Thursday, September 05, 2013

WRP 2013 : PR That Didn't Happen - Time To Face The Truth

Well, well, well, I have been busting my butt off, the workouts went great, I was ready for another PR at this year's We Run Prague Nike 10 km race. It seems it simply isn't happening for me at this race... Don't take me mistaken, I am excited to be among top 20 women, I am even very happy with how I managed the race. The only non-happy part of myself is the time. It's like a big slap in my face :( The good thing though is that I know exactly why I have been slapped! It's time to face the truth!

As you can see, I gave it pretty much everything: :D
photo by Zdenek Krchák,

I have been slacking with my nutrition or precisely with the amounts... And I thought I was gonna get away with it. Oh darling, not in endurance sports where every pound you are carrying around in excess matters. Especially, if it is a pound of fat and not lean muscle. Exactly 4-6 pounds :( Bummer. How did I do in the race? 43:38 being 18 seconds slower than my PR from July 29, given this course is like 10 times more runner unfriendly (cobble stones, turns, uneven surfaces), it's not a bad result. I was simply striving for more. I feel I have executed Saturday's race way better, it was my mental game this time, I didn't let the fatigue to fill my brain with quitting thoughts. I almost didn't check my Garmin, which is HUGE for me!!! Only at the beginning, to keep my heart rate in check for the first 2 km. By the time I got to my backpack to get my phone and call The Coach after finishing, I knew what was the difference between now and July - approx 2-3 kilos (4-6 pounds) of body weight. 

What happened? I guess I was too strict after returning to Boston trying to slim down, then my body was deprived and I wasn't even OK, I was stuffing my face - not with bad stuff in general, but with too much of it. As they say - it is not any certain kind of food that makes you fat, the overeating and consuming too much makes you fat! It is only way more difficult to overeat on veggies and lean protein than on more nutrition dense foods like cheese, bacon, cream, nuts, dark chocolate... Not bad foods per se, but way more calories in smaller amounts.

My marathon training is a process. It is a beautiful way where I am loving every step I take, I am dreading some steps in the immediate moment (like end of 15th hill interval...), but in general I simply love every single step. The whole process makes me know myself better and I believe that I am becoming a better person through it. Unfortunately, I need to learn some things "the hard way". Like in last years's Amsterdam marathon when my ribs were blocked because of stress and I couldn't properly breathe for the second half of the race. I rearranged my schedule, found ways to get some stress out of "managing" all the workouts (the treadmill helps a lot especially in winter when it's dark in the mornings and evenings ...). 

Now I need to manage another part of my life. Operation racing weight has just begun! More precisely, it began on Sunday. No more stuffing my face with crazy amounts, I need to be ready, restrict my calories REASONABLY, increase some easy mileage, add some weight / strength training to build lean muscle. I love this: fail to prepare = prepare to fail. So Sunday was lot of meal prepping for the week, especially the veggies and snacks, boxes, packs etc. It's Thursday evening and yay, it seems to be working so far.

Operation racing weight ... I know I will probably not reach my ideal racing weight for the Berlin marathon on September 29. It is simply too soon, I basically have only until mid September to do this, because after that no additional stress for the body is needed, no food / caloric deprivation. Even though I will definitely stay as reasonable as possible. We will see where will this wake up call take me :)

I want to be honest with myself and with all of you, so the starting point of operation #racingweight was Sunday September 1 at 59.4 kg (131.0 lb). We will see where can I gat and what will it change ... 

As a part of the process, I got Matt Fitzgerald's book The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition and he actually says that many runners take it as an excuse for eating amounts of food, unhealthy choices etc. and there are quite few who actually gain weight while training for marathon or half marathon because they are more hungry and "feel" that they can eat more with the high mileage. I am not saying this to excuse myself, I would just love to know your opinion and personal experience.

Are you struggling with getting to the "racing" weight or your optimal weight???

Any tips, suggestions, recommendations???

All of this operation racing weight does not mean that I stopped eating delicious food. I am just way more conscious about the composition, ingredients, nutrient and caloric density and also quantities of the food. The beef cheek stew was simply delicious :) And it's lean meat and tons of veggies basically :)


  1. Barco.. Neblbni!!:)

    Ten zavod neni moc delany na rekordy.. Trat, lidi, tlacenice..kostky.. Vyvozovat ze 17s nejake dalekosahle zavery? Ty me desis..:)

    V pohode.. Dej si nejaky dlouhy beh, to te zklidni..:).. At se dari! 12:)

  2. Podmínky na rekordy rozhodně nebyly, kostky, hodně lidí, úzká trať v centru, sluníčko...

    Hodně štěstí v Berlíně

  3. Your last race year, bad race year. Small progress. Time to change :) IM

  4. And Matt write true, I'm one of these runners. Like a French fries, hot dogs and more ... :) IM

  5. I wouldn't totally blame your time on your race weight. Not every race is perfect and running a 10K in less than perfect conditions in the middle of a marathon training doesn't exactly sound like a recipe for a PR ;). When it comes to eating, everything in moderation is what I go by. I do not deprive myself of anything, but also try not to over eat. It is a fine balance, but you will know when you arrived at your fighting weight! ;) Have a GREAT race in Berlin!