Well That Didn’t Go As Planned

It wasn’t the food, I swear. Or the adult beverage. Or the adorable cats and visiting. I woke up Saturday ready to tackle my 12 miles, possibly more. However when I got up I felt kind of nauseous and light headed. I felt like my stomach was rebelling against me in all means possible. Despite feeling crappy I decided to get up and move around a little bit thinking I would be ok in a minute. I assumed that whatever it was would of course be cured in one minute.

I made my pre-run oatmeal but the more that I moved around the more fuzzy and sick I felt. What was one minute turned into ten and the feeling wasn’t getting any better. I ended up curling back up in bed after eating what I thought would be a magically restorative bowl of oatmeal, but when I woke again to strike out for a run I realized that it wasn’t at all a good idea.

I honestly couldn’t tell if sudden movement was going to make me vomit or the other end. Sorry for the TMI!! Deciding that I didn’t want to strike out and possibly shat my pantaloons or yak in front of traffic, I thought postponing until Sunday would be a better option.

It was a very strange feeling, I was nauseous and gassy and my head felt kind of heavy. I’m not sure if there was too much sodium in my meal or if there was some ingredient in my meal that hadn’t been there before that was interacting oddly with my system. My whiskey sour wasn’t particularly potent and I spent a couple hours nursing it between sips of water. But whatever the reason I ended up spending the day under the covers in my pajamas.

Jesi was kind enough to make me soup and for some strange reason, by the evening I was craving pizza. We ordered Pizza Hut and it was the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten. Jesi was excited because she had never, in her recollection, ever had delivery pizza. Again, I’m not sure why I was craving it or why it was so delicious.

As frustrated as I was that I was unable to run, I did some time thinking of my training route for Sunday. I thought about the best route to tackle for the training that wouldn’t be able to commence until the afternoon; between choir responsibilities and our church’s O&A task force meeting afterward I knew that I wouldn’t be starting until mid afternoon. I tried to think of how I wanted to frame my training. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have as many hills as I have in previous weeks. I began to visualize the route that I would take and how I was going to feel. I visualized how that route would correspond with the actual marathon course. I tried to figure out how to incorporate the new route that Becky and I had discovered on Thursday. I really analyzed my options all while trying to keep the world from spinning.

As we get closer to the race, I notice that I visual the course more and more. While there were some changes made to the course there are still aspects of the course that have remained unchanged through my 5 years running. It is those unchanged portions that I often find myself struggling with. I try to emulate those sections, whether it be in elevation (why I typically plan for a steep hill by mile one) or a particularly mentally challenging part (the Blue Mile on Haines point leads me to make sure I have a portion of my run that is isolated and flat with nothing to visually distract me).

For the next few weeks I am going to select my routes with a little more focus and care, ensuring that I hit all the points that I struggle with so that my body and brain are use to them and can easily push through them.

I still wish I knew what exactly it was that invaded my stomach but I guess I will never know. On the upside I got pizza AND a well planned out training route.

Happy Running!


Saturday Long Run

My first solo long run of the training year. Ten miles in sub 2 hours. I am still giddily allowing that to sink in-a sub two hour 10 miles. Actually I was only suppose to do nine miles but I was feeling pretty good and decided to take the long way home and add that extra mile to my run.

In terms of walk versus run ratio, I definitely ran more than I walked. My walking was at a minimum. I tried instead to slow my pace down rather than just walk. I also made it a goal to run all inclines and hills, and I stuck with that goal pretty solidly.

I typically do the bulk of my long run miles in the local cemetery, a location that creeps most people. Honestly it’s a quiet location with a nicely paved two mile loop, if you run in the inner paths it is a little more than two. Also there is a clean bathroom and a drinking fountain. For my inner history buff, there are graves of soldiers that have fought in every war (American Revolutionary War to present). The largest portion of those graves coming from the Civil War. Also, Francis Scott Key and Barbara Fritchie are both buried there as well as several other famous people.

The path is well maintained, it is majority flat but has some slight inclines and with the various paths along the way one can “chose your own adventure” route so you never get bored. At least I don’t. Also, it mimics some portions of the Marine Corps Marathon which allows me to do some visualization of the course while I run.

The other exciting part of the run was that I still felt strong at the end of the run. I don’t think I could have done another mile on top of my impromptu additional mile, but I felt like I gave a strong and consistent effort throughout the run and still felt decent. I was a bit tired but not overly so. I also found that I didn’t need to consume my “marathon cookies” along the way, something I usually need to do at the halfway point because I feel depleted. I did find that I needed more water than I typically do but our dinner the night before was a little higher in sodium than most (and I have my marathoncookies.jpgmonthly friend) so I was a bit more depleted than usual.

Just to explain, my “marathon cookies” are nothing more
than the store brand version of
vanilla Oreo cookies. For some reason they have to be cheap store brand version. Literally the only time of year that I crave them is during marathon training. They are the perfect size to fit in my hydration belt and they have just the right amount of sugar to give me a much needed boost when the time is there.

Overall, I would rate the run a solid 8.5 out of 10. I think the biggest hindrance is maintaining a consistent pace. I have a tendency of starting out too fast and then slowing down and then speeding up. I really need to work on maintaining a consistent pace. I need to remind myself that even though I feel fabulous that I need to not allow that feeling override my plan and set pace.

That is a struggle that really short circuits my past MCM’s. I start out in the adrenaline and excitement of the race morning and allow my pace to be pushed faster than my starting pace AND at an inconsistently fast pace. I think I need to work on getting settled in sooner to conserve my energy.

