I’ve never done the depletion/carbo-load cycle before, but since I hit the wall around mile 20 in my last marathon I’m trying it now.
Sunday I stopped eating carbs. No grains, no fruit, no veggies, no bread, no beans — most of my normal diet disallowed. I did a run, 90 minutes at 80% HR, where I saw pitcher-sage for the first time, and an odd looking plant it is. The sage was the highpoint of the day. I was hungry when I got home. I ate up all the chicken I’d cooked up the day before (and which I’d assumed would last a couple of days). I was still hungry. The store had no tuna fish so I bought smoked salmon, only to discover it was far too salty to subsist on.
Then I felt nauseous. I’d been warned that I would feel “poorly”, so I’m not too worried.
It seemed I was drinking a lot of water. Perhaps the salt?
The next morning I had a five mile easy run. I felt I had no energy (Already? it had only been a day). It wasn’t my legs which felt tired but my whole body. Perhaps I’d not eaten enough and just starved myself? Coming back home I was so tired I walked the last 100m.
I soaked some smoked salmon in water (to get rid of some salt) and scrambled it up with some eggs and cheese, for breakfast. Went to my yoga class and got a head rush each time I came from down dog to standing — at least I did at the beginning of class, by the end I seemed OK. Which didn’t make sense to me.
Half a pound of chicken for lunch. Bike ride and a hike up cold spring trail. Starving. Oh, neat, the Dudleya are in bloom finally.
Half a pound of chicken for supper (bit more really). Still hungry. Cheese “sandwiches” (that is, peanut butter spread on a hunk of cheese).
I still seem to be drinking a lot of water. Hmm. Usually I eat lots of fruit, which contain lots of water, maybe I have to make up for that? Or it could be that protein metabolism produces urea which must be dissolved in water to be excreted?
Tuesday, more scrambled egg for breakfast. A pilates class. Again I feel light headed when I stand up. Somehow food doesn’t seem to last. I’m hungry again.
My legs feel tired just biking around town. Perhaps they really are being depleted of energy stores?
Even though I eat before going to pottery class I’m already hungry again when I get there. I don’t understand it.
I eat more when I get home, and then go to bed. I feel so nauseous I can’t sleep for a long time. Eventually my stomach calms down.
Wednesday I have a simple workout: 1.5 mile warm-up, 3×1 mile @ 6:30 pace, 1 mile cool-down. Rusty has hinted that if I’ve depleted properly I won’t be able to complete the workout. Now 6:30 pace sounds easy. I can run a half-marathon at that pace (faster, actually); doing three miles with a 2 minute rest between sounds easy. On the other hand, I remember how on Monday it felt as though I could barely run easily… So I have two worries: That I’ll fail to complete the workout but will have to try and it will be really unpleasant, or I’ll succeed and show that I haven’t depleted properly.
It’s very windy and chilly as I head up to the Wilcox. Running my easy lap, I just feel beat. I’m nervous as I get ready for my first hard mile. Off I go. A little slowly at first (a 6:40 pace over the first quarter mile), and then I hit the wind. My legs feel tired. Back around, out of the wind and done. 6:27 (89%). More difficult than a 6:30 pace should feel, but not horrible. So I feel a bit more confident after my rest on the second lap. But this time I feel exhausted fairly quickly, but I glance at my watch and see I’m running a 6 minute pace. Back off. Into the wind again and, again, I’m tired. And then around and out of the wind. 6:20 (91%). Now I’m starting to worry that it will all be too easy, that I haven’t depleted and the torture of the last three days has been for naught (or for very little). Third lap. My legs are tired right at the start. And more tired when I hit the wind. I’m starting to hope that I won’t be able to finish this one, but when I’m out of the wind things get easier and I finish in 6:28(91%) again. One more trot round the loop, and then back home. Now it all feels very easy. Much better than I felt on Monday, even though I’ve worked harder. Did something go wrong?
Home. And carbs.