Running Injury and Diet Overhaul
Hi everyone! Marathon training and diet update. I am so glad that I have this outlet. I needed to type this post as a form of self-expression and healing. My training last week – more like non- training – was mentally draining. (First time visitor to laurenpexa.com? Welcome! Read about my decision to run marathon #2 here.)
Since I was not an all-star athlete in high school or college I never understood what people meant by ‘mental toughness’ regarding sports. Sports are mentally tough? Come on. But in 2015 I started training for my first marathon and began to understand the expression all too well. Then, work through an injury and that understanding intensifies ten-fold.
Unfortunately, Dublin Marathon training week 10 was halted, my training program is 28 weeks. I needed time to work through a lower back injury. It happened in the silliest way. It’s embarrassing to type… I was putting the toilet seat down. Yep, you read that right. As I was lowering the seat I felt immediate discomfort and a pull. Then was hunched over the toilet for a couple minutes while I regained my composure. I was completing the lowest ‘low-intensity’ action ever. I was not even working out! Obviously, who works out in the bathroom?
My injury occurred last week on Sunday, June 18 after dinner.
Here is Week 10’s Original Training Schedule (11 Miles) vs. Injury- Modified Training Schedule that Occurred (7 Miles):
Sunday, June 18
- Original: 30 Minute Cross Training (I have been using Lori Harder workout videos, she offers three free workouts on her site, check them out!)
- Injury- Modified: Missed Workout
Monday, June 19
- Original: Rest
- Injury-Modified: Rest
Tuesday, June 20
- Original: 2 Mile Run
- Injury-Modified: 2 Mile Walk
Wednesday, June 21
- Original: 2 Mile Run + 30 Minute Cross Train
- Injury-Modified: 2 Mile Walk
Thursday, June 22
- Original: 2 Mile Run
- Injury-Modified: 2 Mile Jog
Friday, June 23
- Original: 30 Minute Cross Train
- Injury-Modified: Light 30 Minute Cross Train
Saturday, June 24
- Original: 5 Mile Run
- Injury-Modified: 5 Mile Run
Before my injury that Sunday I made the poor decision to skip my workout. Skipping workouts is a poor practice. I was reminded of that last week. Moving forward. On Monday, I took it easy and did not move much. I tried to stretch and I think that helped. By Tuesday, I was able to walk and get to town. I am fortunate that my recovery did not keep me home longer. Wednesday, I walked again, Thursday, I was feeling 85% and decided to jog. Friday, I completed a light full-body weighted workout. Finally, on Saturday I completed a five mile beach run (pictures above). It was not my fastest run but I could tell I was on the mend.
Reflecting on the earlier days in the week, I was discouraged. I still moved but it was not the original training plan. Missed or modified workouts make me worry since each workout serves a greater purpose: helping me cross the finish line on race day. So, then the mental games begin. I had four missed or modified workouts last week. I told myself calm down, it will be okay. But my mind makes me second guess myself and feel discouraged. I played over and over again, ‘What if another random injury happens?’, or ‘Why was I lazy on Sunday? If I would have been disciplined and completed my workout I would only have only missed three workouts.’
After I mentally recalibrated and changed my negative thoughts to positive ones. I asked myself, ‘Since I cannot complete my original workouts what can I complete to stay on track?’
I decided to focus on my diet. It seemed like a good time to reset, the first two-weeks of June I was home in Minnesota, completing my workouts, but over indulging. Then my first weekend back in Ireland I embarked on a food-themed girls’ road trip. It was lovely, but most foods we ate were quite rich.
The week of my injury my diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, salmon, and chicken. My diet was a modified version on the cleanse documented in the book WomanCode by Alisa Vitti (The book was recommended to me by my esthetician Kelly – she is the best, check her out in Edina here – to help treat my skincare issues naturally.).
It was an eye-opening experience. I talked about my cravings a little on Snapchat but to elaborate, I eat a lot of sugar. After every meal, I was craving something sweet. It was a weird feeling to tell myself, ‘You’re okay, you do not need anything else to eat.’ I seriously had this chat with myself multiple times a day. It required a lot of discipline. Whereas before I would not think twice about the amount a sugar I was consuming in a day, if I wanted to eat it, I ate it. I like being a little more aware of what I am consuming and not always leaning on food as a reward.
Resting and healing my back last week allowed me to focus on my diet, another vital element to a successful race day. Sometimes I can get so caught up in the miles and getting my workouts complete that I lose track of other key elements. I now plan to move forward keeping my diet and workouts top of mind equally. Week 11 of training, here I come!
A Sample Day of My Diet Last Week:
- 1 ½ cups of fruit topped with fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a tablespoon of flaxseed meal
- 16oz of water
- 4oz broiled salmon
- Big salad with vegetables
- ½ cup of quinoa with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal
- Vegetables: cut up cucumber, carrots, and celery
- A salad with vegetables
- Dressing: fresh squeezed lemon juice with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Dessert (I had to)
- Hot herbal tea with lemon
- 2 Hershey Kisses
**Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian or a healthcare professional. These are simply the foods that energize me and make me feel good about myself.