Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Giving up + Week 10 Marathon Training

I made a big, heavy, life-changing decision two weeks ago. I'm giving up one of my favorite carb-filled treats: cereal. 

Before I tell you why I'm cutting out my delicious Kellogg addiction, let’s start out with the status of things as of fourteen days ago. 

I relied on cereal to take up a fair amount of my calories. Between triathlon and marathon training, I became lazy about making myself breakfast every morning. Instead of one hearty meal, I would have a small bowl of cereal before I left my apartment, and eat either an English muffin with peanut butter or a bowl of oatmeal at work. This did a fine job of balancing my time management issues in the morning, and my tummy’s constant cries. 

One of my favorite morning cereals, no more.
But then on the days I forgot to bring my staple afternoon yogurt snack, I would slink into my office kitchen looking for a fix. The options are small. My first option is to munch on some pretzels that sit in a glass jar, stale and germ-filled due to the constant touching of my coworkers hands that are covered in grime from subways and keyboards. My second option is to open up an individually packaged cardboard bowl of cereal. So on those days, I go for the option that is less likely to give me a head cold or pneumonia.

Let’s not forget about the 10PM grumbling that happens to us all. As I’m laying on my couch, watching House Hunters International, I have a direct view of the cabinet that houses my crunchy delight. It takes very little for me to move the 8 feet between my couch and my cabinet, and the 5 feet between my cabinet and my fridge to pour up a little snack for myself. My late-night cereal is also eaten out of a mug, because that somehow justifies it. If it’s not in a bowl, I’m not really committing.

My favorite late-night cereal.
Yes, I used to have more than one cereal boxes in my pantry.
Keep your judgments to yourself.
I invite you to count with me – on a “bad” day (really a good day though, let's be honest), I would have cereal THREE TIMES. I don’t want to add up how many carbs, grams of sugar, or calories that is. I don’t care. But that seems excessive, even to me.  So I decided enough was enough, and I would stop eating cereal. Cold turkey.

I thought it was going to be really hard, but I made a few choices that I think have helped smooth out the process. I bought fulfilling breakfast food, and built in an extra 10 minutes to my wake-up time so I would have time to make it. Which means I’m actually being thoughtful at the grocery store, for the first time in a long time. I’ve been on a huge turkey sausage kick (thanks Keith!) and eating it with eggs and half an English muffin. That might seem like a lot to you non-breakfast people, but I don’t feel overly full afterwards, and I am full until lunch time. This is a HUGE success for me. I was blessed with a fast metabolism, and food goes through me really quickly (especially in the morning). I am normally hungry all morning long. As it turns out, following those Shape Magazine tips telling you to start off with a hearty breakfast sorta work.

I’ll keep you updated on my Cereal progress, but it’s been two weeks, and I haven’t looked back since.

Some people named Ernie or Elmo as their favorite Sesame Street Characters.
I always identified with "Cereal Girl."
(Youtube it so you know what I'm talking about)
Onto training!

Week 10 Training

Monday: 7 Early Morning Miles
I had a very busy weekend before this week, and was in bed fast asleep at 9:30PM on Sunday night. I normally feel like a functioning zombie on Monday mornings along with the rest of the world, but this morning I was actually able to get a semi-long run in. There was hardly anyone out, and it was awesome.

Tuesday: 7 Early Morning Miles
If we are friends on facebook, you likely saw my status about me running into JOHNNY LEE MILLER OF ELEMENTARY this morning. It was super early and cold, and when I realized it was him, I flipped out. Not externally of course, I played it super cool. And I got a fist bump out of it. I had a really awesome speedwork session, on a Sherlock Holmes-high.

Wednesday: Blissful rest

Thursday: 7 Morning Miles
Perhaps the first week ever where I fit in all of my runs before work. I definitely did not leap out of bed this morning, but I had lots to do after work, so I wanted to get it out of the way. Relatively uneventful compared to Tuesday morning.

Friday: Rest and HOME

Saturday: 18 Miles
This was an interesting run. I was at home, hanging out with my grandma this weekend. I woke up pretty early on my own, and decided to do three 6-mile loops so I could refill on water at the house. I started out pretty slow, but my muscles felt well-rested. Everything went well until the last two miles, when I was really, really tired. This has been a bit of a pattern on my long runs, where I feel good until I’ve the majority of the distance, and then feel exhausted during the last two miles. Once the run was over, I felt fine. My legs were a little beat up, but it wasn’t anything a little retail therapy and couch surfing couldn’t fix.

This was me from about 5PM to 10PM on Saturday.

This week marks what will be one of the highest mileage weeks for me. I have a 20 miler on schedule this weekend, a step-back week next, and then one more high-mileage week before taper. I am definitely being more conscious this year of getting plenty of sleep and good nutrition, and I feel pretty good. I’m going to say the clich√© thing that I simply can’t believe I only have three more weeks of hard marathon training before taper. Mostly because it’s all gone pretty well, and my body looks forward to running each day. I’ve had way more good runs than bad ones. I am getting pretty excited and antsy about November 3rd... 


  1. Heard Kellogg's stock plummeted 15% in the last week! Correlation? Sure think so. And keep it up and here's to November 3rd!

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