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The Rumors Are True

You know the old running wisdom: don’t change anything about your routine in the weeks before a race? Well, I’m pretty sure starting a 10-day detox qualifies as a “change”…what do you think?

To rewind briefly, Day 6 started out with a nice long walk with Bodhi, about 45 minutes of pilates in my living room and my breakfast smoothie.

I spent the afternoon at Lindsay‘s working on more photos, but we were so focused on being productive with our time that I forgot to take any of my own pictures! While we were working, I snacked on some steamed vegetables (leftover from her pad thai) and a tropical fruit Larabar.

From her place, we headed downtown to meet our husbands and another lovely couple at Red Bamboo, a vegetarian restaurant in the East Village. Lindsay had been raving about this place, but I’ll admit, I was skeptical. For some reason I always figure it’s easier for a vegetarian or vegan to love a veggie restaurant – they’re used to that cuisine. But this place was out of this world! The table started with “chicken” wings and celery with tofu ranch dressing. These were unreal! I don’t know how they make “chicken” out of soy but seriously, it tasted like a chicken wing. They even included a bamboo stick in the middle so you could eat these with your fingers!

For my entree, I had Teriyaki Vegetable Stirfry with brown rice and soy chicken. This was absolutely fabulous. The vegetables were crisp and fresh, the sauce was incredibly light, and the brown rice was just sticky enough. Somehow, the dish filled me up really quickly so I ended up bringing over half of it home, which came in handy on Sunday afternoon when I was glued to my couch.

Speaking of Sunday, we’d gotten home from downtown at 1am and I woke up at 6 to start prepping for the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon. Truth be told, I hadn’t run since my 9.25 miles with Lindsey the Saturday before. As I’d mentioned earlier in the week, I was giving myself a pass on exercise since I’ve been participating in the detox so I stuck mostly to walking several miles every day and spending some QT in the sauna. Maybe it was the 5 hours of sleep, maybe it was the heavier dinner at Red Bamboo and maybe it was just my lack of training, but this was a TOUGH race for me.

As I got dressed, I had a tropical fruit Larabar and half a container of coconut water. Since the detox limits sugar and eliminates all processed food, my usual toast with peanut butter was out of the question. I’ve run on a larabar before, but it definitely was not my usual race-morning meal. I also took a larabar with me for the race since Gu was off limits due to the artificial sugars. I met Lindsey and her friend, Lauren, at 7:15 and we took a cab over to the start on the West Side. After we split into our corrals, I took a few minutes to stretch and assess how I was feeling. Generally, I felt ok, if not a bit sluggish. I decided I’d shoot for a time somewhere in the 2-hour range and see how things played out.

Miles 1-4 came and went much too fast. I was trying to pace myself to 9:16 miles, which would have given me a 2-hour race, but each mile was well under. (FYI, I found out later that the calculator I’d used was wrong. I should have been aiming for 9:10!!) I think mile 3 was closer to 8:15. Visions of my marathon collapse danced in my head and I kept telling myself to slow down. I grabbed water around mile 5 and had half of my larabar at mile 6. Around mile 7 I started to feel absolutely awful. I was queasy and felt “too full” but I was thirsty. The larabar wasn’t rushing into my system; it was sitting like a rock in my stomach! I walked a few times between miles 6 and 10, hoping the nausea would pass, and finally felt better around 10.5. At 11, my legs gently reminded me that I hadn’t taken them for a run over 10 miles since the marathon and that, no, they weren’t very happy with this morning’s activity. I pleaded with them to hang on for just a few more miles and they complied. I took one last break to walk at mile 12 and a woman ran up behind me saying “just one more mile! you can run this last one!” Sure enough, I dropped the hammer and powered through the last 1.1 miles to the finish. Final chip time: 2:01:03, average pace 9:14. So it wasn’t 2:00 like I’d hoped, but I’ll take it, especially b/c my average pace was exactly what I’d aimed for. That meant that even though I’d gone out too fast, I likely had saved myself by slowing down later and stayed right on track.

With it, though, I took a pretty lousy afternoon. I barely made it home in time for my body to completely fall apart and I spent the rest of Sunday chained to my bathroom and my couch. Later in the day, I finally had enough of an appetite to eat some of the steamed leftovers from Saturday’s dinner, but I still felt terrible. I was at a bit of a loss. I’d struggled with this decision all day, but I decided to stop the detox.

Stop by later to find out why, what I did, and how I feel now!


