Eating and Running

When I stopped running, my running diet went with it.  By diet, I mean just making sure I didn’t eat pizza logs, chicken fingers, and pop on a daily basis.  The only reason I ever stopped eating these three lovely food groups (don’t try to convince me they are otherwise) is because I can’t sustain any period of running on that amount of fried, fatty, carbonated fuel.  When I was teaching at the gym, these things didn’t affect me in the same way they did while running… so eat like the Buffalo girl I am, I did. But all things must come to an end.  Now that I’m attempting to run again, much to my tastebuds’ chagrin, I need to get back on track.

Vitamins and MineralsI started thinking about my nutrition about a month ago when things (read: my body) didn’t progress the way I had hoped into running again.  I began taking Calcium and Vitamin D again, which I originally started taking when things weren’t progressing nicely during physical therapy.  I stopped sometime for some reason that I can’t remember, but likely because I forgot once and never remembered again.  I didn’t know prior to taking supplements if my Calcium or Vitamin D levels were adequate, but taking 600mg of Calcium and 600 total IU Vitamin D3 (400 in Vitamin D3, 200 in Calcium) isn’t likely to cause any harm.  In fact, it’s really unlikely.

After starting that, I decided to start tracking my food on My Fitness Pal.  Yes, I’ve gained an easy ten pounds since I stopped teaching at the gym, but tracking my food has nothing to do with weight.  I love all types of stats and data (hence tracking workouts via Daily Mile, Garmin Connect, and RunningAhead) so more data on what I’m putting into my body?  Sign me up.  In my opinion, the website and app are really good for tracking nutrition for somebody like me – somebody who doesn’t eat a lot of meat or vegetables and wants be able to change how much protein and carbs I want.  There’s a surprising amount of flexibility for changing your nutrient goals, which I love.  I’ve only been tracking a couple of weeks but some things were immediately apparent.

  • I eat a lot of fatty foods and none really comes from healthy fats.
  • I am always under 35% the daily value of Vitamin A.
  • My sugar intake is almost always way too high and it isn’t natural sugar from things like fruit, either.
  • I’m almost always under 50% the daily value of Vitamin C.
  • Even with a supplement that’s 60% my daily value of Calcium, I’m not near 100%.
  • I intake almost no potassium.  No, I have literally had days with no potassium.
  • If I don’t take an iron supplement, I’m around 0% daily value.

So the first thing I did was start taking an iron supplement, too.  Vitamins A and C are easier to adjust if I begin to eat more salads, but iron is a struggle because I don’t eat meat often.  Even on my salad days, the iron was slim to none.  I started taking chelated iron (29 mg), but like the Calcium and Vitamin D, I’m not sure what it’s doing besides making me gassy.

As far as working out, it could be a total coincidence but I had a really kick ass run yesterday and I haven’t had one of those in more weeks than I want to remember.  My energy levels have remained the same, if anything, I’ve been a little more tired this week.  My body doesn’t feel any different, but it’s only been a week or so of real consistency.  I’m curious to see what happens if I can stick with this for a couple of months.  There’s a good chance I won’t even notice anything specifically months down the road, but if I look back and I’ve continued to run injury free and for once am progressing?  I’ll consider it the missing key in my recovery strategy, placebo effect or not.


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

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