In-Season Off Season

After tomorrow (or today’s) race depending on when this gets published, I have decided to take an off season.

My body is telling me it’s time. I could push it and train for something, but I am not emotionally invested enough in a race to do so.

Two halfs, an ultra and a very busy job has done me in for now. I woke up this morning feeling like I ran a marathon yesterday, and it was just my job and a light training day.

This is not right nor safe for a racing schedule, at least not for me.

I will take this off season to rest and heal my body both mentally and physically, use the results from Inside Tracker to help with nutrition and just, enjoy the warm weather in Syracuse.

Rest, heal and explore.

When I first moved to Ithaca, I was not racing, just building a consistent running base. I allowed myself to explore, go on runs where I didn’t know the distance or pace, get lost.

When I moved to Syracuse, I started a training plan where I ran on the treadmill because the winter was awful and I had no idea where I was. Syracuse is a city, Ithaca is a crunchy town. Difference.

I built up, got niggles. Training for Caumsett 50K interrupted and I didn’t do it.

I built back up. Raced the Syracuse half and Naked Prussian, got a niggle and training was interrupted again. I’ve been on and off since then nursing an Achilles niggle.

Work has gotten extremely busy, but insanely satisfying as well. I enjoy the environment, my coworkers are great and it’s what I want to be doing. However, my 8-9 hour workday is a training session in itself. I did not account for this in my weekly mileage or attempt to recover more from this. I simply expected my body to adapt.

Stress upon stress does not lead to adaption.

Rest leads to adaption.

So that’s where I’m at. I am healing my Achilles. Allowing my body and mind to relax. Getting to know my city so when I decide to train again, I will be more familiar.

I am deciding to be more focused on recovering from my daily job stress than attempting to crank out 90 mile weeks.

I am deciding to take the advice from Inside Tracker and apply it as best I can, but not obsessively. Honestly I don’t want to think about that too much, about nutrition for myself right now, so I’m giving them the reigns and I will follow the instructions.

I may not have run Boston or Lake Sonoma or anything like that, but my body has the fatigue of a fast marathon or ultra and it is telling me to relax and enjoy May in whatever way I choose.

See you out there…eventually 🙂

Why I’ve decided to work with Inside Tracker

There are things in life you can control and things you can’t. As a runner without the monetary access to state of the art facilities, coaches and chefs, it is important for me to optimize the opportunities I do have.

I know that one of the most important parts of training is diet and recovery. Diet in a sense that as an endurance athlete, I need to get in all the nutrients required for daily living…at a minimum. Let me explain this a bit. Rather than thinking about diet in terms of calories or macros, I think of it in nutrients. I must eat enough things and of diverse quality to get everything in. 100% of my daily recommendations for vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium and the like.

Some days this bare minimum is 2,000 calories, some days it’s 5,000 calories, some days I get all the nutrients from 1,000 calories (when I’m eating nutrient dense, but calorically sparse foods like kale or spinach etc). However, just because I have all the nutrients in those calories does not mean I am done eating. Bare minimum means that I need to make sure I get in all the basic nutrients. The dessert I eat every night is the filler, the calories that make life fun, the emotional support I sometimes need and the calories that give me the energy to run everyday.

Basically what I am trying to say is it’s important to me to get in that base level of nutrients everyday.

In a long winded way, this brings me to Inside Tracker. I have wanted to get blood work done after my ultra season training simply because I knew I did damage, I just didn’t know how bad it was. Running 30+ miles is no joke to the body. Unfortunately, my insurance isn’t the greatest for this type of thing, so I decided to wait until I was done paying for school in July to get it done.

By chance, I was given the opportunity from Inside Tracker to get my blood taken and profiled for a bit less than my insurance. In addition to the niggles and slight injuries I’ve had this season and the fact that my emotions are all over the place, I was at a point where when they contacted me, I was very open.

I want to feel good again. All the time, not just here and there.

I am working on this psychologically, but I think that if Inside Tracker identifies a nutrient deficiency or something I can add to naturally feel better, I’m all for it.

Vegan. The elephant in this blog post.

I have made it no secret I think being vegan is an optimal way to live. I also admit that although I am a health coach, I do not know everything nor do I know what foods are perfect for my body. I know how I feel after eating certain things, but that’s about it. Using Inside Tracker will help me identify what foods will support me in both my vegan and athletic goals. I will take all their recommendations that follow an ethical vegan diet. I will stand by what I’ve always known to be true and that is I did not go vegan for health, I went vegan because I want to live my morals and ethics concerning non-violence, compassion and love toward all beings.

