The last few weeks have been brutally hot in Boston, which has made running feel even more difficult lately, especially as I get back into training. It’s extremely humbling to be struggling to maintain a pace that used to be close to an easy effort just a few months ago. I’ve been on a very loose program with my coach since the Boston Marathon, basically with the goal of maintaining some level of fitness, while also hitting Harvard Stadium stairs hard every week, as well as the other two weekly November Project workouts.
This past week has seem to have focused on pushing past what you think are your limits. Do crazy shit – forget “normal.” Monday’s workout included something we’ve done before: the “Sebastian” aka 7 minutes of burpees, all out. But then we did something we’d never done before… A second Sebastian. 14 minutes of all out burpees. Evan (one of the co-leaders) shared that the idea with this is to show people they’re capable of much more than they thought possible.
On Wednesday, we raced Harvard Stadium in a way that we’ve never done before – as a relay. We switched off every 5 sections, for essentially 2.5-4 minutes of work, with equal rest if you had a partner of similar speed. This was the 2nd hardest, if not hardest workout I’ve ever done at the stadium, again with the goal of getting outside your comfort zone. After (catching your breath) a workout like that, you feel pretty damn good. What’s one new/crazy thing you plan on doing in the next week? I want to hear about it!
As the training has been picking back up, I’ve refocused my nutrition on a couple of new areas. I’ve been spending a lot more time on the phone with athletes alongside our dietitian who often goes through the results of the pro athletes we work with. Time and time again she emphasizes adding more fiber into their routines through oatmeal and some other sources to help with glucose as well as other markers. After all these conversations and my 4th InsideTracker test
showed consistently elevated glucose, I finally decided to pay attention to it. What I’ve noticed is that my energy levels have increased, especially in the afternoons as well as by Friday evening after a long week of work and training. Another unexpected perk is that I’m the leanest I’ve been since high school, which has come as the result of nutritional tweaks, as my training has remained somewhat constant over the last 2 years.
This has happened alongside an increase in calories, in particular from protein, as a result of a high SHBG result (read more about why SHBG is important and how it’s linked to testosterone/recovery/performance here). I’ve added more quality sources of protein including much more fish, some beef and chicken, as well as a couple high protein and real food based bars. After speaking with Kimber Mattox, a pro runner who is one of the athletes InsideTracker is working with, I learned about Oatmega Bars. I had been asking Kimber about her progress after her second test and how she was able to make such great progress. The bars were one of the things she had added into her routine, which are made from grass-fed whey and a lot of other great, real ingredients. As someone with a dairy intolerance, I was very happy about not having any digestion issues with their bars. They’re high in protein and fiber, and low in sugar, while also containing a solid amount of healthy fats from fish, which is an interesting addition to a protein bar to say the least. Bonus: their chocolate mint chip flavor tastes identical to Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.
I’ll be retesting again in the next two weeks, and am finally optimistic I’ll be able to get my InnerAge a bit closer to where it should be.