Saturday, December 6, 2008

Will Run for Food

One of my favorite parts of the recovery-eating obsession is picking out the healthy foods I’ll eat after a run. Granted, I get consumed in it sometimes during a run, but it works in other ways too.

Runner’s lunches, for instance, have become bigger carrots in my training regimen than the old cupcake trick of 2007.

What’s a runner’s lunch? It’s a delicious but healthy recovery meal (like everything bagels and green antioxidant-rich protein shakes or seduction bread with pomegranate and grilled chicken) that I take to work and can only eat if I run during lunch. Works like a charm.

I’ve worked my new job since early January 2008, and I never ran during lunch until October! While I had been content to train after work or in the mornings, the month off after Akron and the time change really threw me for a loop this year. Because I’ve never run during this time of year, I wasn’t prepared for that shift. Lucky for me, I have the option to make a change.

It took many attempts to get my butt out of the office during the day. Finally, I brought a bagel-and-shake combo, which I could only eat if I ran my workout, to put me over the edge. And it’s worked ever since. It helps that I don’t bring a backup lunch—so it’s either run or starve—and love the stuff I bring to eat. What can I say? I’m all about incentives.

And Thursday’s run was chock full of rewards. Not only did I have a healthy Whole Foods bean burrito and bialy bagel waiting for me, I trucked up Cedar Hill for 2x30-second hill repeats and through the Heights for a 4.5-miler that ended running down Mayfield hill in Little Italy (I intend on remembering the feeling of running down that hill next time I do 6x60-second repeats up that thing!).

Recovery or not, Friday hit me hard. It had much more to do with a stressful month than running, but I crashed hard at the end of the day. I took a much-needed nap and didn’t do much else Friday but crab and eat. But I did celebrate the 21st Amendment anniversary with my brother, Neil and Greg at Willoughby Brewing Company at night. And I was reminded why I don’t drink alcohol anymore.

No quips here about people drinking; it’s just never been for me. I spent a few months in college becoming an Irish whiskey expert, but alcohol has always hit me hard for days no matter how much or little I drank.

Like the ¾ pint of IPA I drank last night. Blah! The beer was fine (as was the bread pudding with turkey butter I ate with it) and didn’t affect me much last night. But I woke up today feeling groggy and way too yuck. My head feels heavy and my body’s so bloated.

It was a struggle to push through my 5-mile Fartlek (which didn’t get started until some time around noon) and I kept damning myself for doing something I knew was bad for me. Even if I was totally responsible about it. I guess the 21st Amendment just isn’t for all of us. Some people should be bound to their own prohibition.

Good news is I welcomed myself back from the run with another burrito-and-bagel recovery, complete with antioxidant-rich tea and a probiotic shake. So, it may be all mental—the alcoholic downside, the recovery-meal upside—but it all works for me.


triguyjt said...

I'm with you...I am not much of a guy for its been 26 years since i drank... don't miss it...
good job on the hill repeats...I will have to run the cedar road hill with you some time...or little italy...