When I first started this blog (a long time ago, although the post-count does not suggest so!), I was training for my first (and only) half-marathon. At the time I was living with two roommates – one of who spent most of his time at his girlfriend’s apartment. I happened to run into this one roommate one day in May of 2010 and he told me he was training for another marathon. We talked a bit for about an hour, mostly about running, and by the end of the conversation I had decided to do one too!
The next morning I woke up motivated, signed up for the Philly marathon, and started to look at training programs. I started with Hal Higdon’s spring training so that I could get some running training done before the actual marathon training, and then moved on to the novice marathon training. Everything was going great – I had sorted out some nutritional stuff (was eating a lot of overnight oats and Vega shakes), and felt that the routine was going well for me. In a sense, I think I forgot that my life was more than just the training – and didn’t engage properly at work. But that’s a story for another time.
I’ve spent a lot of this week thinking about running because I’m doing a 10k tomorrow, and I just finished reading Scott Jurek’s book, Eat to Run. It’s a great read, not too long, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in running. He doesn’t spend too much time on anyone specific race, and instead strings them along at stories, with recipes interspersed between them. The way he explains his recipes makes vegan cooking seem very simple, which is an idea that a lot of people struggle with. It’s very easy to want to rely on meat replacements (veggie burgers, fake cheeses, etc), because then you can simply replace a certain item in a regular recipe. Instead Jurek shows how simple it is to make rice milk, or chili, or even pancakes (although he includes quite a few different types of flours in some of these recipes that make it seem like a marathon to pull a batter together!). He also says that eating more raw foods made him appreciate the flavors of food, and that he realized that until then, that what most of us eat is rather bland.
In the days leading up to the race this weekend, I spent some time really thinking about my own nutritional needs. I’m not where near level of fitness that Scott has, but I do understand how a good diet can aid in recovery and training. And like Scott, I know that while I may not run the time that I want to run tomorrow, that the process of training is worth almost more than the race itself. And that process of finding something in the training is what I am looking forward to – that is after I get through this 10k.