Monday, January 9, 2012

I Hope This Burger Was Happy And Free In Its Previous Life

"If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want -- Why? Because
(a) you'll burn all the calories you consume,
(b) you deserve it, and
(c) you'll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway."
--Don Kardong

In my obsession to qualify for Boston, I was determined to gain every edge.  This included trying to run in the lightest shoes possible, trying to put myself at a good ‘fighting’ weight where I wasn’t carrying around an extra five pounds around my gut, and being more diligent about what I eat.  Especially since my body craves food in monstrous proportions after I run.  The cravings for food come in predictable intervals -- a bit right when I’m done, a ton more about 2-3 hours later, and then a wave of food cravings the whole next day if the run was 10 miles or more. 

In my diet of a marathoner quest, I wanted something to fuel my body, heal the challenged muscles, and get me ready quicker for my next run.

Holy Pectoral Muscle this thing is heavy
So, I went to all sorts of sports nutrition stores where I asked men with monstrous bulging chest muscles what to use post-workout. Inevitably, I was consistently shown huge Bins of Whey Protein. 

Then I figured the muscles were developed from picking those vats of powder up. I wasn’t convinced it could help me, with my scrawny legs and cankles, so I resisted.

I finally decided on some FRS energy gels and an Enduorox post-run drink mix. I took it to the counter and was ready to buy from a skinny rag of a dude, the exception in this muscle-bound world. He wore a bandanna, sandals, had no body fat, and long limbs with even longer tentacle fingers. If he wasn’t a runner, I am sure he would be playing hacky-sack some where and wearing Hemp clothing.

After I complained about the price, he mumbled 'chocolate milk'.    I scanned the man suspiciously and with a smile, ”chocolate milk is all I use,” he repeated.
'Come on, just a taste.  Everybody's doing it.'

Surely the chocolate rabbit drink couldn't provide the same bang as this specialized drink. 

But I saw fast times and running wisdom in his rag-tag skinny runner-nerd eyes, so I set the 29.99 endurox back on the table, and have stuck with Chocolate Milk ever since.   And you can't argue with both the serious research and my own less than scientific results.

Chocolate milk has since taken over the airwaves and marketed itself like mad as the best post-run recovery drink, and who can blame them.  There is something that seems so childlike and innocent, a not so guilty pleasure with the upper-lip chocolate mustache and a little boys smile coming to mind just as you say the words Chocolate Milk. In fact, the two words might be the perfect anger management technique since the much-heralded count to ten or take a walk. Just say ‘Chocolate Milk.’  AHHHH. You feel that? 

And for post-run, you can just feel the perfect blend of proteins and carbs (and for some reason, the sugar makes it correctly proportioned) rushing right into your R-spot.  (that hits the recovery spot)

And now I think of how good it will taste when I need extra motivation for the last miles of a long run.  Cold Chocolate milk in the fridge awaits. Yum.


As for other nutrition and eating habits I subscribe to:

-Blueberries, blackberries, and all sorts of anti-oxidants. The darker the berry the more magic the fruit.

-Protein blasts – what’s a protein blast?  Meals with all protein, eggs and ham, for example.  Since I have many meals of all carbs pre-runs, I feel this balances out the ratio.

-Adding protein to my pre-race, (or pre-long run) carb load meal the night before.

-Sodium S-caps – for long runs especially, made a huge difference, and processes much better than Gatorade..

-Vitamins supplements, E, B, Calcium and Glucosamine Chondroitin. (The Glucosamine is something I swear by, and the Vitamin E means I have to get hair cuts more often. )

As for my diet in general, I fully believe there is a spiritual component of eating. The nature of the food you are eating, the wholeness of it, the closer it is to the natural state, and even the way in which it was killed all gets imbibed by your spirit.  I am not sure why I know this: maybe it’s instinctual, maybe it’s in the aura of those who follow these principles and how innately happy, or deeper, content and ‘whole’ they seem.  Maybe I read it on a milk carton.

Of course, I rarely follow this.  Sure, I prefer organic when I can, free range eggs, chicken, and I gobble up fruits and veggies at the local fruit market and local raised cattle.

But I’m also into processed foods and diet soda and pizza and chocolate. 

For some reason, I’m stuck on this mindset that as long as I eat my share of good, healthy foods, I can eat the junk as well.  I’m sure it weights me down some, but to escape that rush of a big piece of dark chocolate (which isn’t as bad for you and has plenty of anti-oxidants, right?) would be a life less worth living.   I am sure that my history of alcohol use has made me crave sugar and chocolate beyond what is normal, and I succumb to those with delight.  I can eat a medium pizza and walk away standing while larger men are passed out under the table.

So, I don’t necessarily avoid junk foods, I just try to eat more ‘good foods’ and hopefully the cavernous space left by the training is filled by the spiritual remnants of happy cows dying peacefully, chickens who have roamed free on the range, pasta’s made by amber waves of happy grains, and fruit picked from the garden of Eden. 

And then I will delight in eating peanuts out of the shell while I wait for my loaded up Five Guys Cheesburger, followed by some mint chocolate chip ice cream.

"The Jade Rabbit" - A story of a miraculous marathon run

Reviews of The Jade Rabbit

2 comments:

Amy Sz said...

Nestle Quik chocolate milk? Who knew!? I live by the "most of the time" philosophy when it comes to choosing and eating healthy foods. I do indulge but only occasionally and only in moderation :)

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

Chocolate milk is yummy, but I find that it makes me more thirsty sometimes.

Does Ralph run Around the Bay? I had totally forgotten what his pre-Boson race was! I'll have to rewatch it soon!

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