Workout Wrap UpSaturday: 6 miles (11:20 pace)

Sunday: 8 miles (11:06 pace)

Monday: 6 miles (10:37 pace) + Jillian Michaels 6 week six-pack & Upper Body Strength

Tuesday: 6 miles: 6×600, 3×300 (all at 9 min pace)

Wednesday: SERIOUSLY REST DAY

Thursday: 8 miles: 6 @ Tempo Pace (9:50)

Friday: 7 miles (11:00 pace) + Jillian Michaels 6 week six-pack & Upper Body Strength

Week three of marathon training is done! My legs are tired. I’ve been following the advanced program from the Hanson Marathon Method and I may need to fall back to the beginners version a day or two in the next few weeks. I’ve stuck to the advanced plan 100% thus far and will try my best to continue to do so, but I’ve also dealt with over-training issues in the past (mental and physical!) and want to avoid them this training cycle.

The weather here all week has sucked. It’s been rainy every day this week. Fortunately I’ve made it home before the rains start but it’s still blah overcast weather to run in.

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I struggled quite a bit with my tempo run yesterday. It’s the first run of six days in a row and my legs still felt a bit tired from the last six day cycle. I had to stop and walk for a bit 3-4 times. At mile 4 I literally said out loud, “I just cannot do this today.” Then I started thinking about it. Why the hell am I out here? To be a stronger runner and crush my marathon goal time. Well, I think the most progress comes from pushing yourself through things you don’t think you can do so that’s exactly what I did. Now, I had to stop and walk about every 1.5 miles after that but whatever. I got it done! I keep telling myself my  body will get used to the higher mileage weeks again soon and as the temperatures start to drop in a few weeks these paces will become more comfortable.
2014-07-24 07.47.58-2Thank you all so much for the feedback on my digestion issues this week! I’m feeling much better and I think I’ve realized I may not be having a problem with a specific food group so much as overall digestion issues. Last year when I was training for marathon #1 I had to go to the gastroenterelogist my GI issues were becoming so bad. She suggested the running may be causing ischemic colitis and I think that may be whats going on as my body transitions back into higher mileage weeks. Stress wrecks your digestive system and between mental stress and physical stress from running I think it’s the equivalent of eating bricks and wondering why my stomach isn’t working properly.

So, as I suggested yesterday I’m going to stick with very bland foods, do some research on food combining, and try to CHILL THE HELL OUT. Here’s where I say I want to start meditation/yoga again, but I know I won’t.

Plus side? The contents of my fridge have never looked so healthy before. 2014-07-22 15.59.28Salem has been hamming it up for the camera all week. I wish I was half as photogenic as he is. I shared this photo on my Instagram and someone asked if he was pregnant. Salem cried the rest of the day.2014-07-21 11.50.00This is how I came home from class and found him on Monday.2014-07-22 13.06.24This is how I work with him every.single.day.2014-07-23 15.01.40And I’m pretty sure I walked in on him doing something inappropriate here.2014-07-23 08.33.22

This weekend we have rain in the forecast AGAIN so I’m not sure what Travis and I will be doing. He’s working/studying basically 24/7 now so I always try to help him do some food prep on the weekends so he doesn’t have to worry about cooking during the week. See, all the awesome things I brag about him for on here I try and do the same for him! We will be running both days, and if the weather happens to cooperate hopefully we’ll find something to do outside. Maybe a beach day or a picnic at my favorite park here. We’re easy to please.

What are you doing this weekend?
What are you favorite outdoor activities to do? We need ideas!

Artificial sweeteners are basically toxic substances to the human body.

If you think about how humans have evolved, the bodies we have now are designed for the way the world was thousands of years ago. So, we get motion sickness when we are on boats because our balance is thrown off and our body assumes we’ve been poisoned and forces us to vomit it up (since boats weren’t around back then that’s our bodies very logical conclusion.) We also respond to emotional and mental stress the same as we were equipped to handle stress back then. Stress in prehistoric times often came in short bursts, like when we had to run from predators, so our fight-or-flight system was activated and it helped us kick ass for a short period of time. However, now many people have chronic stress that lasts for days, months or years and our body is still responding in that fight-or-flight manner but it’s destroying us (I have at least two stress related conditions; IBS & brutal jaw pain from clenching it.)

Something else our bodies aren’t equipped to do? Digest artificial food. Think our body know’s what the hell to do with a Twinkie? No. So most of it gets all garbled up in our insides (this is obviously extremely scientific) and we are left feeling like crap.

