Thursday, April 21, 2011

New schedule

I'm trying to figure out a new running schedule for my marathon training. My current one has 5 running days, a cross training, and a rest day. I am coming to realize that will probably kill me both mentally and physically. I've been crafting a mental plan that give me 2 cross training and 4 running instead. I don't know if that will work though. Another complication is that in the summer it gets so ridiculously disgusting around here in the afternoons, weather-wise, so I need to have a running schedule with room for my runs to either be done in either the very very wee hours of the morning and just occasionally in the afternoon. I'm also thinking I will need to mentally accept treadmill days every now and then instead of treating them like throwaway runs.

We'll see. Work in progresss. Yesterday I ran about 1.5 miles and walked another 0.5 or so with Andrew at a pace that was a little fast for me and a lot slow for him.
Ugh... so, my diet? I was initially irritated at the Red Cross for telling me my hemoglobin (iron) is too low (it was too low for the instrument to detect, so less than 10.5 g/dL). Stupid Red Cross judging my vegetarian lifestyle (note: I actually thought this. I'm a moody 14 year old on the inside). THEN I actually took a look at what I eat and the iron content of my go-to foods.

Breakfast- cottage cheese: 0.3 mg iron, banana: 0.3 mg, egg: 0.6 mg
Snack- apple: 0.2 mg iron, cheese: basically none

And the list goes on... I'm supposed to be getting around 27 mg of iron a day. I could eat 50 granola bars (which say they have 2% of my iron recommendation), or 3.5 cans of lentil soup. A more realistic option is that I get over my mild fear of carbs and eat Cheerios. Cheerios have around 33% of the iron recommendation for me in one serving (9mg! Fun fact: iron daily value percentages listed on packaging are for the 'average adult... meaning they're somewhere between the recommendation for a man and a woman. Men should be getting 18 mg, I should be getting 50% more than that. So I can't trust those % DV things at all). I've been anti cereal because I'm not a big fan of it and I've also been all gung-ho and nutty about lean protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Iron is harder for a vegetarian to get, but its not impossible. The types of iron I'm eating are non-heme iron (note: almost all this data is from the NIH: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iron/  I am NOT a nutritionist!!!), meaning my body has trouble absorbing it, and will absorb more if I have it at the same time as a Vitamin C source. Tricky nutrition.

So what am I going to do? I am going to eat Cheerios every damn day. I'm going to eat more beans and lentils and switch to whole grain pasta. I'm going to put tomatoes (Vitamin C source!) on my salads and mix in spinach to the romaine mix we've currently been eating. Hopefully this will get my iron levels higher, nix the whole "too anemic to donate blood" thing, and possibly even help with my restless legs, since a contributor to that is low iron levels. Weird. I'm also going to be better about taking a multivitamin every day, because I slack on that big time.

That brings us to food for today:
breakfast: take a wild guess! Yes, Cheerios, egg, banana
morning snack: apple, cheese
lunch: lentil soup (30% DV), veggies
afternoon snack: peanuts (somewhere around 1.5 mg iron. I'll take it)
dinner: no idea at all. I'm leaning towards Subway because I have a gift card plus a footlong sub has 30% of someone's daily value of iron (so like 20% of what I need).

Am I being crazy? Little bit. But if I can eat things that I would be eating normally, just enhance my diet a little, and possible make my legs feel better, AND maybe increase my energy levels, then I feel like its worth it. Slowly this stuff will probably get into the huge stockpile of protein and calorie contents floating around in my head and I won't have to think about it as much. Thinking positively!

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