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If Nothing Changes Nothing Changes- First 50M

Well you know what they say: if nothing changes, nothing changes. I have trained for a couple 50K’s on my own, with a plan based off of the book Relentless Forward Progress. Training for my last race in Tennessee left my with runners knee.

The goal has always been to finish. Now that I know I can complete a 50k, the bar has raised. In an ongoing effort to see what my meat machine can do, I have had my mind set on a first 50-miler. I asked my group of ultra-running friends if I should start with a flat 50. The response was yes.

Naturally I decided to do one of the most difficult races I could find, complete with elevation, rocks, and sure-to-be misery. Oh yeah, and some great views.

With aches and pains, and pains and aches, I knew I need something structured. Just running was not going to cut it. Trying to determine how to fit in leg day in the gym with the excessive running required to train for an ultra has always been a puzzle to me. This week, I pulled the trigger to train in Luc’s Pain Cave. That was change numero uno.

 

I have modified my training plan to focus on quality workouts, each with a purpose as opposed to running blindly.

Right now I am gung-ho and ready to go. Driving to find hills, trails, and to the Pain Cave is going to be a challenge in itself, both mentally and financially. Today was my first day waking up at 5am. I thought the smoke alarm was going off when I heard my phone calling me to attention. I made it to the gym with 10 minutes to spare. Luc knows what he is doing. I could tell after one session that he would help me fix my hip, ankle, and bitchy feet problems. I might get man wrists as well. I was joking with him today, saying “I walked in here a boy, and will leave a man!” Side note: I may need to pay to get the gym floor dry-cleaned with the waterfall rushing out of my body during the workouts.

Tonight after work, I am supposed to do a fitting “Hill-Run.” Finding a hill in South Florida is a struggle in itself; running that hill for 20 weeks without going kamikaze, even more so. Good thing we don’t have any cliffs.

From a psychological perspective, the fact that I am doing so much to prepare will have me believing, even if its irrational, that I can complete this race within the 17 hours allotted. My mantras are “you are a machine,” and “pain is only temporary.”

 

 

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Week 3 Morning Run Mile 3 of 6

Add Broccoli Sprouts to Your Diet

I have been listening to a lot of Dr. Rhonda Patrick. She is very technical, but smart and just below the super-nerd threshold that would make her impossible to understand. Here is a summary of what I have learned today.

Consuming cruciferous vegetables dramatically decreases chances of getting all types of cancer, decreases risks of cardiovascular disease (the #1 killer in the US), helps with the growth of new neurons (neuroplasticity), aids in muscle growth, potentially allows you to run longer, and will help you live longer. This include breast and lung cancer. Even after you have cancer, these vegetables will help as well.

Cruciferous vegetables include (not limited to):

  • Arugula.
  • Bok choy.
  • Broccoli. (Sprouts as well)
  • Brussels sprouts.
  • Cabbage.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Collard greens

Here is the catch, cooking these greens at high temperatures destroys some of the nutritional value. It is not bad to have these vegetables cooked, but you definitely want to consume them raw as well. Cruciferous vegetables exert their greatest beneficial effect with the amount sulforaphane, one of the best anti-carcinogens, they contain.

Cruciferous vegetables and broccoli sprout powder can lower inflammatory cytokines by up to 20%. These inflammatory cytokines (inflammation throughout the guy and body) are now shown to cause depression and depression. Therefore, it is like that by eating broccoli sprouts, you can live a happier life.

The easiest way to reap the befits of cruciferous vegetables is through young, fresh broccoli sprouts.

Broccoli sprouts can be extracted into a pill, which has been shown to prevent and help with type II diabitis. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2134735-5-kilograms-of-broccoli-in-a-pill-slashes-diabetics-blood-sugar/

It seems like a great idea to start consuming green smoothies. These smoothies can be as simple as a handful of kale/broccoli sprouts, some berries or a banana and yogurt. Bananas make smoothies creamier. Avocado will do this as well. There are several recipes online. Here is a more complicated recipe from Onnit.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 (packed) cup broccoli sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cucumber (skin on)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 avocado, peeled
  • 10 shakes turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 serving protein powder
  • 1 cup pure coconut water
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups ice (consistency preference)

Here is a green smoothie recipe from Joe Rogan:

  • 4 stalks kale.
  • 4 celery stems.
  • 1 cucumber.
  • 1 pear.
  • 1/2″ ginger.
  • 8 oz water (optional, to help items blend together more smoothly)

Furthermore, in mice models (not Zoolander mice, but I love calling them mouse models vs studies):

Here is a 45 minute video if you want to learn more.

