Checking in, plus some words on supplements

(Warning: this post contains protein farts. Proceed at your own risk.)

Last week was a little busy, since it’s the end of the school year in these parts and students have papers that need grading and final exams that will eventually need grading as well. My side-project (dramaturgy for the Russian play that opens in a few short weeks) is starting to get busy, too, but the timing of that is pretty perfect since it will require my time and attention just when academic stuff is winding down. Sweet! Plus, I had old friends in town over the weekend for our annual pilgrimage to a spring steeplechase meet just outside of town, which was as always great fun. I wish we could do that sort of thing every month, though I realize that wouldn’t make the annual occurrence such a special thing.

Anyway, running-wise, I find myself falling into old habits of the half-marathon training program, except I’m not worrying about pace or intervals one bit. So I’ve been running my usual 3-5-3-mile runs on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday (give or take a few tenths of a mile here and there), and doing a long run on Saturday morning (7.2 last week, which was broken up over two runs, and 8.5 this week, which was not), and resting on Monday and Friday and cross-training on Sunday. I switched the rest and the cross-training last weekend, which was a bad idea because it turned into Monday-Thursday activity, at which on Thursday my legs said “hey, we’re not training for anything, what the hell are you doing?” So this week I opted for the cross-training (just an hour at the gym, which was a nice break from all the work in the library I’d been doing) yesterday and the rest today.

That turns out to have been a really smart decision, since it’s been brought to my attention that I have my annual spring sinus infection ™, and the thought of going to the gym today is not one that any part of me entertains even mildly. (I woke up with a scratchy throat yesterday morning, and was a little concerned, but I thought I was just dehydrated. What seemed like four gallons of water later in the day, my throat was still scratchy, and my nose was beginning to run, and post-nasal drip was following suit. Today, I got the headache pressure. Hooray!) I’ll still go on according to my 3-5-3 schedule, but I may take the 5 down to 4 or even 3 depending on how I feel, and hope that I can make it to 9ish maybe 10 miles Saturday morning. We’ll see. I’m willing to exercise until illness moves into my chest, at which point I’m perfectly content to crawl under a blanket and find something mind-numbing to watch on TV.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I’d asked for dietary input from anyone who knew anything about reducing carb intake but still maintaining protein and fiber intake. I’ve since then somewhat re-thought this plan of reducing carb intake, because I’m back to running what I was running towards the middle and eventually end of my half-marathon training program, when I needed carbs the most. I am cutting out some carbs here and there – for example, oatmeal is now a twice-a-week-only breakfast, and whole-wheat cereal is only ever eaten on the mornings that I run (which, okay, is still four days a week, but still), and other breakfasts are now including eggs and Greek yogurt – and I’ve also decided that now is an okay time to start working some other stuff into my diet.

The first tip I got was about these guys – EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control Drinks, in the rich dark chocolate flavor:

– basically, a protein-rich dark chocolate bomb that I’ve been drinking after my Wednesday runs, which I usually precede with a banana, some almond butter, and a couple of eggs. (This is all consumed over the span of about two and a half hours, so don’t go thinking I’m mixing this all together, because with the eggs? Ew.) I’ve only had a few of them, but I can say that so far they are a) tasty b) rather filling and c) doing quite a number on my fart quality. I’d experienced c) when I first started putting more protein into my diet in general about a year ago, so I’m assuming that it’s the same thing at work here – a lot of protein in a short amount of time makes those around me wish they were elsewhere pretty quickly. I can deal with it, though, so I think I’m going to keep on including this drink in my diet, possibly even twice a week.

The other thing I’ve added – and this was only a few days ago – was, after some independent research, chia seeds. I bought Nutiva Organic Chia Seed:

– and decided that the first thing to do would be to stir a tablespoon of it into some water, let it thicken, and drink it. This wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great; the seeds clumped together really badly at the bottom, and I felt like I was drinking sludge (note: I drink very strong coffee that often resembles sludge at its bottom, but that’s a sludge I can deal with. This, not so much), so the next time I tried it I mixed the tablespoon with Greek yogurt and a dollop of honey. That was much better, though I’ve since tried it without the honey and I think that’s the way to go. The seeds don’t have much of a taste, but they cut the bitterness of the yogurt quite nicely and definitely do their job in helping me feel full. Often, at night, after I’ve had dinner, I get crazy hungry not too long before bedtime, and I don’t want to eat a big meal, but I also don’t want to not eat because I wake up the next morning practically gnawing an arm off. I drink tons of water, but that almost never seems to help; I think the Greek-yogurt-and-chia-seeds snack is the perfect option because it sates me without over-filling me and doesn’t contain any sugar that would keep me awake. The only hitch is that such a snack is also pretty high in protein, which is the thing that sates me, and so it’s the protein farts again that keep me awake. I’m hoping that in time this will work itself out, because I may start losing friends (not to mention lovers) if it keeps up.

The seeds are expensive, though, which makes me wonder if I can really make a tablespoon-per-day thing a habit. That bag contains 33 tablespoons – you do the math there – and cost $12 at the store where I purchased it. Given that I see it for cheaper online, it may do me good to start ordering it by mail rather than paying more at the local organic store, though it pains me to not support a good local business. Do I get a pass if I take the money I’d save and spending it at the city farmers’ market instead? 🙂

OK, well, that’s that. Fingers crossed I can kick this sinus infection in the butt quickly!


2 Responses to Checking in, plus some words on supplements

  1. njrunnergirl says:

    Now that my 1/2 is over, and I don’t have another one planned until September, I find myself in the same “what am I training for?” rut. I’ve stopped increasing my long runs, keeping it at about 12 miles for now, even though I’m yearning to increase and push myself. I have to keep reminding myself that if I push too hard now I may be suffering when it’s time for the big show in November. But I know how you feel!
    As far as yearly sinus infections go, I used to get them all the time too- sometimes twice a year! This may sound crazy, but a few years ago my dad started keeping bees and harvesting the honey, and ever since I have been working a teaspoon into my daily diet (either in tea, on my toast or cereal- whatever) my allergies and sinus issues have all but vanished. If you can get your hands on some local honey, I bet that it would help with your sinus issues- especially if you keep using it in your yogurt snack (I wish I liked yogurt. I feel like a picky 5 yr old but I just can’t eat it)
    And yes, I believe that spending the money you save at a farmer’s market (maybe on some honey!) does in fact earn you a pass. =)
    Great post Kat, as always!

    • kmt4n says:

      Thanks! 🙂 The honey tip is a great one – I usually do put it in my yogurt or oatmeal, but it never occurs to me to put it in tea unless I’ve got a sore throat. Duuhhhh. That’s definitely something I’m willing to give a try, especially if I can find some local honey at the farmers’ market, which I’m pretty sure I can. So I’ll keep my eyes peeled later this morning; am up bright and early for a 10-miler because why not? Sigh. I’m totally addicted to this stupid running thing…

      I’m also going to start trying out some of the various gels and energy shots in the next few weeks to see which ones work okay on the 10+ mile runs. So expect to see some words on that, too. And with any luck, come fall, I won’t have to write about my autumn sinus infection! 🙂

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