Reflection: Weeks 16 – 18 (Fine Tuning – Coach and Diet)
I sort of had a breakdown four weeks ago after my long run with TCLA (Track Club LA). We ran 21 miles of the LA Marathon course and although it was helpful to get reacquainted with the course, I instead felt like it discouraged me more than ever. I know that if I hadn’t made my commitment to help raise funds for the Concern Foundation, I would reconsider running it at all. Click here to read my post workout re-cap (or complaint). The actual run itself wasn’t that bad. I guess I was just so unsure of myself that everything around the race seemed that way.
That day was just the icing on the cake as one would say and I was a wreck. I guess I had been second-guessing all my training recently. I see the improvement and I won’t deny that, but I have basically been following a Hal Higdon program (which I love and strongly recommend) that I customized for myself in hopes of running a sub-3 marathon in 2011. Partly knowing that I was responsible for my stress fracture last year and also realizing that for the past 16 weeks running had been on the forefront of all my priorities (in front of work, social, etc.), I was afraid that I could cause another sidelining injury by making another rookie mistake. I also realized I should maximize the time that I was already putting in. That makes sense, right?
Soon after that I made a decision to call on a coach that was referred to me. I had already researched various online coaching programs including Greg McMillan but I wasn’t quite convinced those programs would work for me. Let’s not forget that in our running world everyone had their own running advice to give us and it is always different from the next person. Confusing. This particular coach had and has a great deal of athletes who are performing exceptionally well so I felt more comfortable.
I don’t want to get into details about the goals the coach has for me later this year because I don’t think it is a good idea to get too far ahead of myself and I really want to reach my current goals first. I hired this coach at the start of my 16thweek (of a 20 week program) and we both knew that my performance at LA may or may not be as a direct result of the recent coaching/training but a result of my current training base. I already feel a major difference in my performance and I think that is simply because she has me running really fast track workouts and tempos and also has me run marathon race pace at the end of my long runs. Running under 7 minute miles at any given time is much, much easier than it has ever been before. Kinda like the 6:45 is the new 7:30. Yes!
Anyway, I really, really enjoy having a coach. I just do what she says and I let her do all the thinking and calculating. We speak very regularly and also communicate via text and emails. She doesn’t let me slack at all and if I don’t update her after a hard workout, I can expect to hear from her. Also knowing she is a professional athlete who has ran a 2:33 full and 1:10 half makes me believe what she says wholeheartedly.
I have also been ordered to take specific supplements which are supposed to increase my recovery and keep me well oiled like a nice engine. HAHA Here is the list:
Udo’s Oil 3 6 9 Blend (not the pill form)
Apple Cider Vinegar (organic – Bragg brand)
Calcium Magnesium & Zinc (Trader Joe’s)
B- Complex (Trader Joe’s)
Multi-Vitamin (Whole Foods) – she didn’t tell me to take it and I am not sure I should but right now I am.
Finally, starting this Sunday after my last long run, I will immediately go into a no-carb diet until the Thursday before my race. I will basically be eating greens, bananas, salmon, chicken and other meats. Thursday night before the marathon, I will include complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc. I cannot eat starchy carbs like pasta and regular potatoes. For dinner on Friday I will have salmon, brown rice, sweet potatoes, a slice of bread and if I choose, a desert. I have already been warned that I will feel weak and grumpy but if I can get through those 5 days, I will feel fully energized once I get the carbs back in and during my race. You probably know this is similar to ketosis where your body will use fat for it’s main source of energy since it was recently starved. I am not an expert here but there is a lot of info available online about this and you can check it out for more details. I am going to get a better list of items to eat though because I am going to get bored really quickly if I am only eating those items listed. I hope she doesn’t start reading my blogs – if she does, I am sure I will need a whole new diet re-haul! I eat so much crap!
I am hoping this fine-tuning is just what I need to get to that next level. To be honest, at this point I don’t intend on training for marathons in 2012 or beyond – I want to get my personal life back! I want to have free time to use my sewing machine again. I want to make jewelry again. I want to get damn running club started. I want to wear high-heels again. I want to actually have time to blow out my hair in the morning instead of going to work with my wet hair in a ponytail and braid! …But I must first reach my goal and prove to myself that if I really put everything into it, I can do it.
Anyway, that is what is up right now and until LA Marathon. If you are serious about reaching your goals and are interested in getting a coach, send me a private message so I can get you her details. I hope I answered some of you questions about what I have been doing, especially the diet things. Hope to hear from you all!