July 31, 2006 on 9:11 pm | By | In Eat to Train | Comments Off on Vindicated!

As my darling husband can attest, I can be a bit anal . Sure, I love spontaneity in moderation, but I’m really more comfortable planning things out, especially when it involves forcing my body to do things it really doesn’t want to do.

Take our recent half marathon. I was determined to finish the race with minimal aches and pains, so I found a training plan that seemed to work well with our schedules. For 16 weeks I mapped out our tempo and long runs using a Thomas Guide and pair of dividers (gotta be exact, ya know!). Once we started getting into the 8+ mile runs I made sure they ended near a decent brewpub (burgers & beer being our postrun meal of choice).

My darling humored me by coming along, although our running styles are quite different. I liken him to a puppy dog who scampers along the trail, sniffing flowers, eating berries and pointing to various sights of interest. I, meanwhile, am a focused runner who keeps her eye on the clock. If our training plan says we must run 10 miles that day, then by God that’s what we run — no more, no less.

As a chef, I also had a strategy for our nutritional needs the week leading up to our race: lots of whole grain carbs, lean protein and veggies; light on the alcohol (we actually managed to abstain three days prior). On race day I insisted we arise at 5 a.m. (2 hours before race start), to eat an energy-boosting breakfast of oatmeal and bananas, along with plenty of water and energy drinks.

The result? We finished the race in just over 2 hours (2 hours, 3 minutes, 33 seconds, thank you very much). We were certainly sore, but overall felt really good. And after 2 naps, 2 Neapolitan pizzas with arugula and prosciutto and plenty of beer, we felt good enough to start planning our next marathon caper.

Fast forward to this past weekend. While I was catering a barbecue, my darling decided to go on a long run (6.4 miles, or twice around the outside trail at Greenlake). This was after consuming copious amounts of wine and cheese the night before, and his requisite 3 pots of coffee that day (with little else). He was still feeling rather good after his second go-round, so he decided to go for a third. Once that was completed he figured he’d go all the way — a half marathon! He added on the track at the soccer field to make sure he got in his full 13.1 miles.

He finished exhausted, but was able to stumble back home, stopping at our neighbor’s plum tree for a treat. The plums aren’t quite ripe yet, and immediately his stomach started to rebel. His pizza Margherita dinner provided no respite; just three bites into his first piece and he turned into Sir Barfs-a-lot. As the dutiful wife I tried my best to ease his discomfort, but as I laid a cool washcloth over his sweat-soaked neck, I had to repress a snicker.

Perhaps planning ISN’T so bad, hmmm?

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