Friday, August 14, 2009

Bad Diet Equals a "Super" Run

Yesterday's run: Linear Trail: Temperature 69 degrees. Splits 9:13; 8:42; 8:36; 8:37; 8:30; 4:14; 47:52 total for 5 1/2 miles; 8:42 per mile pace. (Planned pace was 9:00 or better).

First off, I ran on Tuesday before going to the casino. Funny thing is, I didn't write down my usual info. of splits and temperature, and I don't really remember anything interesting about the run, so I guess it was just a boring road run of 4 miles. My time was 36:51, or a 9:12 per mile pace. Slower than I like to run, but at least I ran before going to the casino with my wife for 24 hours of gambling, eating, and drinking. Now THAT I remember! I won and I lost at the casino. I won because I spent quality time with my wife away from home (We stayed overnight), and I lost money. I also spent money... It's the first, and hopefully last time, that I eat a $50 steak. I'm not bragging or proud of it, I'm just saying that Michael Jordan's Steakhouse at Mohegan Sun Casino has great food, great service, and expensive prices. But the steak helped me establish what I call the "base" (a stomach full of food) before drinking beer.
OK, back to my running. Yesterday I was a good father and spent most of the afternoon at my daughter's condo hanging window shades, replacing a bathroon vent fan (With a dead bird falling out of the old vent fan-gross), and other assorted odd jobs. I arrived home at 3:30, totally forgetting that I had planned to run. Perhaps the overcast sky and raindrops that were supposed to stop 6 hours earlier had helped me to forget. Or maybe the sight of my still green in the middle of August, needs to be mowed every 4 days, should be brown and not growing this time of year due to the not happening heat wave, should have been mowed 2 days ago but I ran instead, lawn distracted me. In any case, my daughter asking me at that point if I was still going to run brought me back to runner's reality. I am training for a marathon, and I did need to run. Even though it was still sprinkling raindrops, at least it was 69 degrees and cool for this time of year. (Side note: This means my lawn probably just grew another 2 inches overnight). So I changed my clothes and headed to the linear trail for a planned 5 mile run at a 9 minute pace. My training schedule had me scheduled to run for 45-55 minutes, so at a 9 minute pace, I figured that I could get in a quick run before dinner and still abide by my schedule. I consumed a PowerBar Creamy Citrus Fruit bar before starting. It's something I never tried before, but it was a free sample I received at a previous race, so I decided to see what it was all about. From the PowerBar website: "Start every workout properly fueled with POWERBAR®s C2 MAX-optimized carb blend and the goodness of real fruit. Formulated with the same ratio of carb sources shown to increase endurance performance by an average of 8% in 8 trained athletes compared to glucose alone*, POWERBAR® ENERGIZE bars prepare you for your toughest workouts. This energy bar serves up the delicious, refreshing taste of a natural fruit smoothie. Try one about an hour before exercise to top off muscle glycogen stores and get the energy you need to help maximize your performance.

* 3 great-tasting flavors: Berry Blast, Creamy Citrus and Tangy Tropical.
* Made with real fruit + 17 vitamins & minerals.
* No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
* 42g of carbs and 6g of protein with 210 calories per bar. (220 for the Creamy Citrus bar)
* Fruit POWERBAR C2 MAX-optimized carb blend with the same ratio of glucose to fructose shown to speed energy delivery to muscles where the calories are burned quickly and efficiently.
I LOVE the taste of it!! I also love the 43 grams of carbs, but don't like the 220 calories it has. But I guess you take the good with the bad.
I started my run at a nice comfortable pace, figuring that the cheeseburger pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (Yum!), steak, french fries, mass quantities of beer, bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls, Chocolate Cherry ice cream (Buttonwood Farm, Griswold, CT) and everything else that I had consumed the past two days was going to slow me down and/or at some point cause me to have wicked stomach cramps. I reached mile 1 at 9:12. Damn, I was 12 seconds slower than I had planned. Left brain wanted me to accept that as being ok, but right brain reminded me that I am training for a marathon, and I actually was running pain free at that point. I also noticed that I was feeling strong. There was more life than usual in my legs. Without even consciously trying, I could feel my legs moving quicker and with less effort. Psychologically, and maybe in reality, I was believing that the great tasting PowerBar was giving me "Superhuman" strength. Each mile was "faster than a speeding bullet, " "more powerful than a locomotive," and I was able to leap tall puddles in a single bound. My 2nd mile was an 8:42, followed by an 8:36, 8:37, and a last half mile of 4:14. Overall, I averaged an 8:42 per mile pace, (8:35 after the first mile) far better than my goal of 9 minute miles. I'm going to run for 6 or 7 miles today. I still have one PowerBar left, so I'll eat it and see if the results are the same. Also, I received a complementary pair of running shorts and a hat from Devon at to review. I'm not crazy about the shorts being colored brown, but I'll wear them and overlook the color. The hat is a lightweight (2 oz.) mesh type that claims to wick moisture away from your head. I'll let you know my opinions after today's run.


lindsay said...

i had a similar effect after pigging out on a boatload of m&m's. i swear the healthy-eating is overrated! :)

you were supposed to win money not lose it! and i thought only girls could complain about the color of clothing... ;)

Irish Cream said...

YUM . . . now that's what I call good pre-run fuel (who cares whether science agrees with us)! :)

Also, you are SUCH a nice father, doing all that work on your daughter's condo! That's just awesome.

Way to show that left brain who's boss ;)