Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rain-Running in the Canal. . . Fulton, that Is

Today I ran with Michael and Joy on the Towpath in Canal Fulton.  Of course, it rained.  I blame Michael; he and Joy blame me.  Joy seems to be blameless in this circumstance, so I think Michael and I should call a truce and toss her in the canal.

This is EXACTLY how I look when running in the rain.  As you can see, I am two happy kids.

Just kidding.  This is really how I look in the rain.  What am I doing here?  Protecting a doll?  By the way, the caption for this pic is "Defeated by Rain."

Canal Fulton is such a cute town; I've never seen it when everything is open, but there are at least two ice cream shops, which is a win in my book.  The woods are really green and pretty, and I love hearing the bullfrogs in the canal as we run by.

Canal Fulton
As we ran (in the rain), I saw horseshoe prints in the mud because there are still canal horses that move barges along the river.  I've never seen this, but I hope to some day.

Canal Horses Moving a Barge

Michael and Joy are super-fast, so I knew I had to be on my A-game today.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to be on my A-game after several bottles of wine over a hot card game the previous night and only five hours of sleep.  It seems that this may be a good time to discuss night-before-run fuel, but first let's run over the other stats:

Pre-run Fuel:  Panera blueberry bagel, cream cheese, hazelnut coffee with Thin Mints creamer

Mid-run Fuel: Mandarin Orange GU, lots of water

Post-run Lunch:  Asian veggie burger with cheese and spinach, sliced cucumbers, raw sugar snap peas (Ahem.  Please note that I got it right this time!)

Ok, let's talk about the night before a run or a race.  You're supposed to carb-load, right?  Right. . .and wrong.  Everybody is different, and every body has different needs.  There are loads of articles on carb-loading (see what I did there?) in Runners World, but here is one answer from Jenny Hadfield about the need for carb-loading.  Go ahead and read it.  Browse a little if you want; I'll wait.

What I get from some light research on the topic is that someone who has my body type (I'm not exactly skinny.  Let's say that I am zaftig.  Go ahead; look it up.  I'll wait.)  probably doesn't need to cram down the carbs the week before the race.  This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy a nice plate of pasta before my long run; it just means that I don't necessarily have to eat that pasta for more than a day as long as I am in balance during the week.

The most important thing to consider about eating the night before the long run or a race is to figure out ahead of time what reactions you have the next day to the food you've eaten.  If you are like me (Hi!  Zaftig girl here!), you have a stomach of iron.  There are very few foods that give me a bad reaction the next day, even if I race.  Well, chili.  I can't eat chili the night before a race.  Wanna know why?  No?  Ok.

Oddly enough, I usually do end up eating some type of pasta on Saturday nights, the night before my long runs or most of my races.  VERY oddly, it's not the good type of pasta; it's usually carbonara or fettucine alfredo with lots of vegetables.  (Zaftig, remember?)  I think it's because by that point in the week, I don't really want any meat, and I know I'll want a steak the next day.  I do try to practice portion control, and I definitely try to eat more vegetables than creamy pasta.  Some days are better than others.

I didn't make this, but I do put lots of vegetables in my fettucine.

Last night I had pasta with red sauce and a huge meatball at my brother's house.  Not bad, right?  Salad to go with it, so I'm still doing well, right?  How about the chocolate cream pie?  No?  How about the wine we had with dinner and while we played cards?  This, as you can see, is where I could have had a problem.  Indulging in a glass of wine (or two) with dinner the night before a long run or race probably won't kill your experience, but it probably won't improve it either.

"A bottle of red, a bottle of white/ It all depends upon your appetite"

Since today wasn't a race, I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but next week is the Perfect 10-Miler, and I intend to use it as a test run to see if I've made any improvements in my training for the Akron Half Marathon.  This means that I should limit the vino.  It also means I should get plenty of sleep this week and next Saturday night, which I think will be the topic of a post after my race recap next week.

Stay tuned for the Perfect 10-Miler, Peeps!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout.