Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Care and Feeding of a Vegetarian Endurance Athlete

Sadly, no pictures because I'm still updating my Iphone.  I fought the update because I didn't want to lose my Google maps, but finally went for it so I could get Do Not Disturb.  Plus I'm lazy.

I managed to scrape out a few hours downtime today.  In this season, when I have programs kicking off right and left, it gets pretty busy at work and it feels like it is hard to break away.  I have Vestry tonight- it's the elected board of an Episcopal Church and I must make my Assistant Rector Command Appearnce!  Seriously, our Vestry is great.  They run tight meetings and are really fun to be around.  But when I have Vestry meetings (or any night meeting, and on weeks like this one and last week where I'll be working Friday and Saturday), rather than come into the office 9AM to 9PM, I flex my time so I can do things like get groceries and wash laundry.  I tried to hit the post office today but the line was out the door, so no packages shipped.  (Sorry, M!)

Things are feeling pretty good in the off-season.  Today, I managed to shoehorn in a short speed run (24 minutes as hard as I could).  I've decided to not use my GPS trainer app for the fall, but just run by feel for a while.  I want to just have fun and enjoy the good weather while it lasts.  There's plenty of time to do mile splits.  

In other news, I made a crazy pizza last night.  I've been reading Thrive, by Brendan Brazier.  He's a vegan Pro triathlete, so I figured he'd know how to feed endurance athletes.  The problem I run into with most diets and meal plans is that they just don't have athletes in mind, so either the calories are just too low, or the carbs/protein/fats aren't balanced for an athlete's needs.

I have been really excited to find Thrive and NoMeatAthlete, since they are both vegetarians (or vegans) and endurance people!  I feel like I can finally relax and eat without doing a ton of math or planning or substituting.  They talk about nutrition (what we eat to have healthy bodies) and fueling (what we eat to make our training sessions the best they can be), which makes sense to me right now.

So the crazy pizza I made from Brendan's book has a gluten-free "crust" of quinoa and seeds with a tomato sauce and veggies, which are then baked over a lower heat of 300F for a long time.  I didn't know what to think about that crazy-looking "pizza", but it was delicious.  If you like your veggies, you'd be happy!  I love an excuse to have huge slices of extra veggies.

The only drawback is that it is incredibly bulky, so it takes forever to eat.  I might be late to work this morning because it's taking forever to get my pizza eaten.  It's 5PM... seriously, it took me all day to finish eating that thing!  It was hard to be hungry for "snack time" because I was so full from that pizza... which was delicious in case I didn't mention that.  Just huge.

So I think I'll be experimenting with Thrive recipes, making energy bars from NoMeatAthlete, and trying to be super-flexible in both mind and body.  (I've also been doing yoga and Pilates at night to loosen up my stiff muscles, and work out those crampy calves.  Good results so far with no spasms or cramps, even after today's hard, hilly run.  Since I normally cramp easily, something is going right!)

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