The weekend is over and I hope it went just swimmingly for each and every one of you. In terms of running and relaxing, I have to admit that my weekend was just full of all of that.
Saturday long run - 4 hours and 15 mins; 29 (blissful) miles
Rest of the day? HA! You think I was up for anything after all the running ?? Well I actually wasn't in pain or anything, but that's the thing with training (especially during the summer): it saps you of energy or desire to do anything other than to sit around in your niece's pool or lay on the couch watching World Cup. Just me? Doubtful.
Occasionally I come across someone I haven't seen in quite a while and my running is brought up in conversation. I'm frequently asked how much I run a week or if I get tired or what I think about during 4 hours of running.
I run a decent amount each week.
I think about anything and everything. If I kick a rock, I probably think about what it must feel like if I was a rock and was just kicked 15 feet. Sometimes the rear of cars take on face forms in my head and I imagine them smiling, grinning, or otherwise looking at me in a strange way as they speed away. But most of the time I probably could honestly say that I think about food. Val and I are hardcore foodies and I love eating after a very hard workout or long run; I enjoy the food so much more and can appreciate the food as nourishment for my body.
And that's how I avoid getting so tired during a run: eating.
You see, eating isn't just for after workouts and runs. I can't run 3 hours or more without replenishing my body with much-needed calories. During my 6 hour ultra marathon at the end of July I'll probably burn about 3,500 calories. There's no way I can keep going without making up for all that calorie burning and sweating.
Now that I am ultra-training, I am beginning to re-appreciate products such as Clif Shot Gels and Clif Shot Bloks.
The Mocha gel in the picture is by far the best-tasting gel of any brand I've ever tried and goes down so smoothly. These gels may have a weird consistency that takes some getting used to for some people, but I highly recommend them for anybody doing cardio work for longer than an hour at a time. Always wash them down with water.
Clif Bloks? It's like eating gummy snacks that are meant to fuel you for hours on end. A pack of Bloks can fuel me for 90 minutes to 2 hours of running and they do not cause me any kind of GI (gastrointestinal) issues whatsoever...plus, they taste so goooodd!! So far Strawberry is my favorite, but I'm excited to try this Tropical flavor I came across. Way to go Clif!
But eating is hands-down my second concern when it comes to my running. First on my priority list: hydration. I'll feature that tomorrow.
I came across this article in my morning newspaper. The doctors and researchers interviewed for this piece discuss the growing numbers of morbidly obese teenagers and the additional ailments that obesity causes such as sleep apnea and high blood pressure. They claim that these ailments and other effects of obesity are why these teenagers and families are seeking these surgeries and why more and more surgeries are being permitted to be done on teens.
We've got a serious issue here, people. If surgeries for teenagers to lose weight becomes the norm, what kind of message are we sending to our youth? What is this really telling our children? Have we stopped teaching our children how to take care of their bodies? Is self-respect only about not calling yourself dumb or not believing in yourself? Does having self-respect not mean respecting our bodies mentally, emotionally, AND physically?
As I type, I'm getting more and more disgusted about what "Obesity surgery for teens" actually means for our society. It is this reality that drive me to want to start a youth running club sometime in the near future. It is or this reality why Val is pursuing a Naturopathic Doctor degree to help people holistically rather than through prescriptions and operations. I hope you are disgusted, too. And if you are, what will you do about it?