PREPARING to Embrace The Caveman

We haven’t begun the Paleo Diet thing quite yet simply because that takes a lot more planning and preparation than I had originally realized!

Cleaning out the pantry? That was a breeze.
Being fully prepared to make the meals and have the snacks on hand and ready to roll? Not so easy-breezy.
Tonight I’m going to make up a meal plan and a shopping list and Sunday Morning it’s back to The Stone Age for us!

I’ve been back walking (other than to and from the car and around the office and house) and doing strength training for a week now with zero complaint or opposition from Ye Olde Knee.
Which means that Monday I can start back running!
Slowly and for short distances to begin with.
But running nonetheless.

I’ve learned quite a bit about . . . well . . . a lot of things really while I’ve been recovering and recuperating from this injury.  But mostly these things:

  • I have learned that if one doesn’t listen to one’s body when said body whispers about something being not right, one will listen when the body screams.
  • I have learned that those bodies – given the time and attention they need to actually heal themselves – are amazingly resilient (and eventually forgiving) things.
  • I have learned that you really won’t “Lose all my progress in a week!”
  • I have learned that running (probably any fitness practice but running is my thing) is a lot more of a mental thing than I had given it credit for.
  • And I have learned that running (again, probably any fitness practice) truly does change every aspect of your life. It changes how you eat, how you sleep, how you think about things. I catch myself saying things like “This neighborhood would be a great place for a run!” or “Oh now this would SUCK to run!” The difference generally comes down to hills.

Finally I know that I am so looking forward to the breathing hard and sweating that only a good run produces!

Running: It’s not Christmas morning

Arguably one of the best, most beautiful things I’ve ever read about running.

Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

I ended up not doing the half yesterday and I’m fine with that.  I may not make the marathon I was aiming for the end of April, and I’m fine with that too.  I’ll see what this weekend’s long run is like and decide then.  Fortunately for me right now these are just goals to keep myself running; the particular event was not my focus.  However I’m seeing a lot of disappointment online today for some who did do the race yesterday, a day that dawned warm and got warmer.  The average high here for March is 64 and for April is 73.  Yesterday’s high was 82.

And so I’ve been thinking about the races and the runs I’ve done that ended up deal breakers, and why that might have been.


It’s November and the only thing Jr. has been talking about since the Christmas ads started in August…

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Embracing The Caveman

It is a well-known fact that most overweight people who take up running do so not just for the joy of wearing out $100+ pairs of shoes and collecting Race Bibs. No, we are also looking for what I call the Happy Side Effect of weight loss.
Okay, I was/am.
So was/is HCRP.
And, to a certain degree we’ve each attained a level of success in that pursuit. I guess when you run enough miles pursuing something eventually you’re going to catch up with it!

My Left Knee (why does that sound like the really bad title of a really bad runner’s memoir?) has finally had enough rest, elevation, stretching, icing, rolling on a foam roller, braces, knee bands, and generally anything-but-running that it is now accepting of moderate exercise.
Wednesday we hit the gym to begin adding strength training to our overall program which had been The Plan all along once we/he finished that first Half. I backed off the amount of weight on the leg machines and did only one set and all was well.
Thursday we headed to our favorite outdoor running venue where I walked once around the 1.6 mile track at one of the lakes with a friend while Rich ran it twice. That little bit of walking it once wisdom was thanks to my friend saying “Uhhh… No.” when I asked “Should we go around again?” in what probably sounded the way eager puppies sound in people’s heads when they stand there wagging their tails with tennis balls in their mouths. I have smart friends. Don’t get me wrong, everything wasn’t all okey-dokey and rarin’ to run.  I was feeling notsomuch twinges at the end of the once-around, but definitely a little bit of stiffness and mild inflammation in the tendon by the end of the walk. But no actual pain and this morning everything is a-okay in Kneeville.
Tonight we’re back to the gym for (still modified for me) strength training, and tomorrow while Rich runs three times around the lake I’ll walk once and a quarter then turn around and head back to sit, soak in the sunshine, and read a good book.

But back to the topic of today’s post.
So HCRP and I have been running along, following The Runner’s World Runner’s Diet and dropping a pound or two one week then gaining it right back the next. Oh, yeah, I had that fabulous six pound weight loss of a couple posts back but I gotta be honest and say that was basically dumb luck + the generosity of my metabolism staying ramped up even when I wasn’t able to run + the fact that in not running my apetite has reduced itself to crap. (On the up side: I have been eating breakfast most of the days since making Meus Amplitudo Mea Culpa). But really, we haven’t been getting the consistent results we’ve been wanting.