23 Responses

  1. Sorry the race didn’t go as well as planned, but her a 2:01 time is pretty awesome in my book! You did it 😀 Hope you feel better!

  2. Oh Katherine that sounds like such a hard race – I can’t imagine running that much on the foods you have been eating. I was really hoping it wouldn’t affect you too much, but was nervous for you at the same time. I’m sorry you ended up feeling so awful, but am amazed that you finished feeling the way you did and with such a great time. Hope you are feeling better today. I will certainly be learning for your experience and sticking closely to my pre-race routine.

  3. great job I am proud

  4. Wow, I’m so sorry you had a horrible experience like that. Great job finishing though. You’re a champ!
    I hope your feeling better 🙂

  5. Congrats! That is an awesome time 😉

  6. I always have a difficult time working out on an empty stomach…at first I feel ok, but once my blood sugar drops there is no turning back! That is still a great finish time though, congratulations for making it through to the end 🙂

  7. Ahhh… i go so crazy about eating my usual things before races, i cant IMAGINE running one on a detox!! The idea of a larabar during a race makes my stomach turn! Congrats on finishing–especially in a decent time!

  8. I think you did GREAT under the circumstances! Only you know your body and if stopping the detox is what is best for you then that is thr RIGHT thing to do! I am proud of you for not sticking with something you know isn’t working for you…that sometimes takes a stronger person! 🙂

  9. Don’t NYRR have pretty good races? I always find the majority of people really nice. Last year when I did one of the 4-milers I got the worst pain in my side ever and had to slow down to a walk (after being right on time for my first two splits!). Out of nowhere this woman runs past me, turns as she’s running, and says, “C’mon baby, you can do it!”. Well that was all I needed and while I did have to do a bit more walking and finished well off my goal time, I did finish. Plus I got a chance to thank her as I happened to see her after the finish.
    Their races are also pretty organized and they’re awesome about runner safety, I’ve seen volunteers taking on everyone from the bullying carriage drivers to the “my bike supercedes you all’ cyclists, who seem to think it’s OK to dart out in the middle of runners or try to maneuver a horse and carriage through the course. Seriously!!

    Are you going to do the NYRR MORE 1/2 in April?

    • NYRR is great!! you’re right, people really are so friendly and encouraging. it’s wonderful!

      i wish i could do the MORE 1/2, but i’m going to be at a wedding in vermont the night before and will probably be in worse shape than i was in the midst of the detox 😉

  10. I’m sorry to hear you had a tough race and an even worse afternoon. Although I am glad to hear that you stopped the detox. I’m interested in hearing more about your decision.

  11. Sorry you had such a tough race! But at least it’ll be one you always remember. 🙂

  12. Yiiiiiikes! So sorry to hear your body is revolting on you. 😦 What a bummer, but I hope that stopping the cleanse will help you feel better. Bad timing for that race to happen in the middle of it!

  13. Man, sorry to hear that your race didn’t go as planned. You still finished (and did really well, in my opinion) and at least you can take this as a learning experience about what foods you need to fuel such a long distance.

    PS – Your time is still 15 minutes faster than I’ve ever run a half!

  14. I think detox’s are lovely in theory and I’m always tempted to do one, but reading this (you are an amazing writer, i felt what you felt every step of the way) I remember my one attempt that was a downhill spiral (to put it nicely). I’m so proud of you for trying, and completing the halfie. I support your decision, I’d have supported you either way, but I’m very proud of you.

    • Thank you so much, Lindsay! I’ve always struggled with accepting “failure” and seeing it as something else. I’m sure you can understand since you certainly don’t do anything halfway! I’m trying to focus on everything I learned from the experience and reminding myself that as long as I learned something, I didn’t fail.

  15. you most certainly did not fail! If anything you succeeded! I can appreciate your feelings — I am the same way (as we both know all too well). If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it ALL the way — not half way, sheer perfection, damnit. It’s like that saying “I dont want happiness, I want blinding euphoria, damnit!” and it’s hard to stop/quit/giveup when you’re that type of personality. BUT! What matters is you stayed true to yourself and your body. You could have pressed on but that wouldn’t have been right for you — and to continue knowing it was wrong just to do it, just because you thought you had to, just to prove you could or did or because you weren’t strong enough to “fail” — THAT would be failing… You made the right choice & that is my definition of success.

  16. […] went to Angelica for the first time I ran a half marathon I quit the Spark! cleanse I photographed more tasty treatsMy lips blew up I’ve had dinner […]

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