According to Jesse, this is what is wrong with my current diet:
-too many carbs at the wrong times
-not enough protein
-not enough careful pre, during and post nutrition thoughtfulness
-too much of the wrong kinds of fats
And here I was thinking I wasn't doing so bad....
Well, actually, I knew I had a few major problems with my diet, but I was unwilling to think too much about it. Part of this has to do with my running background. Runners do fuel during workouts, but the ones I know and hang out with pride themselves about not getting too silly and persnickety about it. They love a post-run breakfast with greasy home fries, sausage and coffee. They like a good post-race beer (or ten) as opposed to Endurox. They drink regular Gatorade as opposed to the fancy sports drinks like Accelerade or PowerBar or whatever. This is the culture I come from, and it's also a culture I like and respect.
The problem is, I really want to kick ass in my training and racing. EVERYTHING I read talks about the importance of good nutrition. I felt it was time to start putting forth some effort in this department. Why train more than 10 hours every week if you aren't going to take something important like fueling seriously?
Am I starting to think this way because I'm becoming more of a triathlete than a runner? I think yes. This makes me a tad sad.
Anyway. As we chatted, Jesse ate his "dinner." I know he was going to have some yummy chili after I left (his wife was making it while I was there--made with lean turkey, of course, rather than what I would make it with, hamburger), but as we talked he ate cottage cheese, prunes and walnuts. All I could think was, I can NEVER do this. Kill me now.
In short, here are my must-dos:
- Fuel before I work out. Often I just jump in the pool or go out for a run in the morning not having eaten. This is bad.
- Fuel during my workout (esp. when biking and running). I do this, but I guess I have to start using "good" sports beverages as opposed to the Gatorade I buy from the grocery store.
- Fuel after my workouts, esp. if they last longer than an hour. Sometimes I do this, but not always. I own a big jug of powdered Endurox, but I'm not a huge fan. Guess I need to become one.
- Give up coffee in favor of green tea. (Yeah right. That one's not at the top of my list yet. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE COFFEE? Okay. I LOVE COFFEE.)
- More fruits and veggies. Less refined sugar. Easy to say, hard to do.
- More lean meat, fish and other high protein foods, and start using protein powder in my smoothies. Oh, and start drinking smoothies.
- No more dark beer. If I'm going to drink it needs to be Mich Light or red wine. Blek. Like with the coffee, I'm not committed to that rule yet. Life is too short to give up coffee and dark beer.
I had to go three and a half hours on the bike today. I wanted to go outside, but the hub. had a billion totally justifiable things he had to do (like getting the car inspected--that kind of stuff) so I couldn't get outside without the kiddos. I did the workout in three parts--two 1 hour 20 min. sessions on the trainer, and the last part I did at the gym so the kids could play there. (They have this really awesome rec. room with childcare. Gotta love the YMCA.)
Anyway, as I biked away at the gym, sweating everywhere and stinking up the room, I watched this boy. I think he had cerebral palsy, though I'm not sure. He was with two adults, one of whom I think was his dad because they had the same eyes. The adults were helping the boy to sit at the weight machines and lift a little weight. They would carry him from machine to machine. When the boy lifted he would make these very loud roaring noises. It was both distracting and interesting. I couldn't figure out what inspired the roars. Sometimes they were in conjunction with lifting, but sometimes they weren't. Anyway, at the end of his workout, one of the men placed him in a chair very near to my bike, which was at the end of a row, and then he watched him, holding his shoulder, as the other man went off to do something, I don't know what. The boy (he was in his teens--very tall) kept looking at me, but when I caught his eye he would look away. He didn't have control over his body, but his eyes he moved very clearly with purpose.
I know that people with cerebral palsy aren't necessarily mentally disabled. Think Mr. Hoyt's son, or that boy from My Left Foot. I began to wonder what was going through his mind. Was he used to being stared at by people--or by people looking away? Did it bother him that people make the assumption that he is retarded because he doesn't have control of his muscular system? As I thought this I finally caught his eye, and I smiled at him.
A few minutes later, the man came back and the two men together lifted him up. It was then that I noticed the boy had wet his pants. They carried him to his wheel chair, and they left.
And then I began to cry. Isn't that weird? I still can't explain it. I think it may have had to do with thinking about how my children are so healthy and able--how lucky they are and I am.... But it also had to do with my sadness for him, the boy. I'm sure it would be annoying to him that I felt pity and sadness. Was he humiliated that he had wet his pants? Did he know?
I'm so lucky that I can swim, bike, run--
and lift my children, and control my bladder, and everything else I can do that I take for granted every day of my life.