Over the last few years I’ve transitioned into a mostly real foods diet. If I don’t know where it came from on earth I try not to eat it. I’ll still eat snack bars and other prepackaged foods so long as I can truly identify all of the ingredients on the list. Clearly this doesn’t happen 100% of the time but I strive to keep a nice 80/20 balance in what I eat.

One thing I’ve been really, really bad about is artificial sweeteners. A typical day I’d consume them at least 2-3 times.

  • Breakfast: Stevia in my oatmeal and zero calorie caffeinated drink mix with aspartame
  • Snack: Sometimes a protein bar that has artificial sweeteners in it
  • Throughout the day: a couple no sugar added popsicles with aspartame & more of the caffeinated drink mix
  • Night: Protein ice cream I make with a couple packets of some Stevia variety
  • Weekly: Low calorie ice creams, a couple of sugar free mints when I’m on campus, the occasional diet soda…

It’s pretty bad.

For the last few weeks I’ve had intense bloating and cramping. When I was about 20 I started having these episodes where I’d get sharp shooting pain and my stomach would distend out so much I couldn’t even keep my pants zipped up (and of course this always happened out in public.) After a few hours it would usually settle down, but one time it got so bad my Mom took me to the ER where they diagnosed me with IBS mostly because they couldn’t see anything else wrong with it.

A few years ago I started cutting way back on dairy, gluten, and processed foods and I felt so much better. I rarely had any issues, but about 2 weeks ago I started having daily stomach pain. Nothing in my diet really changed, but I did try a new brand of Stevia out about the same time and I’m pretty confident that, along with my overall excessive consumption, artificial sweeteners is the culpurit.

I woke up Tuesday ready to do whatever it takes to start feeling normal again. I spent some time looking up fun healthy new recipes to try out. I’ve been totally averse to salads lately (they never fill me up!) and I can’t remember the last time I really tried a lot of new stuff so I wanted a diet shake-up.

IMG_7733I’ll confess: Tuesday I cut out all artificial sweeteners except for a little of the caffeine drink in the morning and I still felt horrible after eating lunch and dinner (leftover curry.) So, maybe it’s carbs? Or maybe I’ll just never eat solid foods again?

Yesterday I came home after class and made this incredible Aloha salad. I added some miso to the tempeh when frying it, made up the delicious avocado & tahini sauce, and went to town.

IMG_7747Less than 20 minutes later my stomach was in knots again.

Sigh.

At this point I’m trying not to stress out to much about it because I know that will only make it worse. It’s still really, really frustrating. If my symptoms don’t get considerably better in the next 2-3 days I’ll either (1) go to the doctors (2) try the BRAT diet or (3) try the FODMAPS diet.

Have you ever had chronic digestive issues?
Do you have any food allergies? 

I’ve been having some serious digestion issues lately.

Isn’t that a wonderful way to start this post?

Unfortunately, it’s very true, and I’m in the midst of trying to tweak my diet as I suspect that may be the culprit. Specifically artificial sweeteners. I consume WAY more than I should a day and a lot of it comes from drinks. For the last few weeks I’ve been extremely bloated and figured it may just be my good ol’ IBS flaring up again (I’ve also been pretty stressed which is a trigger.) So, I’m trying to lower my stress levels, cut out artificial sweeteners (and more on that and my new eating habits tomorrow) and incorporate as many anti-bloat foods as possible.

A few weeks ago my Mom got me this awesome infusion pitcher (the link isn’t to the exact model I have, but the #1 selling on on Amazon which is almost identical to mine.) For whatever reason it sat around in the box for a while and I just though of using it yesterday as I was making up my “quit wanting to stab myself in the stomach” grocery list.
Infused Water Pitcher
As usual anytime I have any sort of health issues I turn to Dr. Google. I searched for the best anti-bloating foods, and I wanted to find a natural, zero-calorie, replacement for some of my artificially sweetened drinks. It wasn’t to hard to come up with this super simple, but extremely light and refreshing, drink.IMG_7739Beat the Bloat Zero Calorie Refresher:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint

Slice up the cucumber & lemon and add that with the mint to the infuser. Let sit for at least a day in the fridge to properly infuse.

IMG_7737This stuff just tastes fancy. Like, if I ever went to a spa (which I haven’t) I imagine pristine looking women serving me glasses of this as I get a pedicure. IMG_7738Not only does it taste amazing but it’s super cheap. Once you invest in the pitcher (which is under $20) the ingredients to make this cost me about $2.00. Beat the Bloat Flavored Water

How do you deal with bloating issues?
What would you infuse in your water?