Being a big believer in the old adage about the definition of insanity being continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results, I started poking around Ye Olde Worlde Wide Web for alternatives that blend weight loss and what I like to call Fueling The Machine. As I was doing this poking a Facebook post of a friend who is a fitness machine (martial arts, running, body building – and does he have the results to show for it!) about starting the Paleolithic Diet a few weeks back towards the end of dropping his body fat percentage. Of course at the time I read his post (which accompanied a picture of a ginormous t-bone steak and half a plate of broccoli) I thought “All well and good for you Carnivore!” and dismissed this as an undoable for me since I don’t eat meat. (Actually, tomorrow it will be one year to the day since I stopped eating meat. Happy No-Meativersary to me!)
But the phrase “Paleo Diet” kept swirling around in my brain. Which led to the following thoughtversation. (Don’t you love how I just make up words? I need to become some kind of spokesperson for a society or association of word makeruppers like my friend Terri Lee is the spokesperson for Butt Falling Off Syndrome or BFOS. I digress . . . Which is another societation I could be spokesperson for. The Nationally Associated Society for Compulsive Digressors – NASCD. We need a poster. And a logo. Wait, I did it again… See?!)
Dang it. Where was I?
*scrolls back up*
Caveman eating without eating meat . . .
Runners need carbs . . .
Oh. Right.
The Thoughtversation.
Me: That Paleo Diet thing does sound interesting.
My Brain (MB): Yes, yes it does. For a CARNIVORE!
Me: True. But I do still eat fish, eggs, and dairy.
MB: Fine. Google it.
Me: Fine! I will!
Me: Ah HA!
MB: What?
Me: Look! That No Meat Athlete Guy says it can be done. And he is HARD CORE Vegetarian. He might even be Vegan.
MB: Okay fine. But what about that “Runners need carbs” thing?
Me: Vegetables and Fruits are carbs. Ask Atkins people. They practically break out in hives at the sight of anything vegetablier than lettuce!
MB: Atkins people eat more than lettuce.
Me: Whatever. Not an option.
Me: Hey. You. Brain. Check this out. Written by a Runner for Runners on a Runner’s Magazine Website! HA!
MB: That’s one article.
Me: Oh yeah? *insert googling sounds* Well look at this: The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Dr. Loren Cordain. One of the guys the vegetarian runner dude had dinner with.  And it’s not “one article” it’s a BOOK!
MB: Huh. Well. Well huh.
Me: That’s all you’ve got? Look dude (yes, MB is sometimes a ‘dude’) I’m willing to try this. Obviously what we’ve been doing isn’t really working. And if I’m going to be able to train for a half-marathon without incurring any future knee injuries, and HCRP is going to be able to shave that nineteen minutes off his half-marathon time it seems to me that one of the biggest obstacles is the extra weight we are each lugging around. This isn’t necessarily a “weight loss” diet per se, but I can’t help but think that dropping grain-based carbs and dairy from our diets might help a little in that direction. Besides, Dr. Jeff has been none-too-subtle in his “go gluten free” messages and what better way to maybe kindasorta go along with that ‘nudge’ without actually going along with it than to do the same thing with a different label? Huh? This way we get the same benefits and results without him being able to come and say “I told you so!” because really, we didn’t do what he told. We did something different. Entirely.
MB: Well. Okay there is that. It’ll be like the Certs of dietary changes: Two, two, two benefits in one!
Me: You have entirely too many 70s references readily available.
MB: You’re the one who watched all that television as a child.
Me: I have Googling to do.
So after all that I ended up with the aforelinked book by Dr. Cordain and the The Paleo Diet Cookbook notsomuch because I need ideas for cooking – I love coming up with interesting and creative uses for food all on my own – but because, well, it was a reasonable excuse reason to buy a new cookbook!

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be going through our pantry, fridge, and freezer(s) and strafing all the grains and grain-based foods. (I’m not throwing them away, but one of my co-workers is gonna love me every time she makes spaghetti with whole grain noodles for the next six months!) And tomorrow evening I’ll be making up a menu and shopping list. I’m pretty much going to ‘automate’ our breakfasts and lunches and get creative with dinner.

For me it’s going to be a matter of just not eating pasta, bread, and potatoes and upping the vegetable and fruit quotient. There are a few – very few – staples of my diet I’ll have to find a new ‘source’ for. Such as yogurt. I’m hoping our local Whole Foods stocks the So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt because yogurt is a huge breakfast component for me.
HCRP may struggle a little more with the absence of bread, rice, and pasta but I’m pretty confident in the end results I expect us to see and that going a long way towards offsetting that struggle.
And yes, once this has become a habituated dietary pattern for us there will be allowances for occasional ‘cheats’. But honestly, based on everything I’ve read from people who have gone this route and stayed on it, I think we’ll find that we don’t necessarily miss all that grainy goodness as much as we might anticipate on the front end.

But today and tomorrow?
Oh honey, we’re goin’ out with a bang!
And a bagel.
And probably cookies.

All About HCRP’s First Half-Marathon

This post is dedicated to HCRP: My Husband, Coach, Running Partner aka Rich.

Today was the Germantown Half-Marathon which is one of the biggest running events in Memphis and The Mid-South.
Back in October Rich and I did our first 5K together and he first introduced the idea of running a half-marathon.  The “goal” race was (and still is) September’s Air Force Half-Marathon in Dayton, Ohio.  It was my crazy behind who said – somewhere in December after we finished the St. Jude 5K“We should do The Germantown (I call it ‘The Germantown’ because we’re tight like that me and The GT) as a Test Half!”  And (because with certain things I have zero impulse control) registered us for it the instant registration was open.
But back to today . . .
Owing to my ‘knee issues’ (ongoing physical drama you can go back and catch up on) I had to pull out of today’s run which put me in the position of Support Person/Finish Line Cheerleader for HCRP as he – a runner since high school – completed his First Half-Marathon.
And I can’t think of a better way to have spent the morning.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, have a few thousand on me.

I am immeasurably proud of him for this accomplishment!