Category Archives: Nutrition

Long Run, TLC, and the Real Reason I Don’t Post Pictures of Food

I know I take bad selfies, but I don’t have anyone to take a picture of me at 06:00 in the morning, especially on the weekend.
I just had to take one to show you my new Mizuno top, I love it. Worked great on my long run today, very airy and fresh, no chafing whatsoever, and the racer back is so cute.

 
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21.3K/13.2M at average pace 05:04 Min/KM (08:09 Min/Mile). Not bad for the morning after a race. I wanted to take it easy, which I did, I am trying to make speed runs not more than 15% of my weekly total running.

 
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I’m good with my average pace for the run, but my pacing wasn’t the best:

 
2KM/1.2M – warm up at average pace 05:45 Min/KM (09:15 Min/Mile)
9KM/5.6M – taking it easy at average pace 05:14 Min/KM (08:25 Min/Mile)
10.3KM/6.4M – loving running, but not keeping the easy pace I intended, at average pace 04:47 Min/KM (07:41 Min/Mile)

 
The pace of the last 10K, that is my “happy” pace. My favorite pace to run, especially when I get there gradually, after a few KMs at an easy pace. My legs are warm and feel strong and I get to that pace so naturally. I feel fast, that is definitely not an easy pace for me, but I feel strong and not winded at the same time.

 
On weekends I usually come home after I run to shower and get ready, during the week I usually shower at the gym. It’s nice to come home and spend a bit of time with the kids before I jump in the shower, and especially not be in the usual rush that is the work week.

 
After getting ready, I hit the fridge big time. By then it had been over an hour since I finished my run, so I was starving. All I had after the run was water with NUUN.

 
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I really don’t know why I used my daughter’s Hello Kitty’s plate

 
Recovery shake with banana, cacao, glutamine (yum), soymilk, flaxseed, and molasses.
The healthiest bread sold in Israel, at least that I have found, and the most delicious hummus, I did scrub that container clean.
A few almonds, my husband likes to soak them overnight, it makes them softer. I prefer them dry but I don’t really mind, I don’t eat them too often.

 
A couple of hours later I had another snack, and this is the reason why you don’t see a lot of food pictures in this blog, I remember to take pictures after I’m done eating.

 
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I ate the whole pineapple, it really wasn’t too big, leftover apple pieces from my kids’ snack, and a Clif bar.

 
I took my knee high compression socks out of circulation for running because it’s officially too hot, but my calves were feeling a bit tight so I decided to use them for recovery. A bit of TLC can’t hurt: freeze spray, foot cream, tight socks, and lying down. Followed by a glass of water with apple cider vinegar, and Grid rolling.

 
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What is your “happy” pace and why?



 

Sticky Independence

Cold weather and I are bitter enemies. Even here in Israel, there were some mornings that the thought of running outside made me want to quit running altogether.
But now spring is here, and it got warm really fast.
I went for a run at 06:00 in the morning, with 25C/77F when I started. Humid and sticky.

 
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It was an easy pace run so I wasn’t making a lot of effort, but still finished my run sweaty and tired.

 
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It’s a non-working holiday in Israel today, Independence Day, and we spent some time with family. My husband’s parents both come from really big families, so get togethers become huge events with lots of aunts and uncles and nephews and children all over the place, quite fun. I think we were over 50 adults and at least 20 children.

 
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Sometimes I miss eating meat, but then I think about the bigger picture. My veggies were delicious, and I also had a large piece of some round thick bread, I don’t know exactly what it was, kind of like a pita but four times the size.

 
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A little break in the week always does wonders to my energy levels, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s morning run and strength training, although my alarm is set for way too early.
It will be another easy run, similar route as today. I’m doing mostly moderate runs this week after Saturday’s race, the only speed work will on Thursday.

 

Do you get to see your extended family often? Is there anything you’ve quit eating?



 

HIIT Run Outside, and Hooked on the Green Stuff

Yesterday I did an interval run outside, as opposed to the treadmill, for the first time.
I set my Garmin to give me half KM (500 meters) splits, so I could alternate between hard and easy, 500 meters each.
I enjoy doing interval runs because they are fun, they go by fast, and I know they help me get faster. But having to actually think about my pace, instead of just setting the number on the treadmill, was really hard.

 
I don’t know if this is an issue only I have, but my Garmin is not great at giving me the exact instant pace I’m running. The splits are perfect it seems, but if I look at my watch at any given time, especially if I recently changed my speed, the display of instant pace is quite off. I tried to go by feel, and for fear of running slower than I had planned, I ended up not only running faster, but each interval is not even similar to the previous one.

 
It was a good run but all over the place. The one thing I’m happy about is to see the last fast split at 03:54 Min/KM (06:16 Min/Mile). That’s a new pace for me, even if I only kept it for 500 meters.

 
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The wife of a coworker has a home business where she makes fresh juice every day and delivers it. My coworker brought me one the other day to try, and now I’m hooked and ended up signing up for weekly deliveries. Nice trick.
The taste wasn’t the best, but definitely drinkable. And I could almost feel the vitamins and minerals going into my cells and making me healthier!
With that being said, I drink it as an addition to everything else I eat and drink daily. I actually had the juice after having a post workout snack of a Clif bar and a shake with banana, melon, soy milk, and flaxseed. Replacing meals with juice on a regular basis and for long periods of time sounds crazy to me.

