Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life & Training

I'm exhausted today and in a very bad mood.  I overslept and wanted to oversleep some more. I was late for work. My boss is pissing me off. I asked for less ice in my iced latte and instead of cheering me up it pissed me off more because they filled the whole cup up with ice and I paid $4 for it. I even bought a really cute skirt and shoes on sale, and I'm still not happy. So, I took a deep breath and realized that I've been really just building my base so far this year, and now I feel like I'm training again.  For those of you either training for your first big, long distance race, or dealing with me, I thought I'd summarize the (read: my) body's reaction to training.

I remember reading that you should add your weekly mileage in minutes per night of more sleep. So, if you run 60 miles a week, you should sleep an extra hour every night.  This is why I can get 8 hours of sleep and still be exhausted. But trying to run 60 miles a week, sleep 9 hours, and work 40 hours, is rather difficult. Running 120 miles, sleeping 10 hours, and working 40 hours is impossible. And no, sleep cannot be substituted with coffee.

While overall, training will give you more energy, it doesn't happen on days you run 12 miles before showing up to the office so expect to feel worn out. But, I can feel it on a rest day that I have more energy.

Get ready for your appetite to spike. You will be hungry All. The. Time. Plan to have food ready:
  • Before running.
  • After running.
  • Breakfast.
  • Mid-morning snack.
  • Pre-lunch workout.
  • Lunch 1.
  • Lunch 2.
  • Dinner.
  • Dessert.
  • Midnight snack.
I find that when I don't adequately prepare, I get hungry and irritable, and leave the office 6 times a day for a crappy snack. So I claim a spot in the fridge and keep a lot of food at work.  A person my height/weight will only burn 1300-1400 calories if they weren't active... about how much I burn on a run/strength training workout with recovery. So, I make the joke that I'm eating for two.

MESSED-UP LADY SCHEDULE (men: skip this)
My PMS stage (a week or two before the start of my period) is blown out of proportion. I'm twice as irritable, I need my food cravings, I'm so, so, so exhausted all the time, my work-outs suck, and I can't schedule a race during this time. Also, my periods are much more frequent. They are really early, which is better than being really late I guess. Yesterday mine came 5 days early.

A good thing! Yay! I feel so great about my bod during training. Even if I don't lose weight, I am so impressed by how it handles everything that my negative body issues disappear for a while (remember this post?). If your libido dies away, you're over-training.

With the impending 100 mile race, my new, challenging running partners, and my feeling out of shape and slow, I've stepped it up the past few weeks. I'm strength training more. I'm focused on my pace. I'm trying to fit in more hills. And, I can feel it. On Tuesday, I ran with some elite ultra runners and talked with Matt Woods (who won the North Face 50 miler) over pizza. His peak weeks are 90-120 miles, with a full-time job. I asked him how stressful that was, and his response was (paraphrased) "You have no life. I tried to fit in a few group runs and a movie night so that I kept my sanity. That was the extent of my social life."  It doesn't sound promising.


  1. Wow, this was great. I know the whole eating thing - it's insane. Now that I've started training more, I'm hungry like the wolf! ANd sleep - yep, insane to fit it all in. Can't wait to follow your journey. So exciting!