A huge part of this experiment, for me, is learning how living sugar-free and processed foods-free will impact my running. I will honestly say that the first weeks of this 100 days most definitely had a negative effect on my running. Low energy, lethargy, lack of ooomph. Not the best ingredients for a nice long run.
I have remained optimistic that this phase is temporary & part of my body’s way of adjusting to the lack of immediate & frequent slams of “fake” energy in various forms of pure sugar. I had decided at the outset to let myself eat processed energy gels (Gu, etc) and “ultra food/drinks” when I race. The Lost Lake 50k on Saturday was my first race since starting the experiment so I was very anxious to see how I fared energy-wise.
I am not a fast runner. I am decidedly a back-of-the-packer in most races. So, for me, it’s more about beating my previous times on any given course, or feeling strong throughout and avoiding any deep low moments. Those are my “goals” when I race.
With this race, I had kind of a big morning. 🙂 I probably could have raced on adrenaline alone! Lost Lake is one of the tougher 50k races in WA with over 8,000 ft of gain, so I definitely needed some good calories. I started with Accelerade in my bottles, which I always use, and consumed 4 gels, countless cups of Coke, 1/2 PB & J, 1/2 banana and one baby Snickers. In addition to that I drank tons of water & electrolyte drink. I never bonked. Energy-wise I felt steady the whole time. I definitely ate less than I normally do. I was sloooooow, but steady (8:33 finish time) on this very technical & difficult course. The only thing I would have done differently fuel-wise would be to drink more – I was sweating a ton and felt a little dehydrated at the finish.
As far as recovery, I think I am still in lethargic-mode from my food changes. I am ok with that. I am willing to wait for my body to “click over”. I hope that happens soon though. 🙂
No post-race beer, no celebratory champagne….Do I miss it? Honestly, I don’t. I love an ice cold beer after a hard race or long run, but I honestly feel SO GOOD treating my body well – It just doesn’t seem appealing. Glad for that. I want to keep this ball rolling!!
Lost Lake 50k, photo credit Takao Suzuki