Last week I ran...a lot. A 40 mile week with 27 of it over the weekend. I had one more heavy week ahead of me and then the taper begins for the Marshall Mangler 50k (my first 50k!). After the 20 mile long run I felt like a million bucks! No soreness...nada! This has been starting to happen more as I have slowed my long runs down. Slow and easy..just enjoying the run groove.
So Sunday comes along and I go out for a 3-4 mile recovery run at Boyce Park, my handy dandy go to place for trail running just 10 minutes from home. Hey, I know this place, right? I've run here a bit..I mean I wouldn't get lost. Well, I didn't get lost per say....but I did take a wrong turn somewhere on the blue trails and 4 miles turned into 7. Normally, no biggie. At mile 6 I bonked. I've never bonked before really. I mean, sure I've hit a wall or two near the end of a marathon, but this was different. I wasn't sore or tired even. It was an overwhelming lethargy. I couldn't carry on. I'd try to run a little and just slow up to a walk.
Monday was a much needed rest day. Tuesday I ran a slow and rough 5 miles of hills. Wednesday night I went over to Frick park for a 4-5 miler...bonk! Tunnel vision, gotta sit right-this-second bonk at a mile and a half in. I walked back to the car feeling woozy and defeated. After asking around on my favorite running groups I decided to try a few things before seeing the MD.
I began by looking at my diet. I had problems not taking in enough calories in the past and had to dial my munching in to my training regiment. I was certainly eating enough! More than enough. What was I eating? Well, everything in sight. I feed like a hobbit: 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, brunch, lunch, onesies, snack, 2nd lunch/1st dinner, dinner, snacks and off to bed. What I found was I wasn't getting nearly enough carbohydrates for the workload I had my body under.
Carbs! How did I miss you? Delicious breads and pastas and rice and sweet taters and bananas and..... I had been following an adapted form of the Paleo diet. For those who don't know the paleo diet is essentially a lifestyle. It is eating foods with no preservatives, additives, no GMOs or crap. No processed foods, no refined sugars. Instead the diet consists of lean protein and healthy fats and low carbohydrates. This means mostly organic produce and fruits, nuts, seeds, and meats. Now when I say adapted paleo I mean I put more carbs in. Active folks need more carbs than the paleo diet typically allows for. Even as such I was not getting nearly enough carbs. At my body weight and training I should get around 500-800 grams of carbs a day. I was probably getting closer to 300-400 grams.
The solution: Two rest days with good, healthy eating including around 600 grams of carbs per day. I also ate a more substantial breakfast than I normally have before going out for my long Saturday run. A banana, oatmeal,and coffee instead of the normal banana and coffee. I went out to try and salvage the training week with a long run on the race course at North Park. Due to time constraints I got 14 miles in at race pace before I needed to leave. Annnnnd...it felt great! I am a man with a plan!
I am now tracking my approximate caloric intake and carb intake daily until I get into the swing of it. And I should consider buying stock in sweet potatoes. Gotta say the return of bread and pasta is nice!