Friday, July 17, 2015

Good Enough to Eat

Change will not come if we have to wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.-- Barack Obama

It's no surprise that many running blogs and websites talk about nutrition. Eat and Run by Scott Jurek is called 'Eat' and 'Run' and is peppered with recipes about different meals. Run Eat Repeat is a popular blog that talks about food daily. I have been a serious runner for some time but now I would fashion myself a low talent, freelance, emphasis on free, unpaid, professional runner. I can no longer eat whatever and hope for the best. All food consumed has true purpose.

I won't pretend that I have a nutritionist or that I fully understand the effects that each meal has on me. I will say that after a strong run, like today, or a not so strong run, like yesterday, I usually take stock of the days meal. I think about if I ate too much. Did I have too much sugar? Am I bloated from the dairy products? My favorite one is when I don't eat. If I don't have a meal and I go for an early run I usually produce stronger performances. I've experimented over the years with how much food is necessary for me to get through a half-marathon. I know that I perform solidly on an empty stomach but that performance wanes after a 10k or so.

I try to eat the right amount of food that won't weigh me down in the early part of the race but will be sufficient enough for miles nine through thirteen. It's difficult to find the right mix. One needs to experiment with what works best. Everyone has a different metabolism. Each body will burn energy differently so there is no plug and play method for what works.

The unfortunate thing is that if we are running a ton; we are generally very hungry. I don't know the exact science behind it but it seems like the hungrier I am, the more haphazard cravings I have. I know that the body may crave what it needs. The body may need protein and our conditioned image of protein may be a big steak. There are countless avenues to attain the manifestation of protein but we can't go after what we may not know exists.

The bottom line is that I am changing my diet little by little. I am not looking for a magic bullet or the Magna Carta that will change the way I use the bathroom. I reality, I don't think such things exist. I can generally eat tremendous amounts of food or nothing for sixteen hours and there aren't any books out there that can tell me which day is which and how I will perform under said circumstances. What I do understand and respect is real data and actual history.

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