I knew carbs and I were best friends for a reason.

A while back I read something that basically told me I should eat as many carbs as I freaking please leading up to a race. At first of course, I thought it was too good to be true. As runners, most of us have read lots of pre-race nutrition theories about depleting carbs and then building them back up days before a race, or eating particular grams of carbs per pound of body weight, etc. This particular article caught my attention because of one simple point:

“[Mid-pack] runners who ate more than seven grams of carbohydrate for every kilogram of body weight (g/kg) ran 13.4 per cent faster than a comparable group of runners who ate fewer carbohydrates but were otherwise identical in terms of age, body mass index, training and marathon experience.” [source]

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DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT EVEN MEANS?

A) An average of 13.4% faster than lower carb eaters! That’s significant!

B) It also means I legit probably cannot get enough carbs in the 24 hours before the race. For a 125lb person, for example, that is almost 400g of carbs! To break that down– that is the equivalent to 15 cups of cubed sweet potato! To be consumed in 24 hours! Hahah what! The article suggests that you even drink some of your carbs (eg. Gatorade) and consume energy gels between meals in order to get as many carbs in as possible. Ummm, challenge accepted. AM I RIGHT?

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Xzibit knows. I bet my trunk is full of bagels right now.

The study also found that only 12% of the 250+ runners were actually taking in enough carbs (by their standards of 7g per kg of body weight)– so chances are you and I are are part of the 88% not getting enough. Another suggested benefit to carb-loading, according to this study, is that those runners who didn’t eat enough carbs pre-race slowed their pace more in the last 6.2k than those who had sufficiently fuelled up.

Common sense tells me that I most certainly should not test this theory right before a race day. I figure I should bust this out before a super long run and see if I feel any different. Another thing to note, is that this study looked at full marathoners, and half marathons don’t always demand enough of the body to require this kind of carb intake. The article indicates that “for most people, carbohydrate stores aren’t depleted until after 90 to 120 minutes of vigorous exercise.” I think I am just slow enough (hah!) for this to apply to me during the last bit of a half as well. It is obviously more applicable to full marathoners, but I still think it is very interesting to note just how important carb intake is for endurance runners in general. I’m glad I came across this information so that I can start implementing these ideas as I increase my mileage over the next few running seasons!

Hardcore carb-loading could be the difference between looking like Lemon post-race and looking like Winslow. HAHA, poor beefy.

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I have told all kinds of people about this article, but I never actually send them the source, so I thought a blog post was in order! You can find the original journal article here (although I tried to purchase it and was unsuccessful!) or the Globe and Mail article can be found here.

Have you ever tried carb loading anywhere near this level?

Do you even get my X to the Z XZIBIT meme?

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND FRIENDS! We are off to my parents’ boat with the doggies right after work!

 

Danielle

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ran, we climbed, we ate. And ate.

Not surprisingly, we ate a ton of amazing food in Vancouver.  Most of our days revolved around eating, in fact! Angela, the camera wizard, hooked me up with lots of beautiful food pics! (The best ones are hers!)

After the race, we kicked things off with lunch at a little vegetarian place called The Naam. A client at work at recommended this to me, and some of the girls had tried it previously, so we decided to give it a go!

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I had a veggie burger with guacamole on top. It was tasty enough, but not the best in terms of veggie burgers. Kind of a let down after the big post-race meal build up, but we made up for it later!

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After we left The Naam, we decided to check out the Granville Market! Angela needed some of her much coveted salmon maple bites (you’ll have to ask her), and the rest of us need a sugar rush.

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There was a cute wooden boat festival going on, but I was more interested in my gelato. Obviously.

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For our post-race dinner, Vega invited us to Heirloom for am amazing post-race, pre-Sunset Festival, blogger meet-up. It was SO FUN! Everyone was so friendly, and I loved chatting with everyone. Heirloom turned out to be our favourite restaurant, and we went three times in four days! I don’t know where our priorities were on that fourth day…

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All from Heirloom, except the chicken and crispy mashed potatoes– that was from Joey on Burrard!

The day after the race, like a bunch of crazy people, we decided to do the Grouse Grind, also known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” (2,830 stairs to be exact). It wasn’t quite as painful as I had expected, it was actually really fun! I think it may have helped to offset the race day DOMS, in fact.

