Cramps and Conditions

Today’s Run

Time – 54:49
Distance – 6.4 miles
Pace – 8:32 min/mi
Elevation – 123 ft.

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Is it a cramp, or just a need for attention?  You decide.

Continuing the awesomeness that is the group run with Runwell, I got out and ran fast again. This one hurt a little bit, but that’s what the faster days are supposed to feel like, I’m told. Held pace really well, didn’t have any pain, but I did have to slow way down at mile 5 because I felt like I burned out. After a minute or so of walking, I was back at it. I’m thinking that I need to get my iron levels checked and I need to watch my water intake. Other than that, the run was good.

Cramping sucks

I’ve now been having cramps in the calves in the mornings and evenings after runs a few days a week. The chiro is telling me that it’s a calcium problem, which would make sense as I had cut out the Greek yogurt for a little while. I’ve put it back in, but looking at the foods I’m eating, I’m not see anything that looks like enough of a replacement for dairy.

Of course, I’m no doctor, which means that I only have speculation and the internet as places to go for information. Checking with a doctor is a good idea, and we should all do it. (End disclaimer)

Sources for calcium are not the simplest to come by if you don’t have milk to lean on. Green leafy vegetables like kale, foods like broccoli and almonds, and fortified orange juice are the best sources that I’m finding. There’s options through fish and other interesting items (bok choy, anyone?).

In looking at this, I’m realizing that diet is going to be the biggest thing I will have to deal with in my running. That sounds strange, but think of it this way. If you don’t have a source for good gas for your car, it doesn’t matter how much work you do on the engine, or the maintenance you schedule. The engine will eventually have issues that can’t be fixed as a part of regular maintenance.

Time for more research!

We Can Rebuild Him

Today’s Run

Time – 48:50
Distance – 5.0 miles
Pace – 9:46 min/mi
Elevation – 0 ft.

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It was just a little too cold today, so I decided to go over to the YMCA before they closed and do 5 miles on the treadmill. There is really NOTHING to watch on TV at 8:00 PM on a Friday night. It’s pretty bad. Otherwise, the run wasn’t too hard. I was feeling a little weird at the end, but I’m pretty sure that was because it was 9:00 and I was thirsty and hungry.

Humans are amazing

A child of one of my friends needed to have surgery yesterday. He’s only about 2 months old, and has a hole in his heart. It’s kind of a big deal when you think about it, but the doctors were very reassuring to my friend and his wife. They were going to take care of it, they said. And they did yesterday.

The little guy has a patch on his heart now. He’s recuperating in the hospital for the next few days, and then he’ll be heading home to get better. A few months of recovery, and he’ll be rocking and rolling, they say. Isn’t it amazing?

We humans are awesome. The time spent learning how to take care of each other, and the understanding of our bodies and our physical needs is tremendous. The things that can be done with a scalpel, some surgical thread, and a $250,000 education are beyond belief.

And then there’s our bodies themselves. They heal over time on their own. This is the biggest part of what our medicine can do. Doctors don’t necessarily fix the problem, but they put things together so that a body can fix itself. The little guy’s heart will heal as soon as they close the hole. It will build new muscle and blood vessels and nerves, and he’ll have a new part of his heart when he’s older.

That’s really what medicine is, when you think about it. It’s a body that works, and time. The first thing that makes the body work is what gets put in it. This is why I make such a deliberat push on the food I eat. It’s the only way that my body can repair itself after years of damage I’ve caused. You can’t build a house with rotten boards, broken windows, and a poor foundation. It will fall over.

The quote from Hippocrates always used in the countless food documentaries on Netflix and Hulu is, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” It’s from this same individual that we get the Hippocratic Oath, the oath that Greek doctors in the ancient world would take as they embarked on a career in medicine. Everyone remembers the part of the oath that says:

“I will do no harm”

Very few, however, know that those words are part of a larger passage:

“I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.”

Food is central to our bodies working to heal themselves. It’s the most important factor in recuperation. My friend’s son will be eating as infants do, and growing and healing quickly. The same can and should be said for the rest of us. Are we fueling our bodies to do what they can do best, or our we eating bad building materials that will break us down further?

What Did I Eat?!

