Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th! Or, Oops, Did I Really Eat That?

Ok, I admit it. I blew it and did all of the wrong things with my diet on the 4th of July. And... I feel kinda bad about it. I ate crab (actually, I think it was "Krab") dip with cream cheese, lots of crackers, beer, some kind of yummy salad with dressing mixed in (a big no-no and I had two servings) and a chocolate chip bar. And other stuff I probably don't even remember. I munched myself deep into a calorie and fat glut. I'm not perfect all of the time.

How did it happen? Well, I made a few mistakes. First, I didn't make a decision beforehand that said, "OK, I'm NOT going to eat [whatever is going to be there at the party]." That's the big one. Followed by, I didn't bring my own food (lazy, but I could have). Worse, I was hungry and surrounded by ooey-gooey-yummy-fat-laden bad choice foods. It was a set-up from the start. Once I'd arrived in that state, I'd already lost.

But, that being said and done, and facing up to my shameless grazing, I'm already back on the wagon eating the right food again--it was just one day. And now I'm more resolved than ever. Sometimes, I think it's OK to blow it every once in awhile--as long as it is just that. A very rare incident. I mean, even a "terrible binge" couldn't net me more than a few thousand extra calories. Worst case: a whole 3,600 calories or one pound of fat. Sounds like a lot. Not what I'd recommend... but certainly remediable with my unusually active lifestyle and consistent diet otherwise. No need to panic. And probably just what I needed to motivate me for the next three months of serious "watch what you eat." [Dang, that means no cheese pizza!]

One of the most effective things I'll be telling myself while preparing for Chicago, and I'm tempted to overeat, or eat something that I shouldn't be eating, is "Do you really want to carry that across the finish line?" Stops me dead in my tracks every time. Because I can promise you--I don't want to carry it.

And now, I will be thinking of little else but food that will energize me and heal me; food that will nourish my muscles, replenish my metabolic needs; food that will speed my recovery and help me have better workouts. Food is powerful stuff, and my diet over the next 14 weeks will make as much of a difference in how I cross the finish line as my workouts will. Maybe more.

As a quick update on my training: My workouts are going well--really well. I knocked out roughly 40 miles last week like it was a light week. My "harder" workout felt so easy I could have done two. I'm in a good spot, and quite enthusiastic about my chances in Chicago. The thing that has surprised me the most since Ottawa is how easy race pace feels all the time. I really have no trouble locking in that pace and staying there a long time if the course and conditions are reasonable. In fact, I find myself running easily below that quite often once I'm warmed up.

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