As many of you know if you’ve read the post a few posts ago, I am running a marathon. This is somewhat a big feat, since a) I’m usually pretty lazy, b) I didn’t really like running growing up (one reason soccer and basketball weren’t my sports. I also have a picture of myself after the “long run” in the Mini Olympics, in which I look like I’m about to pass out) and c) well, this will involve about four hours and 15 minutes of running … all at one time (assuming I keep to between a 9:30 and 10:30min pace). 

So again, this is a relatively big feat! 

You may ask “Why the heck is Rachel running a marathon? She hates running.” Well, that may be true but my reasons are as follows:
1)  I don’t despise running as much as I used to.
2) It’s something I can train for and do it without major injury (hopefully) through the training program I am doing.
3) I am in a training program, so therefore I have the accountability when the long runs reach up to 10, 15, 20 miles.
4) Well, why not? I can accomplish this. I haven’t set my mind to something and actually followed through with it in a while, so I might as well add this to the list.

Okay, so those four reasons may not win a forensics competition, but those are indeed my reasons. I could probably think of more if I put my mind to it, but I just don’t feel like it (the laziness has seeped into other parts of my life). 

While I am on a training program right now, I am currently resting due to pesky little buggers called Shinsplints. If any of you have had them, well, they are quite painful. They are common to runners, especially runners who up their mileage too quickly (which I have done). So, my coaches (yes, I actually have coaches!!) have suggested I rest this week and try for my long run (four miles) on Saturday. I hope my shin muscles are sick of complaining by that time. I tried to run yesterday, got about a mile and a half–-and I was going at about a 9min pace, so I was clippin along–-when I just couldn’t go anymore due to ain shooting up my left leg. Rather than risk more injury, I decided to stop and limped home. Not to worry though, nothing a little rest and ice can’t cure (and maybe a few ibuprofen tossed in there too). 

While these shinsplints are hindering my training for the Seattle Marathon (happening the Sunday after Thanksgiving–book your flights now, people!), I also have decided to not partake in the Seafair Half Marathon that I had foolishly signed up for a few months ago and is occurring in less than two weeks. I was planning on running some of this half marathon (13.1 miles) and then walking the rest, but everyone (myself and my coaches) feel that I shouldn’t attend in order to rest my legs and be in top shape to train for the full marathon. I’m bummed, and I really don’t want to have to tell my friend Tracy that I won’t be running, since she kind of signed up because I signed up. Hmm… how to break it to her. 

This new found exuberance for running and working out has caused me to take a step back and evaluate what I’m putting in my body. While I’ve considered myself a pretty healthy eater, when I really looked at it, I saw that I needed to shape up my diet a bit. Cereal for dinner just won’t cut it. So, thanks to the help of my dear friend Becky, I have an idea of what I should be putting in my body for a well-balance diet– 60% carbs, 15% protein and 25% fat. It’s quite the science actually, but once I get it down, I think I’ll be okay. 

Here’s a salad recipe that is super easy and actually pretty tasty too! Becky gave me the idea of just doing a salad with chicken, spinach, dried cranberries and almonds in a raspberry vinegarette. Here’s what I ended up doing (sorry, I don’t have exact measurements and this is for a serving of two–-dinner and the next day’s lunch):

Two handfuls of washed baby spinach
About 4-6 ounces chicken breast (I pan-fried it and then shredded it)
2-3 mushrooms, washed sliced
1-2 tbsps flaxseeds
2 tbsps dried cranberries
1-2 tbsps slivered almonds
2 heaping spoonfuls of quinoa (or couscous), cooked
2 tbsps raspberry vinegarette

Toss all together and enjoy! Tastes great with the chicken warm from the pan or chilled! It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s surprisingly tasty and super healthy! Tons of protein. If you haven’t had quinoa, I highly recommend it … you make it like you would couscous, but it’s chock full of protein. Oh, and be sure to finish the meal off with a small piece of dark chocolate! 

Anyway, my life right now is analyzing what I’m putting in my body and how it’s going to affect the way I feel during my runs as well as throughout the day. 

Exciting stuff, no?