I am excited that it looks like this marathon could be a sub 6 hour marathon. Potentially a sub 5 hour but that will only happen if I can maintain the consistent steady pace.

How was your weekend run? Comment below and let me know.

Happy Running!


Meal Prep Recipes To Get You Started

Yesterday I wrote about the various reasons that meal prep isn’t just for bodybuilders. As runners our nutrition is always important to maintain. Below I have a few recipes that I have found that keep my macros on point while also being incredibly tasty and most importantly budget friendly! This is in no way an inclusive list of our meals, but these are most recent round of recipes. I will add more recipes as we come across them. The biggest thing is to experiment and try new things.

Each link has the recipe along with all the macros needed to make sure you are staying on point (whatever your point might be)


Egg White Cups

Red Eye Protein Shake


Spring Veggie Stir Fry Couscous with Ground Turkey

Zoodle “Lasagna” Style Bake


If you have a favorite recipe or hack, please share in the comments section below!

Happy Running…and cooking!

Meal Prep Isn’t Just For Bodybuilders

I first learned about the concept of weekly meal prep from my bodybuilding friends. They would post pictures of their stacks of Tupperware and their eating schedules. They would laude the benefits of the every few hour eating with their little containers of perfectly portioned out food. I thought that was a bit over the top, a bit too retentive.

Then I began to realize that it was actually the perfect solution to my nutritional needs. So, I jumped on the #mealprepsunday bandwagon and started spending a few hours on Sunday preparing my breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week.

The first time Jesi and I spent our Sunday preparing our food, it was just short of a kitchen disaster. It took us WAY longer than all the sites we studied said. We used EVERY SINGLE pot, pan, dish and cutlery item we had. It took us equal time of cleaning afterwards. At first I thought, NOPE this is a disaster and bodybuilders are nuts. But by midweek we realized how much time we saved AND that we were staying on track nutritionally.

The second week went a little smoother than first. We have now done meal prep for almost two years, and it has been a huge saver of time and budget. And we have also learned to be super creative in the kitchen have experimented with fresh items we never thought we would eat. Also, we have learned through proper portioning of our meals we have a better sense of proper portion sizes in restaurant food.

To break it down a little bit further, some of the major benefits of meal prep include:

Keeps you from cheating!

We have found this to be the case because when we plan out our meals, that is exactly what we buy at the grocery store. Nothing extra and no sweets, as a result we don’t have things to snack and munch on. Also by having meals planned out and prepared we don’t come home from work or the gym famished and too tired to prepare something healthful. Meal prep truly takes the thinking out of our daily meals.

Saves money!

This may not be true for everyone, and it certainly wasn’t true in the beginning when we had to purchase things we didn’t have in the pantry or while we experimented with different recipes. But by planning out meals we don’t need to run out to the grocery store multiple times a week. We are also not eating out in restaurants as much because we know the food is already ready for us, we just need to heat it up.

The biggest saver though is that we aren’t throwing away unused groceries. Everything we buy has a specific purpose.

Ginomous Time Saver!

Not only do we stay on track nutritionally, but taking a few hours on Sunday means an exponential amount of time saved during the week. This time saved can be time better spent at the gym, studying or doing domestic stuff that always manages to get in the way of healthy eating. Or as we like to say, just plain old adulting gets in the way of the fun stuff in life.

Most importantly, we aren’t eating dinner super duper late at night because food is already prepared for us when we get home. I know personally, eating a meal super late causes all kinds of stomach issues and results in me waking up the next morning feeling blah.

Helps to maintain fitness goals!

We all know that nutrition is the key component to successfully reaching our fitness goals; whether it be completing a marathon, getting a PR in the weight room or reaching a goal weight. By simultaneously planning your meals and your fitness plan for the week you will ensure that all your nutritional needs are met whether it be a rest day or a gym day. If you track your calories in either MyFitnessPal or OnTheRegimen you will notice that you are consistently hitting your necessary macros of the day. This consistency will let to massive goal gains while reducing your weight gain.

Also it helps ensure that you are eating your largest, most calorically dense meal in the middle of the day. Which goes hand in hand with the time saver aspect, not only are you not eating super late at night you also aren’t eating a super heavy meal a couple hours before you go to bed.

Meal Prepping Gives You Variety!

This may seem contrary to what you think….how can there be variety when I am planning out every meal down to the weighted ounce? But you will be surprised! We have some basic go to items for breakfast but we rotate through our options for lunch and dinner on a pretty regular basis. Also, using seasonal fruits and veggies helps to spice things up a bit. Truth be told, I am the child of a man that literally ate two peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches on white bread for lunch everyday for 40 years so I’m ok with monotony. However, my wife on the other hand is a little bit more adventurous.

Pinterest has been incredibly helpful in finding recipes that can be made in large batches and that stay fresh through the week….while delicious the avocado egg salad looks DISGUSTING after about two days in the fridge. For the most part anything made in a Crock Pot is a winner!

It’s A Great Way To Make Fitness And Nutrition A Family Event!

Jesi and I have found that creating our weekly meal plan together makes it even more fun! We take turns picking out recipes and then prepare them together. If you have a family, its also a great way to get the kids involve in picking out healthy recipes that appeal to them. Additionally, it will teach them skills on budgeting, cooking and preparing food.

Taking part in the online trend of #mealprepsunday may not result in gaining Arnold size muscles, but the gains in your fitness goals will be comparable. Check back tomorrow where I will share some of our favorite recipes and more tips on making your #mealprepsunday smoother!

Happy Running!