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Mother of all blog posts- Race, Nutrition & more....

It is 1 week since I ran the Mississauga Half Marathon in 1:55:29. It was hands down my best race ever and I have been digesting it all week. I have wanted to blog about it but was too busy, and now there's so much more to blog about! I'm going to back it up from here:

Congruent with my strategic approach to motivation I booked this weekend "off" to study for a course exam- I have been procrastinating. By blocking off the time I looked forward to having a "college girl" weekend of books rewarded with good food and beer. This is what I have been munching on today (I warn you this post will be food picture heavy, but you guys always ask me what I eat!). Last night we hit the Apple Factory in Brampton where the produce was not only A+ but also inexpensive. We bought these beautiful sprouts, cranberry goat cheese, blackberry syrup and so much more! The hummus is a homemade refried bean/chick pea dip with tahini, lemon and no garlic- I do like it plain. This was nutritious fuel for my studious brain.

This was post race recovery week for me and I was back to business-as-usual with food. I admit I struggle replenishing post race quickly- it usually takes me a couple of days to get back on track. Honestly I think my body is just in shock for awhile. I had a friend for dinner this week and this is what we served: homemade salsa verde, guac, sourcream & some strange pickled hot pepper that I don't eat ;) We served it with chips and it was a delicious appetizer. For dinner Ben made scallops in vermouth with homemade pasta, asparagus, brussel sprouts & steamed greens with homemade dressing.
This was 2 full meals for me. I ate the 2nd one the following day and it was just as good!

Mid week the guys and I busted out a pretty intense workout in the gym. We logged some reps and I was sore for several days. I had several clients on Monday after my race and have worked out every day since in some capacity. I am trying to make a push so I am rolling with it!

Post race I tried to get back to basics with a focus on replenishment and protein to build upon the exertion I just spent, which looked like this: couscous/quinoa, raw veggies, chicken, mushrooms, greens, bean salad, mmmmm. And also like this (a variation): chicken with pan fried veggies, egg-foo with greens, bean sprouts and red peppers with red wine! I definitely replenished in a healthy way. There might have been a (big) bag of potato chips in there somewhere too :)

Coming off my carbo flush last week did take a full 2 days. This was my pre-race meal, as I'd planned: bean salad, mushrooms, greens, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, smoothie. It was perfect and I felt great nutritionally after my strategic week of food planning. It was my first attempt at carbo flush/load pre-race and I felt ready for race day. I had hydrated diligently for 2 days, which I felt offset the few beer I drank on Friday night :)

My clients scoff when I say that I lack discipline. I have what I like to call "big picture discipline", but sometimes in the moment I cave (like everyone else hehe). I drank beer Saturday night and stayed up too late. I woke up late at 6AM with a 7:30AM race. I was not motivated to eat oatmeal nor rush around to do it. I had a banana and coffee, 1 bite of a protein bar; I took a smoothie that I tossed out. Go figure. Pre-race nutrition plan blown in the blink of an eye. It was an intuitive morning and I just went with my gut.

I made it to the race by 7AM and the parking situation was different! The lot I typically use on race day was closed off and I had to circle around following cars to find another lot. I didn't find any of my runners in the agreed upon spot and was lined up to pee at 7:22. Kill me. By the time I found the start line they were singing the national anthem. At the risk of being rude I went forward, found a few of my runners, wished them well with hugs and continued to look for my running buddy Wayne amidst the thousands lined up. I squeezed towards the 1:45 pace bunny down the middle and I swear when I found Wayne and hugged him they began the 10-second countdown. That was a charmed start and I was so excited! We couldn't believe I found him and I admit I had started to panic a little :)

It was a typically fabulous race with warm perfect weather, clear sunny skies and a lot of really nice exchanges with runners along the route. The upshot is we ran a 1:55. I could have run faster but Wayne was doing SO well in his first ever half marathon that I could not leave him. We finished together in a very respectable time and had a great camaraderie that left me very uplifted.

For me performance wise I feel the progress I have earned. My RPE on the run was about the same as my postpartum race in 2010- about a 14 (moderate). My time that year was 2:06 so I figure I shaved 10 minutes off the same effort. Last year I ran a 1:51 with an RPE of about 16. I figure with a ramped up RPE a 1:45 is very achievable. I am very happy with my race pics. I look relaxed and happy and my form is great. I consider it a PB, and that's not loser talk :)

I'll also say that there is no doubt in my mind that my pre-race week nutrition SAVED me when race morning got chaotic. Big picture discipline trumps momentary interruptions. Now there's a lesson in turtle training :)


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