Today was a day of rest, AND my first day of training for a program called Girls on the Run!!! It's a wonderful program that teaches girls to feel great about who they are, encourage and respect one another and their differences, contribute to their community, AND run a 5K!!! I feel so blessed to be a part of this, and I can't wait to start working with the girls.
As far as my health is concerned, I got some recent blood tests back, and apparently I am in excellent health! Even my iron is good (take that doubters!:)). Thyroid's a teensy bit low but not awful.
Now, onto training reflections. In Brendan Brazier's book, Thrive, he talks about wanting to be an Ironman and researching how other professional athletes achieved their success. What he noticed was that training was pretty similar across the board; however, what people ATE could often be very different. And so he surmised that if he could create a diet that speeded up and shortened his necessary recovery time, he could train more, therefore gaining ground on the other athletes.
With an incredible amount of information, he turned to a completely plant-based diet, and has had amazing results. One thing he mentions that I decided to address in MY training this weekend was the pre-run snack as fuel, and the post-run snack to help the muscles recover. Running anything up to an hour is considered Level 1 intensity by him; he suggests consuming simple carbohydrates for immediately accessible energy; something high in glucose, which goes straight to the liver to be used for immediate energy. He also suggests pairing glucose with fructose, found in high amounts in fruits like bananas, papayas, etc. Fructose burns just a bit slower, so the two will help you with short bursts of energy (like a 30-60 minute run.)
Following your workout, rather than fasting, you should within the first 45 minutes, and something again that is easily digested because your body is already fatigued and needs to expend energy on muscle repair, not on digestion, so again, simply carbs (again the healthy kind) are the way to go.
I tested out this theory, and after both my friday and saturday runs, I ate a simple handful of raisins (a high source of glucose). Despite feeling ready for a nap, after consuming these raisins my body felt so refreshed. On Saturday, I took it one step further; I didn't have a banana handy, but I went with an apple and a couple raisins for breakfast, and was able to run the farthest I've run all week! And, again, I followed up with raisins afterwards, and my body feels excellent today. The only thing is, I think that rather than doing this as a breakfast thing (just having an apple for breakfast) I need to plan my workout for later....only eating an apple for breakfast, though it fueled me really well, left me way too famished after having not eaten for 12 hours, ya know?