Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Final semester of being "the healthy undergrad"

2012 is a pretty big year in my life: I will no longer be an undergraduate come May 20th. I am writing a senior project and I am taking my final classes, some of which I need, and some of which I just really want to take. Several other non-academic events have happened or started in the the past month that pertain to my life and physical well-being.

1. I found out I am on the Tufts Marathon Team and have officially filled out my registration form for the Boston Marathon! April 16th I will be running in the Boston Marathon!
2. A possible job I was hoping to get after I graduate did not go my way so I am having to do some adjusting and re-planning of how I go about job searching.
3. I signed up for a half-marathon in February so I can at least have run a half marathon race before I take on the 26.2.
4. I became a mentor in a program that works with 8th and 9th grade girls cooking and teaching them about food and nutrition and helping them come up with a service project aimed at hunger and food problems locally.
5. I found out I have a stress fracture in my right foot and I am on crutches for the next week and from there the trainers will assess when I can start back into running.

While most of those were positive things going on in my life, a couple of them would be considered setbacks. I will still be hopefully running in time for my half marathon and definitely in time for the Boston Marathon (fingers majorly crossed). But, it will take a lot of patience and healing and then proper training to get back into distance running form. Right now the pool and my indoor bike trainer are my best friends as well as a diet rich in bone healing nutrients to help repair the fracture. Lets look at my non-running workouts for the next week or two, and my diet.

The low impact of a swim workout will keep my endurance up while letting my foot heal. I am currently in a swim class and by utilizing the class for shorter swims with bursts of speed I can get in a good workout. Outside of class I can log in some longer swims to keep up my endurance. Both types of swim workouts will keep my lungs working. Because of the location of the stress fracture I am lucky that I can still ride my indoor bike trainer. Where the clips of my bike shoes line up with my feet doesn't put any pressure on the painful part of my foot. Spending some time on the bike means I will keep some endurance as well as leg strength without the impact on my foot. If I am out from running longer than I expect then I will try to utilize the bike even more and build up greater leg strength and leg endurance for when I can get back to running.

For the next week my training will look like this:
Th: swim class, short distances
F: hour of intervals on indoor bike trainer
S: rest and stretch
S: hour to hour and a half longer distance swims (main set pyramid of 100, 200, 400, 800, 400, 200, 100)
M: hour on indoor bike trainer
T: swim class and yoga to stretch out and test balance strength
W: back to trainer

My nutrition plan is essentially to watch my intake of calcium but also to make sure I'm eating foods that help my body absorb that calcium. Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps your body absorb calcium. Dairy products like yogurt and milk are high in lysine and help you absorb calcium but there are plenty of other non-dairy products with lysine. Nuts like walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are very high in lysine, but surprisingly so are oats and tomatoes.  Good calcium sources other than dairy products are dark leafy greens: collard greens, kale, mustard greens, etc. (Be advised! Spinach and chards have a lot of calcium but your body can't absorb it easily, meaning that these are not optimal sources of calcium.) Vitamins C and K have also been associated with healing injuries so winter citrus is a good option for C and broccoli for K. Some foods that inhibit bone healing are foods high in salt and sugar, alcohol and caffeine, while I don't indulge in those often or in high amounts, I will still be watching my diet closely.

Recipes high in lysine, calcium, vitamin K and C for this week (but not limited to these) are:
Oatmeal with raw cacao, maca and walnuts for breakfast daily
Raw kale salad with baked sweet potato
Mixed bean and tomato veggie chili with sliced avocado
Roasted broccoli with hazelnuts and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce
Apples and almond butter for snacking
Oranges for snacking
And fruit smoothies with rice and pea protein powder

Hopefully this gets me back on track, setbacks are just opportunities to get somewhere on a different route. This new route might be even better than the one I was on before!

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