read this several more times!

    • Paula go out there and rock your 10k!! The adrenaline will carry u most of the way I promise!! And even if you were the last to finish, you still FINISHED!! More than the people who arent active can say!! Please let me know how you do!

  3. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. For me, 10 minute miles is what I aim for, just for running 1 mile! And for me, that’s tough. It can be kind of a punch in the stomach when someone is saying that their 8:30 miles are slow. You are so right, it’s not slow…..at all…but it may be slow for them. It’s not fair to judge everyone on the same scale because we all have different running endurances. A while back when I was taking a Health & Fitness class, we had to do a test in which we ran a mile and a half, recorded the time and our HR. My time was somewhere around 16/17 minutes, and for me..that’s good. But then I had to look at my time on a chart which labeled your time as very good, good, average, poor, and very poor…..and I landed under very poor which made me want to lie about my time because it was HARD for me, and I work really hard at being in the best physical shape as I can.
    Any who, sorry for all that ramble. My point is, YOU GO GIRL. Rock that race and run those 11 minute miles like its your JOB! Rather than thinking about all the others are faster than you, concentrate on how most people aren’t even out there at all πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and all of your food is making me hungry, thankyouverymuch. Especially that pumpkin bagel………..I need that in my life. HOW DARE THEY FORGET THE CHICKEN, though!
    Can I carb load even though I’m not running a race? Maybe just for my measly 1 mile? πŸ™‚

    PS. You’re a winner in my book πŸ™‚

    • You can absolutely carb load for your 1 miler.. I mean that burns 100 cals so you may as well eat 100 carbs right?!? πŸ˜‰ thanks for your encouragement on my slow ass, i love you! I wanna get you into runninnnnnnn longggg so you can run with meeee πŸ™‚

  4. This post was exactly what I needed… To remember that I run because I enjoy it, not because I need to reach a specific time. Also, I’m new to distance running. How did you learn about carb loading and how to do it in a responsible/healthy(ish) way.. I’m always scared to eat something that could b a little bad because I’m trying to lose weight as well.

    • I dont label foods as bad or good anymore, i just know that some rich foods have to be eaten a little less than we’d like πŸ™‚ as for healthier carb loading, i just base it on knowing i dont like to feel super full and that i dont need to gain any weight either! Our bodies dont need 100’s of extra carbs for a race (well for a full marathon yes) but a little more than usual. Play around with it and youll figure out what works for you!! Good luck and keep running πŸ™‚

  5. I have had issues with serious binge eating, too. That is a tough issue to work through. I’ve never carb loaded but I don’t run, either. That pumpkin pie bagel looks scrumptious!

    • Sorry to hear youve dealt with binging too! All we can do is work to stay recovered from it and move on if we slip. Carb loading is the best part of running πŸ™‚

  6. I will be visiting Panera ASAP for one of those bagels now! I always say I run so I can eat πŸ˜‰ and I am an 11 minute miler on a good day too!

    • Haha yes, run to eat more is my motto! The bagel was great but definitely more like a dessert! Lets rock our 11 min miles proudly!!

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