Today’s Run

Time – 2:19:49
Distance – 13.2 miles
Pace – 10:32 min/mi
Elevation – 399 ft.

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Long run day. Put in miles, hit a low spot about 5.5 miles in, and struggled the rest of the way. Fueling matters. I need to eat every 6 miles for long runs, not every 7. I ate at 7 miles, and then had no energy at 12.5. Needed to eat at 6 and then again at 12. Not much is needed, maybe 200 calories. Also I need to start having more water available. I’m going through 24 oz. every hour, which is about right, but I’m still losing a lot of weight on the runs.

You Ate What?!

Long run days can be great days to learn a lot. Today I learned that espresso frappaccinos do not make good pre-run snacks…

Long Run Again

Today’s Run

Time – 2:17:45
Distance – 12.7 miles
Pace – 10:50 min/mi
Elevation – 276 ft.

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Nice sized long run today. Got up early and out the door about 7 AM. It was a long day, and I found a great route that I enjoyed in the early part of the morning. I ran out of calories and water with about 2 miles to go, which hurt. I slowed for coming back in because of it. I’ll need to adjust the food/water intake a little bit, but that’s what training is for…to figure these things out.

The Best Part of Long Runs

The best part of the long run is the reward afterwards. I’ll probably regret all the food I ate today, but it was worth it. I still ended up underneath my calorie counts for the day, which is great.

I’m really, REALLY tired, though. Hitting a 10K PR on the way to 12.7 miles will do that…

This will be a short blog tonight. I’m needing to hit the hay.

Why I Love Breakfast

Today’s Run

Time – 1:01:41
Distance – 5.89 miles
Pace – 10:29 min/mi
Elevation – 194 ft.

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Went out late today for a run as I got back from work a little behind schedule. It was a long day, to say the least, and I was really looking forward to my run. I decided that by hook or crook, I was going out running. As soon as I left, I knew this would be a run that was a “don’t-stare-at-the-watch” kind of day. So I just ran. And ran. And ran. 5.9 miles and a little over an hour later, and I was done, although I didn’t want to be.

Today is the day that I figured out that I can do this Western States thing. I know that it’s not some life-altering event to run just under 6 miles, but I felt good, I enjoyed every bit of it, and I realized that, with the right training and an adequate amount of time, I’m going to be able to do it. This is 100-mile run is going to happen.

Breakfast is the most “looked forward to” meal of the day

Is it strange to get to the end of the day, after dinner and the evening treat, and realize that you’re looking forward to eating breakfast the next morning? I’ve gotten to be like that now. Every evening I get excited about waking up and eating again. I’m not hungry when this happens. I don’t have a specific craving, per se (although I’ve been hitting the granola and Greek yogurt pretty hard as of late). I’m just amped about waking up, hitting the button on the coffee maker, and sitting with a book on the iPad in the morning and a solid breakfast. Usually it’s the Greek yogurt and Bob’s Red Mill granola or the Coconut Granola from Trader Joe’s, an apple, and a cup of coffee. Sometimes I make crepes with oat flour and brown rice flour (see recipe here), which I cover in a thin layer of Justin’s hazelnut chocolate butter. Mmm…so good.

I guess the weirdness really is that I think about these things at 9:30 at night, just about 90 minutes after dinner. It’s what gets me up in the morning. I’ve reached a point now where food has a special place because it is special. It’s not just stuffing my face with whatever garbage I would come across. Or hitting the Starbucks for a cookie and a Frappuccino at all hours of the day or night. Food, now, has a meaning. It’s fuel for the run. It’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t make my head hurt, or mess with my heart, or make my body tire and sore and break down.

Food can be good, it can be medicine, it can make me a better person physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t get as moody, the wife tells me. I have a clear head all day long, and I can tell when I get a hold of something that’s not good because I fog up almost instantly. And, most importantly, I don’t have weird pains, or aches, or acne (in my late–30’s, even!), or a layer of fat around my heart, lungs, and organs. I’m not slowly constricting the blood flow to all the parts of me, or stealing the few nutrients I was getting to give to layers of fat cells around my waist.

Food can be great for you if the food going in you is great. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to everyday.

And to think that breakfast used to consist of two Pop-Tarts and a liter of Mountain Dew. Ah, to be 22 again and able to eat anything…