Blogging at the speed of soundSeptember 29, 2006
A first for me: I’m writing this entry during a plane flight — my flight to Minneapolis for marathon weekend. Looks like I won’t quite make it to the Elite Athlete Press Conference at 4 p.m., which surely will disappoint the hordes of journalists hoping for an interview with the #12 seed. To be honest, though, I will regret not being there. I thought I could generate some quotable lines from the “wacky ultramarathoner” perspective, such as: “You know, a lot of the guys in this race are really strong over distances of 5K to 20K. My best distance, on the other hand, is 100K, so, to me, this race will be over in the blink of an eye.” [Appreciative chuckles all around.] “I’m just hoping that the eye-blink lasts less than two hours and 22 minutes.” [More laughter.]
I’m feeling somewhat better now that I’ve begun the carbo-loading phase of my marathon-week diet. Unlike most people, I follow an “old-school” carbo-loading regimen, popular in the 1970s, that includes a depletion run about a week before the race, a low-carb diet for three days, and then the usual carbo-loading for the last three days. The rationale is that depleting your muscles’ glycogen stores during the low-carb phase leads to “supercompensation” during the high-carb phase, with more glycogen getting packed into the muscles than would otherwise occur.
The deplete-then-load strategy is not for everyone, but I’ve done it about ten times with pretty good results. One of my marathon-week traditions is to make my mom’s Quiche Lorraine, which of course is packed with eggs, cream, cheese, and meat — perfect for carb starvation! This week’s menu also included dinners of pork cordon bleu (i.e., pork stuffed with ham and cheese), flank steak, and chicken drumsticks; breakfasts of eggs with cheese; snacks of macadamia nuts, almonds, olives, beef jerky, and more cheese; and desserts of Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (which, of all the B&J flavors, has the lowest percentage of calories from carbs) mixed with peanut butter (to lower that percentage of carb calories even further). Lunches consisted of dinner leftovers.
Come to think of it, these adventures in carb deprivation might have fueled another good quote for the press conference. Something like: “I expect to run well on Sunday because I’ve been eating a lot of eggs lately. In fact, I’ve had twelve already this week!”