The Runner's Reward

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Plans in Flux and Jars of Oatmeal

I am about five weeks into training for the Pittsburgh Marathon. This time around training I'm running more miles, eating better, and training smarter.  I've upped the load by about 10 miles per week as a starting point compared to previous training cycles and have active recovery or step back weeks on every third week. Regular crosstraining, varying terrain, and planned rotating speed sessions are in he mix. I am feeling great and looking forward to the increase in mileage ahead.

I say I'm training for the Pittsburgh Marathon and that is true, but really it is the first in a 3 part trial hopefully leading up to a qualification for the Marathon Maniacs.  If all goes well the period from May 3rd to June 27th is going to be intense...and awesome!

May 3rd- Pittsburgh Marathon
June 6th- God's Country Marathon (rated one of the 10 toughest marathons by Runners World)
June 27th- Hell Hath No Hurry 50k trail  
June 28th-July 1st, Sleep and eat
July 2nd- eat more
July 3rd and 4th - light fireworks, drink, and eat more
July 5th - start training for a PR at the Akron Marathon

At the end of January I had 120 miles over 23 runs, the most runs I have taken in a month and close to my max monthly mileage. Excited doesn't begin to cover it.

In the past I would have been fairly wiped out with this much training early on. There are three things that I have improved on that have made all the difference:
1. Crosstraining regularly - hitting the gym and working the whole body; core, lower and upper body
2. A solid base of miles behind me - months and months of fairly consistent 20-25 mile weeks and a two month easy running period as a "break"
3. A good nutrition plan.

I could blab on about all three points, but I'll briefly mention nutrition. Tara, my better half,  sent me a link for a recipe a while back. Oatmeal jars.  I had been meaning to make some up and try it, but I didn't actually do it until recently.  Best. Recovery. Meal. Period. 

Oatmeal Jars
Take a half pint mason jar and put some good old fashioned organic rolled oats in it. Fill about half the jar. Add in a tablespoon or two or three of organic chia seeds, add organic whole milk yogurt, grass fed whole milk and fruit.  I have tried blueberries and strawberries so far. (You can get frozen organic blueberries and strawberries at Aldi on the cheap! ..and a lot of other organic yummies). Mix it all up. Maybe add some spices..I put some cinnamon in my strawberry jars.

There are a million ways to use this recipe. Fiddle with it. Try your favorites. Since I have started eating these post run my energy is more stable and I am not starving and binging on everything in sight afterward, though after the last 13 mile run I did have to stop by Vanilla Pastry Studio for one of their amazing cupcakes. Okay, I bought three..but one and a half were for Tara....don't judge me.  :-)

One of the great truths of running is there is always more to learn, whether it be about running itself or about ones self. Learning can come in the form of books, articles, timely advice. For me it usually comes in the form of pain and my attempts to correct the causal factors.  Always a challenge, always a joy.

So raise a glass of Nuun with me and toast the inevitable cycle of learning, growing, and reaching new heights. Happy running and happy training to everyone out there

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