When I first changed my diet/eating habits in January, one of the things I was most worried about was being an athlete with limited food options. Athletes MUST fuel their bodies. Obviously we all must fuel our bodies, but when you’re burning extra calories and trying to improve performance, you need even more.
So many foods that had been my traditional fueling foods were no longer an option – my five sandwiches the day before a race, the instant oatmeal the morning of (I have found gluten-free oatmeal), Clif Bars, pasta dinners, and even energy gels.
However, I took on the challenge anyway. I’ve been doing a hybrid P90X and running program to train for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon (One America should be in there in the name somewhere, but I don’t remember where). The race was last Saturday. It was my fifth half marathon and my third since diagnosis.
I got my best time on Saturday. My previous best time was my first half. I’ve struggled to beat that time ever since. But evidently throwing much of what I knew out the window led to success. I felt strong, but was still a little worried that I would find out I was ill-prepared. Plus it was in the 80s with 98% humidity by the time I finished. That can do a number on anyone.
But I’ve found that cross-training, not just running works well (I only ran a couple days a week) and my diet changes are doing good things for my body and energy levels. The 20-30 lbs I’ve lost don’t hurt either. I’ll probably run my next half in November and I hope to best my time again – the weather should be more agreeable unless we have a lot of precipitation on race day!
In the meantime, I will be training for an obstacle course 5K in June and a triathlon for my 34th birthday.