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We took lots of breaks for selfies and water, and it made for a lovely morning activity!

Monday was my last day, but we managed to make it another awesome one!  Later in the morning, Christina, Angela and I made our way to the Vega head office for a tour and lunch. Their kitchen is awesome with a HUGE salad bar. I had been talking about beets all weekend, so I was really excited when we arrived to find some freshly roasted beets! Win!

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We finished off the day with a little farewell dinner for my friend Brandy and I, just before we left to catch our flights!  Krysten and Ale were able to join us as well which made it even more fun!

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After dinner, Brandy and I sadly made our way to the airport to catch our planes, after which I made it home just in time to be at work for 9am…yeah. That was not my best idea!

Even though it was only 4 days, I left Vancouver feeling totally refreshed and restored. Spending time with kind and inspiring people, such as these ladies, has such a positive impact on my mood and outlook. I am so lucky to call these ladies my friends!

And now, it’s back to reality. The mountain-free world of making my own food, running alone, and peeing my pants in laughter far less often than I would like. Sigh.

Until next year, SeaWheeze!

Danielle

xo

Marathon Monday: SeaWheeze 2014 Edition

Linking up with my girl Christina for another Marathon Monday!

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We arrived in Vancouver on Thursday and crammed in a few hours sleep before the insanity commenced!  The time leading up to the race can easily be summed up in a few short steps.

Step 1:  Dodge a skunk on the way to the SeaWheeze showcase store (aka. Store full of limited edition SeaWheeze clothes). Why would we see a skunk do you ask? Oh, because we were walking over at FOUR THIRTY A.M.

Step 2: Spend all the monies. And I mean all of it.

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Chaos ensues!

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Success!

Step 3: Eat all the foods.

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Step 4: Try to forget the real reason we came here. No, it wasn’t to execute step 2 (and 3).

Step 5: (The final step!)Attempt to make it to the finish line in one piece. (SPOILER ALERT: I did it. Barely.)

The week leading up to the race I had a ton of treatments with various practitioners trying to loosen up some of the tightness going on in my abdominals/psoas. I think things successfully loosened quite a bit, but I continued to get cramps while walking, right up to the walk to the start line. I tried to not worry about it, but every runner knows that is near impossible once you get to race day! The energy is so exciting and infectious that at the start, you start to think you can freaking win the thing if you want to (hah okay maybe that’s a bit extreme).

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Anyway, this is how it went down!

1-3k: 4:56min/km. What an idiot. Hah, seriously. I don’t know why I thought that pace was a good idea given my injuries all season.

3k: This is where the cramps kicked in. At this point I was still pretty hopeful that they would subside so I just focused on my breathing and kept trekking.

6k: The unforgiving Burrard St. bridge is in full forces. Cramps too.

9k: Oh let’s turn around and hit that bridge again, cause we love the pain, AM I RIGHT?

10k: I managed to throw back a raspberry Vega energy gel.  It tasted delightfully similar to real raspberries!

11k-21.1k: I have no idea what happened. Hahah! I really started hurting. I took breaks at all the water stations, and sometimes in between. I really was not having a great time. Cramps on cramps. Now, don’t get me wrong– this race was amazing.  There was a TON of stuff to look at along the course. Mermaids, choirs, cheering squads all over the place, drag queens, all kinds of stuff!  But I was in that zone where I had no interest in any of it. I wanted to be done. But I didn’t want to move any faster. My kilometre splits varied from 4:56-6:27/km. Eek.

In the end, I crossed the finish line in 1:57:18. My slowest time in a while, but considering all I have been dealing with, and the fact that this course is NOT PR friendly, I am okay with it! By the time I crossed the finish line, all my super speedy friends (Ashley, Christina, and Angela), were done and ready for a photo shoot!

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The volunteers did an AMAZING job with tons of special touches including COLD wet wash clothes at the finish line, and an APPLAUSE for every runner who entered the bag check area!

This weekend has been SO much fun and I absolutely intend on trying to get in for next year!

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See you soon for trip excitement part II!

Danielle

xo