Tag Archives: eating

Back on the blogging bus

I’m a wreck, and I need to get it together. I haven’t written in forever, and I think that’s a big part of it. My head is so mixed up that I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll start by trying to figure out how I got here.

This track season wasn’t the best. I came off of a really good cross country season (A few races around 18:30-19 min) and was hoping to do really well in track. Long story short, got injured and only raced a few times the last few weeks of the season, missing qualifying for nationals by 4 seconds. It was okay, I regrouped and focused on training for the summer.

I’m in Switzerland for the summer, and kind of got carried away the first couple weeks I was here. I may or may not have run a mountainous half-marathon. I may or may not have won with a pretty good time. And I may or may not have royally rucked up my Achilles in the process. So I took some time off and cross trained and dropped my mileage. It’s stressing me out right now because I should be at 60-70 miles per week, but I’m not. But it’s more important to be healthy, so I dropped off for a week, ran 27 the next week and I hit 40 this week. It’s good progress, but I’m paying really close attention to my Achilles.

Since I dropped my mileage so much I started cross training and lifting more weights. I also started following a bit stricter diet (higher protein, less crap). In theory, it would be fine, seeing as I have a goal weight for the fall when XC starts up again. In theory. In reality, I started binge-eating because my body was craving more something, and then I started eating when I wasn’t even hungry. And now I just feel like shit and even more stressed.

I also have dermatillomania. Wow, I’ve never actually said/wrote that before. It fucking sucks. I’ve been picking since I was about 10-11 (about the time I started struggling with being trans) and I loathe how out of control it makes me feel. I tried again and again to stop these last two weeks and the harder I try the worse it gets. It feels like I’ll never be able to get control of it, but I’m determined.

Today, I was laying in bed, feeling puffy from too much salt (I had two lbs of trail mix in two days :/ ), bloated from too much everything, and my face looked (still looks) like a train/lawn aeration device ran over it. I thought, Transiteration, you’re a disaster. You’ve got to get it together.

So this is where I’m at. I realize that I need to start blogging, and not for anyone but me.  I’m going to write crazy stuff, boring stuff, weird stuff, any kind of stuff, and that’s that. Half of the time it’s probably not going to make any sense. But I need to get it out because it’s eating me from the inside. Working abroad for the summer makes everything a bit lonelier and harder to deal with. I gotta take care of myself.

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Why I’m not a fan of Gatorade – but I still drink it.

You’re done with a workout, long run, whatever. Your muscles hurt, which is expected, but then they start cramping. You’ve hydrated, with sports drinks like crazy for the last few days, so you don’t know why you feel so roughed up. While your calves turn into rocks with knives sticking out of them, you rack your brain to figure out where you went wrong.

In 8 oz of Gatorade, there is 30-40 mg (less than 1% DV) of potassium. Wow.

We all know that potassium is crucial to runners (normal people need 4,000-5,000 mg a day, so I can only imagine what we need!) I think part of the reason I’ve been feeling so bloated, tired and just.. off in the last year is because I’ve increased my sodium intake without paying much attention to potassium. Sodium and potassium are both needed for our muscles and temperature regulation, but too much sodium in that ratio can make us retain a lot of water, increasing our blood pressure… making our heart work harder. Potassium is a mild diuretic, and helps stabilize the amount of sodium. Physically, when I intake more potassium I feel like my legs don’t feel so heavy – I even feel lighter and ready to haul-ass running.

For ages I went through brands of electrolyte replacement systems – Gatorade, Nuun, Emergen-c electrolytes (still my top choice.) They all cost money, and I’m a college kid trying to be frugal (even though eating well and cost usually pull on opposite side of a rope.) Thankfully my parents help out a lot, my mom sent me back this time with a couple 6-packs… of coconut waters along with many other runner staples.

Enter: food. I have to eat anyway, so that’s a given. Why not find the absolute best foods I can? If I’m going to be feeding myself, why not eat the healthiest I can? I’ll admit I didn’t always have this mentality, but my coach and I had a food heart-to-heart (also known as he was about 2 inches from dragging me to the grocery store himself). I realize now that if I’m ever going to be a decent runner I need to get on it. 

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Favorite Sources of Potassium

I’ve found a variety of foods that are high in potassium, but have other benefits as well. I’ve also complied a list of the content in a serving size. You can thank me later 😉

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The Ensure has a ton of other nutrients in it too, but both it and Clif bars are kind of expensive, so I save those for after my daily training. Coconut water is pretty expensive but orange juice isn’t too bad. Note: make sure to get the OJ without calcium – it inhibits the absorption of iron, which many long distance runners are in dire need of. This is my only problem with Emergen-c electrolytes, they are high quality, but I have to be careful to only drink it at certain times. Avocados and leafy greens are also good, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Oh yeah! If I’ve found so many wonderful, halfway affordable delicious foods why do I even bother with that overly colored sugar-syrupy Gatorade anyway? Bottom line: because I like it. It tastes good in the right concentration, and it’s pretty cheap when I buy it in bulk powder. I need potassium, but I definitely need to drink a ton of water too and the sugar helps it go down faster. (Sometimes I think I should just mix dextrose powder in my water.) If I sip on it all day it keeps my blood sugar more level. 

Do you like Gatorade? What foods do you eat to recover from strenuous workouts? What hydration techniques do you have?

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