“People ask why I run. I say, “if you have to ask, you’ll never understand.” It is something only those select few know. Those who put themselves through pain, but know, deep down, how good it really feels.”
It’s time to get out of bed! Get up! Let’s Go!
It’s Tuesday, day one of training at 4:03 a.m. and we’re slightly rushing because we slept in (we should really had got up at 3:45 a.m.). After grasping the reality that I’m up at 4:00 a.m., getting dressed, making sure that I have all my stuff, snacks, water, Gatorate and my inseparable companion, MAsshole, (my GARMIN Forerunner 610), I was so ready to go. Kurt’s facial expression looked sleepy and confused, but I was wicked excited about it.
We arrived right on time thanks to zero traffic. At 5:00 a.m., all blips of GARMINs went off as if it was the sound of a horn or a gun going off on race day. About 400-something “crazy runners” signed up for the training program that offers a morning and evening workout – from super-experienced to somewhat-experienced runners, it appeared that everyone had a good reason to be there. It really felt like it was race day with so many people present and ready to run at 5:00 a.m. on a hot and humid summer morning.
Kurt and I had been warming up for the past 3 weeks leading up to training’s commencement by logging in at least 9 miles per week. On our first day of training, we were scheduled to run 4 miles and that’s what we did. Considering the 94% humidity and 72°F degree weather, we were pleased with our 4.06 miles in 42:27, a 10:28 pace, for being our first run and at an unusual time (5:00 a.m.) for us since most of our training had been after 5:00 p.m. or around 8:00 a.m. in the weekends. But who would want to run after 7:00 a.m. during summer season in Florida? I will take the 5:00 a.m.
Being a participant in the marathon training program has proved that adjustments not only happen in getting the body ready for the increasing mileage, running under high temperatures and humidity levels, and adapting to getting up at 3:45 a.m.; plus heading right to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in my case. It has proved that somehow I must adapt and maneuver my schedule to make sure that I create time and energy to do the required homework, chores and enjoy life. That is, going to the gym for cross training, stretching, meditating, sleeping, finding the time to cook, doing house work, running errands, socializing, being a wife and a pet-mom to my awesome dog R2-D2. Yes, prep-time does not happen only the day before training. It’s a continuing effort of getting things done well with a big smile on the face.
Of the several adjustments I’m learning to master, nutrition has been the least challenging. Nutrition has been an important part of my life style for the past 13 years as I have transitioned to a vegetarian diet; consequently, to a plant-based diet for the past 4 years. My nutrition consists of absolutely no meat of any kind but I’m incorporating a strict-limited selection of cheese and organic/cage free/vegetarian feed eggs within hours after my runs.
It’s my intention to adapt to this high-intensity training solely on a plant-based nutrition. After all, animal byproduct food contains no fiber and it’s acidic. Going to the farmers market on Saturday’s mornings is a necessity; the price and freshness of produce is unbeatable. Making time for cooking has become a bigger part of planning for the week. I’m a lucky wife to have a husband that shares the same nutritional ideals and style as I do. Kurt helps me out with the cooking of our meals when I’m super-busy doing other chores in the house.
Another way in which I (we) have revamped a healthier nutritional habit is turning into a smoothieaholic. Kurt makes the best goji berries smoothie. Here’s his “secret” recipe. (Be aware that I’m not crazy for recipe measurements. I just go by feel based on the serving portion I intend to make. Also, I’m obviously not a doctor and I’m just sharing what works for me. You know your body better than anyone else; do what works for you.)
- Goji berries: it’s my favorite superfruit containing all essential amino acids, the highest concentration of protein of any fruit, loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, loaded with trace of minerals, high on fiber, and boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents.
- Pea protein powder: my favorite pea protein powder is from Source Naturals. It’s all vegan, Non-GMO and dense without a weird-funny after taste.
- Silk Coconut milk
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil (okay, here’s my measurement for this one: 1 tablespoon per serving)
- Avocado seed: yes, avocado seed! It’s a superfood that contains tons of phytochemical that are only present in live food. I usually use a quarter size of a hass avocado seed per serving
We blend everything in our super-amazing 1,560-watt with 3HP direct-drive motor countertop Blendtec Blender. Cheers!
I must say that the week has been intense. On training day-2 of Week 1, I just crashed on the bed after getting back home from work. Waking up on Saturday morning after an already long week was not easy either. But we did it. It felt that getting up to go to work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 a.m. is a sleeping in day. On Sunday, well, my eyes were wide open at 5:40 a.m. Kurt, on the other hand, is making sure to enjoy every minute he can sleep in on the mornings he is allowed to sleep in.
Happy Training! Happy Journey! Happy Run!
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.”