Today, as of writing this, I’ve had my blood draw and await the results.

Look for part 2 in the coming weeks.

Must Watch YouTube Channel: A Case Of The Jills

As an athlete who deals with female issues, I came across the blog Trail Sisters. On that blog, I read a post called Female Athlete Triad, Or Not? by Jill Puelo.

I enjoyed the article very much and it is a great read. If an author writes on a subject that piques my interest, I try to find more from them. This lead me to Jill’s blog and YouTube channel. I really enjoyed her writing and the videos, so I thought I would share them.

If you have any questions about periods, the female athlete triad or other issues, I encourage you to watch her videos or send her an email.

Your Life Does NOT Need a Disclaimer

When I go looking for different products to use, whether it’s running shoes, peanut butter or something as small as toothpaste, I like to see where the opinion of the person/blog/business I am asking is coming from.

Let me clarify, I want to know if the person telling me to buy Brooks running shoes is being sponsored by or affiliated with Brooks.

I want to know if the person telling me all the amazing things about a specialty $10 jar of peanut butter was given the product to sample and rave about.

Usually, there is a disclaimer towards the bottom or the side or a sponsors page (I have one too) letting others know their connection with said brand. Honestly, that doesn’t really have too big an influence on whether I buy the product, but I think transparency is important.

Our government should be so bold, but I digress.

On the flip side, where I think this transparency or disclaimer is not appropriate is in the context of people’s lives.

Again, let me clarify. I do not think giving your opinion about something, and then saying “but I am not the best at this so…” or “I am not an [insert expert here]”

I find people degrade their own opinions almost before they give them. In the same way I mentioned in this post, people feel the need to defend their food choices.

Why is this? Why must we put a disclaimer on how we feel? Why must we automatically put down our own intelligence as soon as we say something we feel passionately about? After all, it’s only one person’s opinion and not everyone has to agree. The people reading should know that or they should not be reading.

I am sad for the people who start a sentence with “I’m a bad [insert descriptive word here], but this is what I have to say…”

Simply SAY IT!

DO NOT put yourself down, or degrade your opinions. You are a human being, a person, and all your opinions are valid.

These same people are the ones who fish for compliments. I also wrote about accepting the compliment and saying thank you.

“Oh, I ran a sub-20:00 5K, but you ran a sub 19:00 5K so my accomplishment is not as good as yours. You’re better than me.”

Arg, just stop it.

You do not need to have a disclaimer on your life or your opinions. You do not need to always justify your bold opinion or water down the way you feel.

Just say what you mean. It’s so much simpler that way.

Slow down kid, you’ve got time

Sometimes, I forget that I am 25 years old.

Really, my coworker asked me the other day and I said 26. Then I corrected myself…three hours later.

I forget that I am relatively new to things, like running, like living on my own, like managing a business. Even though I feel competent in these areas, in the grand scheme of things, I have a long way to go.

That revelation has been the crucial thing that has provided respite this past week. I have a slight injury in my shin that has prevented me from running and makes my racing plans for the year unsolidifiable. I can’t really make concrete plans when I am not engaging in the activity.

I was really depressed about this last week. (Side note, it’s only been just over a week that I haven’t ran, so it’s not like it’s been that long) I thought my life was over. I felt like I was letting people down. People who believe in me, help me in my training and want to see me do well. I felt like I was letting myself down. I was really fit. I was ready to crush something. This injury was sustained basically at my job.

Stress in life combined with training stress built up and manifested in my shin.

At least it’s not a heart attack am I right?

Anyway, I was really sad because I want running to be my life. I see my friends and other runners doing so well and it’s incredible. I want that to be me!

But it’s not. Those runners are different. Those runners have a greater training age (ran in college and high school etc). Those runners are not me.

I am only capable of what my body can do. Right now my body is coping with a major life change. I moved, I changed jobs, I have a lot more responsibility in that job, I am in school, my new city is different and learning the roads is difficult. There is a lot on my mind!

I have had to accept my limits right now. I will run again when my leg feels better. I am blessed I can still walk, cross train and do most everything. Honestly, I haven’t tried running because I can feel my shin when I move in certain ways. I’m not going to rush into it because I don’t want anything worse to happen. When I can, I’ll run.

I have so many good years of running ahead of me. I am 25 years old. My training age is 4.

I have time. I love running. That will keep me coming back. Fast or slow. Road or trail.

Good things take time. I’ll wait.