Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How I Carb-Load and Stay Dairy, Soy and Gluten Free

Yesterday was a big day. My first marathon since May 2014 (when I set a PR) and the first of two marathons I have on the schedule for 2017.

It was a 26.2 mile tour around Disney World - including Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, ESPN World of Sports and all the characters! It was so much fun. If a half or full marathon is on your bucket list I suggest you bite the bullet and splurge on this one. Whether you walk or run, stop for photos or cruise on through, you will not be disappointed.

And I'm still here today to talk about it. As a matter of fact I am headed to the gym this evening to stretch a little and hit the sauna. Tomorrow morning I am teaching Body Pump.  I jumped right back into my normal routine with relative ease, and I have to admit I am surprised by it. I expected a day of stiff non-movement with a little exhaustion thrown in.

I went into this marathon with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised with my finish. It was about 40 minutes faster than I predicted. In fact, it wasn't even my slowest run. Not bad for my lack of training. My longest run was 15 miles. I did it once. My other long distances were 8, 9 and 12. Once each. I threw a couple 5 and 6 milers in there when I remembered to. It was everything I'd tell someone not to do.

It also wasn't all easy. I walked more than I've ever walked during a marathon. I hit the wall around mile 18 and never got over it. I choked back tears at mile 24. I shed layers of clothing, only to put most of them back on again. But when I finished I felt strong, and today I feel even stronger. And I'm not battling the inflammation of past races.

You see, this was only my 2nd race since going diary-free and mostly clean. The first was a half coming off of the Whole30. My body felt great, especially in the hours and days following, but my energy was lacking during the race. I was determined to get my nutrition right this time. I was searching for a balance to achieve the energy and stamina I needed to run, but I also wanted to avoid the inflammation that used to haunt me after races.

Even if you don't have inflammation, the following plan is a great way to "carb load" in the days before a distance race (13.1 or longer) while staying soy, gluten and dairy free.

Starting Wednesday I went 97% clean; the exceptions were Swedish Fish and brown sugar in my oatmeal. I upped my calorie intake to 2200 calories, 50%+ carbs in the form of fruit, veggies and whole grains.

Pre-Race (Wednesday-Saturday)
Breakfast (600 calories): 2 hard boiled eggs plus one of the following: a baked sweet potato topped with a sliced banana, 2TB of natural peanut butter and cinnamon OR 1 cup old fashioned GF oats, 1 TB brown sugar and 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins

Morning Snack (210 calories): RX Bar

Lunch (635 calories): Chicken Burrito Bowl (brown rice, tomato salsa, green chili salsa and guac only)

Dinner (500 calories):  varied *4 oz protein, potato or brown rice and green vegetable

Snacks (275 calories): 16 Swedish Fish, Rice cake with 1 TB natural peanut butter

Total: 2,220 calories
Normally, I am not a huge fan of tracking calories but I had to be sure I was on target. I made an exception for the days leading up to the marathon and downloaded MyFitnessPal. I'll keep it for a few days after to get myself back on track.

Race Day 

Pre-Race 450 calories ~2.5 hours before start): baked sweet potato topped with a sliced banana, 2TB of natural peanut butter

During the race, being sure to eat about every 45 minutes: 1 peanut butter sandwich on white bread (eaten 1/2 at a time), 2 bananas and 1 packet of Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks.

Immediate Post-Race: Powerade, M&Ms (my splurge) and pretzel flats.

Returning to normal eating for a late lunch and dinner should be fine for recovery, but if you'd like to splurge a little and have some things you enjoy, too, that's fine! You earned it!

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