Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And Now Back to Food Week…

One of the advantages to my obsessor’s mind is that it’s pretty easy to wrangle myself free of one object when I’ve found a better object over which to obsess. Case in point: the recovery meal.

Did I mention the power of the recovery meal? Well, let me just tell you about the power of the recovery meal.

Lately it’s been some combination of bagels and protein smoothies or Teahouse Noodles’ pad thai with chicken, tofu and fresh veggies. Whatever my recovery meal, it’s light and delicious, chock full of antioxidants, lean protein and carbs. We’ll call it the magic three.

Because eating (actually, I should say enjoying food) has long been a huge motivator, it was only a matter of time before I found a new way to use it in my training. Sure, the dessert goal helped me reach my first 30-mile month and the cupcake bar pushed me to break my first 8:00/mile race. But what could be next?

Now it’s not about reach singular goals. It’s bigger carrot this time. And a tad more advantageous that some of the sweets I’ve craved in the past.

In a previous post I mentioned that I bring a “runner’s lunch” to work on days when I plan to run. And I can only eat the lunch if I am, in fact, a runner that day. There’s no “I’ll run after work” or “I’ll double up tomorrow.” I have to earn my recovery meal with something from which to recover. Like a quality workout.

So far it’s worked every time.

The downside, of course is that it might work too well. My training plan calls for Mondays off, which works perfectly with my schedule because I always have meetings galore on Mondays and feel weeks behind by Monday afternoon. Sad, huh?

But I worked my butt off to get a bunch of work-related things done this weekend and hit Monday feeling just as burned out as they say you should when you over do it.

Two morning meetings later: BOOM! No motivation to do anything at all. Let alone get a day ahead in my training schedule. Shame, too… it was such a perfect day. Sigh.

What did it? Well, it wasn’t the bag of running gear staring me in the face all day or the sunshiney weather. No. It was the normal lunch in the fridge. Where’s the motivation in that?

So, I made it home and took a nap before hitting the bike for 20 lazy minutes. Obsessing over adequate sleep should be my next goal.

Then came Tuesday morning—rainy, dark, miserable Tuesday morning. I couldn’t drag myself out of bed for my morning pilates and laughed as I packed my recovery meal. “As if…” My brain was hardly functioning and, again, motivation to do anything was pretty low.

Then lunchtime crept around. I had an everything bagel in my drawer just waiting to be warmed and enjoyed while a vanilla-almond protein smoothie was chilling in the fridge. And the only thing that stood between me and the goodies: running.

It was a no-brainer! I got up, changed and ran into the rainy day!

But I wasn’t outside for long. I ran to the rec. center track where I covered 4.5 miles at 8:50/mile, followed by various drills including 2x20-second skipping, bounding, high knees and no arms. And I had plenty left at the end of the workout to run an extra mile roundtrip to get a work bud a chai to sweeten her crappy day.

Six miles down, I settled in with my warm bagel and smoothie. Totally worth it.


TrainingtoTri said...

mmmm cupcakes. I am dreaming of a peanut butter and chocolate one right now! Thanks!

triguyjt said...

YOu guys and your cupcakes.....


GP said...

It's true... I have a problem. I'm suffering from a severe buttercream and ganache deficiency. It's a difficult predicament. But at least there's a cure ;-)