 
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Do you drink freshly pressed juice? What is your opinion on juice cleansing? If you have a GPS watch, is the instant pace precise?

(sorry but I have to figure the GPS one out, it drove me cray yesterday).

 

Healthy Monday for Runners: Carb Loading

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If you are going over all the details of your upcoming race, trying to figure out how to do things the best way, then you are probably wondering if you should carb load.
But what exactly is carb loading, should you do it, and if so, how to do it right?

 
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The technical mambo jambo, ADD version:

 
Our bodies store energy in the form of glycogen, in our muscles and liver.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are our main source of glycogen.
Our bodies store enough glycogen for about 90 minutes of exercise.
See? That’s it.

 
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Should I carb load?

 
Eating enough carbs before a race is not only beneficial for longer races, but it will also give you extra energy for races where you’ll be running less than 90 minutes.
Even if you are planning on consuming carbs before/during your race, carb loading a few days in advance will ensure you have the maximum energy available come race day.

 
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However, there are a few negatives to carb loading to consider before you make the decision:
Feeling bloated: a change in diet, especially consuming extra carbohydrates, may make you feel bloated.
Water retention: Our bodies store 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen.
Stiff muscles: extra carbs can make your muscles feel stiff and less flexible.
Change: sometimes the uncertainty of change doesn’t sit well on our minds, especially close to race day (see “make a plan” below).

 
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The right way to carb load:

 
Do the math: By using a nutrition app like myfitnesspal or sparkpeople, figure out what percentage of your daily calories comes from carbs, so you can gradually increase them. Keep in mind you’ll want to eat around 7-8 grams of carbs for each KG (2.2 pounds) of your weight (this is what works for me, some suggestions go up to 10 grams per KG).

 
Practice: General guidelines are great to get an idea of what to do, but they are guidelines. Your body may respond better to a bit less or a bit more carbs than the recommended range, so take the time to experiment.

 
Make a plan: Figure out in advance what you will eat and drink every day during the carb loading phase, calculate the carb and calorie content to make sure you are on track with your needs.

 
Start 3-7 days before the race: The last 2 days before the race, consume 80% carbs, the days before that, range between 50% and 80%.

 
Choose wisely: Despite what you may have heard, carb loading is not about eating a lot of starchy junk food. Chose simple and nutritious foods, without a lot of extra fat and salt. Go for complex carbs the first few days (whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, oats, etc.) and stick to simple carbs (white breads and flours) the day before the race.

 
Get them in: Some people actually enjoy eating a lot of bread, pasta and rice. But for others it is more difficult to eat a larger amount of carbohydrates. Healthy drinks are a great way to get some additional carbs without the extra feeling of fullness, think smoothies, shakes, and natural juices.

 
Don’t overeat the night before the race: Eat a medium sized meal, 12-15 hours before the race. You want to feel comfortably full after dinner, and actually wake up hungry the next morning.

 
Race day breakfast: Don’t go overboard with your race day breakfast, so you don’t feel too full and heavy when it’s time to run. A 200-300 calorie breakfast of mostly carbs, 2-3 hours before the race should be enough.

 

Have you ever tried carb loading? Did it work for you?



 

Typical Friday

Friday is the first day of the weekend in Israel, and a great day to be out.
The morning is busy for stores and coffee houses because many people don’t work and have time to do some shopping or go get breakfast.
I enjoy the bustling atmosphere, as long as I don’t have an agenda, and can just be out having a good time, looking around, no stress.

 
For me, first thing in the morning was a nice, easy, can’t ask for better weather, great music in my ears, long run. 21.2K/13.2M at average pace 04:56 Min/KM (07:56 Min/Mile).
A long run on Friday mornings has become routine, and I enjoy every minute of it.

 
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My long run route is perfect, all through the boardwalk from Yaffo to North Tel Aviv, going by the Tel Aviv Port, then by a small airport where sometimes if I’m lucky enough I see a plane land or take off right by me, just a fence between the runway and the running path. Then a bit through Hayarkon Park. And all the way back. If you are in Israel you have to run this route. It makes you want to keep running and running.

 
I felt really good through the whole run, my legs finally felt rested after a few harder weeks. I can’t say I had been training harder, but for some reason my legs had felt tired, maybe I didn’t take enough rest days. Today I felt back to normal and I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of training before my next race.

 
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I was back home by 09:00 AM, got ready, and we went out to Tel Aviv to walk around and eat.
This is also quite typical of my Friday morning, good food, shopping, and people watching in a fun, young, great city.
I bought a couple of books, looked around the market, and had an Israeli breakfast which I failed to take pictures of because I was so hungry I ate it all too fast.

 
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Spent the afternoon at a local coffee house, 5th coffee of the day, some quality time with the kids making rainbow loom bracelets. If you don’t know what that is, trust me you are lucky.

 
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TGIF, and have a great weekend!

 

What is your typical weekend activity?