Awesome week. I won't be rested for Saturday's marathon but if my suspicions are correct- it's irrelevant. My goal on Saturday is to learn about myself. I've had a huge shift in thinking on every level of my consciousness.. so this will almost be like my first race. Expectations and perspective... that's where the answer lies for me. And although all of this seems like I am over thinking things, it's actually a matter of learning to NOT think. Shut off my watch and my brain which have been attached for too many years.
Now for some random thoughts. A buddy of mine e-mails me posts of useless crap once in a while just to rile me up... and it always works. I thought during my run about a few comments that he sent to me and I think that I will definitely be renaming my blog "joghard". The idea that I would consider myself a "runner" seems a little off. It's completely in the attitude as to what the difference between a runner and a jogger are. If it's a matter of goals- one wants to run for fun and one wants to run for competition.. then I'm certainly a jogger. If I didn't want all of this to be fun FIRST, then I would quit and find another sport. It has to be fun in order to be good... They both require the same movements- yet one person chooses to elevate themselves to the status of a runner, NOT a jogger. One is (maybe) faster than the other, but that's all the more reason to call myself a jogger. My PR in the marathon is just 2:30. Paula Radcliffe has run a full 15:00 faster. Geb's world record is exactly 1 minute PER MILE faster than my best. His average 10k split during his marathon was 29:22... while my PR in the open 10k is 31:05. That to me- means I'm a jogger. It's a matter of perspective really. If the difference between a runner and a jogger comes down to speed, then there's always someone better who can call YOU a jogger, if they choose to take that elitist attitude. Even if you're a 2:09 marathoner... Geb could still call you a jogger. Another reason to call myself a jogger is to simply remove myself from the class (less) of people who post useless crap. As I am typing this I realize that by being so negative I am being a hypocrite, and hell- all of this maybe useless crap too... so I'm done with that. Jog hard.
Now some (maybe) useful crap. In the first mile of the run today I started to get a side stitch which I always consider a great thing to get in a workout... it allows me to practice getting rid of it so if I get one in a race then it's no big deal. The same goes for a "bonk". The most common cause of a side stitch is an attachment of the diaphragm that gets "tight" or tightness in the diaphragm. Do a 4-5 very deep inhalations first with your belly pushed out (and holding it pushed out) as far as you can, then do a few breaths with it sucked in as far as you can. Repeat this as many times as needed. Now, although I did immediately get rid of my side stitch, I was intrigued more with how my run form changed significantly during these deep breaths. Remember my video post a while back about the Psoas? In that video I explained how to engage the psoas by deep breathing.. while I was running today, during the deep breathing with my stomach sucked way in my forward leg movement was completely thrown off and very ineffective. Kind of cool really. I basically disengaged my psoas. In that same post I quoted Dr. Ida P. Rolf who describes the psoas this way:
Let us be clear about this: the legs do not originate movement in the walk of a balanced body; the legs support and follow. Movement is initiated in the trunk and transmitted to the legs through the medium of the psoas.
I think today I found a way to support ideas that psoas work is critical to any athlete. One of my main core focuses in the gym is hanging leg lifts, or pelvic tilts. It's a bit complicated to describe- so good luck with that.
Not only were my thoughts dwelling on useless crap today, but they were also on useful crap... mainly my own crap. I have a very efficient (?) digestive tract. I can eat a lot of food. And by a lot I really do mean a lot. Legendary amounts (eating 4 plate fulls of food at a buffett then eating 4 plates of deserts after). The problem with this is that my digestive tract will promptly remove anything it doesn't need and I end up carrying a lot of "trail money" (tp) during my runs (no pun intended). If I have a hard session or a race the next day- I need to be thoughtful of the amount of food I eat the night before. At Austin I ate way too much the night before and ended up in a port-a-john during the race. There isn't a whole lot of use in eating much the day before a race if you have properly thought out your race week nutrition. A fit athlete who eats a diet very high in ChO (75%), can expect their total carbohydrate reserves to move upwards of 880g with approximately ~160g stored in the liver and ~720g in the muscle. Armed with this concept you can eat appropriately in the 4-5 days leading up to the race. This is a very general idea- every athlete is completely different and has a completely different metabolic profile. I don't think I need that much ChO for a marathon, Ironman- absolutely! Remember too that the day before the marathon you will not be using a significant amount of muscle glycogen, mainly liver stores. Upon waking on race morning you should only be trying to replenish the small amount of liver glycogen burned during the fasting period (while you slept). Anyway- back to my crap.. last night I held my food consumption back and ate a very easily digestible meal of mashed potatoes. I also had a couple (ok, a bag) of skittles. Ya, that sugar thing is brutal! But damn they were soooo good! And you can't really just eat a few... maybe Jesus could. I did take 200mcg of chromium polynicotonate with the skittles, but that's no excuse. The chromium helps to regulate insulin responses from the added ChO... basically. But- by eating a bag of skittles with the CP I may have actually loaded a little for today's run... skittles of course are a poor choice though and I wouldn't recommend it. Much.
The point that I started to make was that my gut was awesome today. No issues what-so-ever. I think I found my pre-race meal.