Today was such a great day! I finished all of my freelance work this morning (WAHOO!). Our house is super clean. And I had a fantastic run!!
Before I left for the running date at noon I had a date for some quick energy. Brendan Braizer in Thrive says dates make a great quick energy snack. Based on my run energy, I concur! Lurve dates.
I had SO MUCH energy during the first 75% of my run. Part of that, I think, was an easy couple of days up to it, and part was that Emily and I ran pretty slow since she was struggling a bit with some stubborn body rebellion. (She and Casey did 16 miles!! 5.5 before I got there!) And we also hit spells of ganache (that really did look good enough to eat!) where we had to walk and tip-toe across so we did not slip and fall. My whole body felt fantastic until I hit about 10 miles and I started to feel the new distance sinking in.
We planted a water bottle of homemade sport drink (a.k.a. sweet, sweet nectar) at the 2.75 mile mark and took sips going out and back. I was very underhydrated though, and SHOULD have had my Camelbak with me but it’s taken 9 days to get it shipped to me. Grrr. This will be my last run without proper hydration! It didn’t seem to slow me down too much though.
Miles 10-11.88 were tough. My legs stiffened a bit (hydration!) but I still had lots of energy thanks to the 9 mile sport drink burst.
I pulled in 11.4 miles in about 1 hour 50 minutes – including all of our walking and mud breaks. I walked the next half a mile to pick Emily back up and back to the parking lot.
Overall, great run!! OH, my blister, which is 90% healed, did fine with a Band-Aid Blister band-aid and a big pad on top. Turns out the Band-Aid band-aid SHIFTED but the pad stayed put so I was saved. [I decided to do this run in my old shoes, but I will be getting new ones this week!]
By 2:45 when we arrived back to Emily‘s, I was quite starving and freezing cold!!
We immediately made recovery smoothies and hopped right into her hot tub to warm up!!
FELT. SO. GOOD.
Into the blender for 3 tired runners:
- As much kale as I could fit
- 2 frozen bananas
- Amazing Grass greens packet x2
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2.5ish cups Almond Breeze
- 1 whole block of light tofu
- 1/3 cup raw oats
Smoothies are supposed to be easier to digest and absorb when the body is worn out from a hard run than a big traditional meal would be. Blending the foods helps speed absorption (liquids are absorbed faster than solids) and therefore helps replenish empty stores more quickly. So far post-run smoothies have worked really well for me and I haven’t had any queasiness or anything like I did after my first longer run (8 miles) when I ate a big salad.
Topped with Galaxy Granola crunch
I just love her new placemats!!
We lounged in the hot tub for 20 minutes or so (I know an ice bath might have been more appropriate but you couldn’t have paid me to get in one!) then we showered and I iced my foot while we watched the Oprah on Food, Inc. [Wish they’d interviewed me about 2.5 years of documenting eating real food!! 😉 ]
I wasn’t really hungry for any more food all afternoon. I’m finding that long runs suppress my appetite the day of but then I am hungry for more substantial snacks the few days after. I’d rather listen to my body than eat lots of extra foods that I don’t really want on long run days. I think it’s more important to focus on pre and post run meals than it is to just eat ‘because you can’ that evening. Your body will let you know when it’s ready for more food. Intuitive eating!
Luckily dinner tonight was suppppper easy!!!
I mixed the leftover Greek pasta salad with a tin of sardines and a head of broccoli.
Let’s talk about sardines, shall we?
I have been debating taking a fish oil supplement lately. All the world’s a buzz with the benefits of omega-3s, but what had me stuck was that it just felt unnatural for humans to be dependent on a fish oil supplement. What did our ancestors who lived in the middle of continents do? I’m still not quite sure of that answer>, but my hypothesis (and my preceptor seemed to agree) is that the grass-fed beef and game they ate was much richer in omega-3s than typical meat is today.
So I asked my preceptor, who has over a decade of research experience, particularly on omega-3s, her opinion. I told her I eat a lot of plant sources of ALA (the precursor to EPA and DHA – essential fatty acids found mostly in fatty fish and the algae they eat) from chia, flax and the like, but that I don’t eat much fish. I asked her if she thought I should take a supplement.
Her response: why not just eat more fish!?
WELL DUH Kath. Eat real food! It honestly did not occur to me to spend my money on the fish themselves instead of the supplement!
She said that in a study she did involving testing serum levels of EFAs in a group eating doses of flax oil that the conversion rate of ALA to EPA/DHA appears to be so low that after a month of daily doses of flax oil the subjects’ levels were barely any higher. On the other hand, she told me about a study she participated in involving eating fatty fish twice a week that led to optimal levels. Only twice a week! So the twice a week recommendation has science behind it. D’oh!
And our vitamin D talk on Thursday further convinced me of the need for these super fish for their high vitamin D levels. Two of the most important and hard to get nutrients are packaged together in one super food.
I love salmon, but I will only eat wild Alaskan salmon (Atlantic a.k.a farmed salmon is not sustainable and has much lower levels of these important nutrients). Wild salmon is expensive! And sometimes hard to find. And it’s hard to shop for it fresh. And I just haven’t found a frozen salmon that has a good texture yet. But I will be making an effort to seek out more salmon for my household.
I did find these cans of salmon at Costco that are inexpensive and wild caught but we gave up our Costco membership 🙁 I will have to try to find a comparable brand at HT or EarthFare.
Enter sardines!! We always have a can of sardines in our pantry, but I tend to save it for a day when we have an empty fridge. From now on I am going to look at sardines as a weekly REQUIREMENT in my diet. Much like exercise! It’s part of my health – not just some canned food in the pantry.
So we went to Harris Teeter to get some more this weekend. Guess how much the above tin was? $.89!! El cheapo. Sardines are considered a “Best Choice” in Seafood Watch (my go-to source for seafood advice). One tin has 20% of your daily calcium, 134 IU of vitamin D, is a good source of vitamin B12 and selenium and has nearly 2 grams of omega-3s!! Click here for more nutritional info.
One thing I did discover from reading some labels: the mustard + hot sauce kinds ingredient lists are not all that glamorous. Modified corn starch and gums – I can do without those. So we decided to get the water packed kind and add our own sauces (this mustard one is leftover from a past trip)
I did find a fancier kind for $2.50 that is Mediterranean flavored with just: Sardines, olive oil, black olives, sunflower oil, spices, garlic powder, red bell pepper, and salt. Sounds tasty!! And all real foods.
People. If you eat crabs and tuna, you can eat sardines. The taste is almost identical to tuna and the concept is no worse than eating a crab or crayfish and no more gross than peel-and-eat shrimp!
Just flake them up with a fork and don’t look down!
They made an excellent addition to our pasta salad!
I added some steamed broc and more feta to the bowl and served myself a big ole portion.
Just like tuna! For real!
Water water water!