The Next 4 Months of My Life

Alafia State Park

First 50k

Anxious to complete my first 50k and wanting to get out of Dodge, I drove four hours to Brooksville, Florida: a small unimpressive town with little to do. They have a nice trail though where Croom Zoom and April Fools Croom Race are held. I was met by ten of my Down to Run friends for pre-race packet pickup.

It is ironic that I planned my meals for two weeks prior to the race carefully, focusing on the proper ratio of complex carbs to protein. The night before, we ate at the one “safe” looking restaurant in town. Limited with options, I was forced to have chicken Parmesan with pasta and garlic rolls. I had a cannoli as well just to play safe and top off the carb reserves.

4280658636_a707c75ebc.jpg

(This image of chicken parm. is strictly for illustrative purposed, twas not the one I consumed)

8 PM: The night before the race, I got back to my room and started flipping through the channels. I got through all 20 about five times.

8:30 PM: Gave up on finding anything good to watch and settled for something mediocre.

9 PM: Fell into slumber.

9 PM-4 AM: Pee, Drink Water, Pee, Kick Corner of Bed

5 AM: Race Day. I woke-up and traveled across the street for a Waffle House waffle, purposely not thinking about whether I was in the mood to run 31 miles.

Mistake #2 or lesson #2, 5am stomach+waffle house+ running= no good.

The waffle was only in my stomach for a short period of time. My next stop was a 40 person line at the race for the 2 restrooms which had no lights. It was a great way to start the day.

The race started well. It was in the upper 50’s with light fog cover. I felt good and passed a bunch of people. At some point, it almost feels like it takes more effort to go slower than your comfortable pace, so I pushed past some people that maybe I shouldn’t have.

The first 13 miles were relatively effortless. The course had some elevation, likely more than I was prepared for. I didn’t really have a walking plan. The plan was to walk when I felt I absolutely needed to. I had to walk some portions of 14 to 16 as my hips starting killing me, and I was running out of gas. Somewhere between mile 13 and 16 I kicked a root and fell to my face like Humptey Dumptey. I think the person behind me yelled “timber!” That was fun. Nothing like being covered in dirt and having a face itch.

By mile 16 (the end of loop 1 of 2) I had waves of nausea. I should have been eating more looking back, as I tend to start feeling sick when I need calories. The aid stations were not even really setup until the second loop, so I was limited to eating and drinking what I had, or else waste precious time. I was having a salt capsule an hour, and trying to have at least 100 calories per hour, but I lost track of everything. The only thing I could think about was to continue moving forward. At this point, it was around 80 degrees and increasing. The sun was beating down.

I had told myself that when it got tough my mantra would be “you are a machine,” “you can do this all day.” There was no doubt in my mind as to whether I would finish. I had decided previously that I would 100%.

After filling up with water, eating a quarter of a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, and getting told my Jen I needed to move vs. dig through my bag for some little piece of crap that I didn’t need. I felt good enough to run another mile, before my legs started cramping to the point I felt I had to walk or else I would land on a limp leg and fall over. I got to the aid station and had some Mountain Dew for the caffeine and pickles and potato chips for the salt. That actually helped a lot and I was able to run another mile. When I started fading again I was hopeful for more Mountain Dew and pickles at the next aid station. But silly me…there was no more to be had.

After 18 miles I had to remind myself that this was a running race, and not a hike, as I found myself unconsciously walking. My entire body was so exhausted that I didn’t have many thoughts. My hips hurt viciously, especially on the uphills, so I had to stop running and walk, but I turned off the pain. There was a minute where I asked myself “this is physically painful, why are you doing this? Never do this again!” While every step hurt, I did a good job of not thinking about it, after the moment that I promised myself I wouldn’t put myself in the same position again. The pain was more bearable than the cramps that just shut my legs down. There was more walking towards the end of the race than I would have preferred, but I did the best I could given how my body was behaving that day.

Looking back at what I could have done differently:

  1. Eat better the night before and the morning of
  2. Walk before I absolutely needed to (when to walk I still have no clue because my body usually tells me to stop the entire time I am running)
  3. Force myself to eat more during the race

I have been pretty down since the race; nothing sounds fun anymore. There was so much anticipation and effort that went into training, now what? While my finish was not all I could have hoped for, at least now I will have greater room for improvement and a reference point.

I am looking for another race to hopefully knock off some time. This running thing is a love hate relationship. Hate to do it, love it when it is over.

A few of us stayed until Sunday went to Rainbow Springs over in BFE Florida.

The water was crystal clear, and the perfect temperature. After a quick dip, a canoe ride down and back up the river, lunch and a few cups of coffee, the trip was over.

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