Best Practices, Part 1: Tummy texts.

This is the story of what deep-fried chips did to my tummy during a run 18 hours later. The chips really looked like this. Funny how they seemed appetizing at the time.
This is the story of what deep-fried chips did to my tummy during a run 18 hours later. The chips really looked like this. Funny how they seemed appetizing at the time.

This is the story of how a basket of deep-fried tortilla chips taught my tummy to, ahem, text me its displeasure – 18 hours later.

So there I was yesterday morning, running in a place I hadn’t been to in a while but that held very fond memories for me, and I was getting in a six-mile run. The first 15 minutes were a little cloudy – I was tired, a little cranky perhaps, but then right at the 15-minute mark, all of the clouds lifted and I just felt like a super-duper badass. It was a great run.

Except for one small thing.

I could sense that I wasn’t 100%. I was maybe 90%. I was feeling good. But something had compromised my ability to be 100% all there, and it didn’t take long – since these things tend to work themselves out in the way of, well, let’s just say…texting. Tummy texts.

Otherwise known as, well, you know. This.

Yes, I'm copping to it. Deep-fried food for lunch on Tuesday equals gastrointestinal distress - call them tummy texts - during Wednesday morning's run.
Yes, I’m copping to it. Deep-fried food for lunch on Tuesday equals gastrointestinal distress – call them tummy texts – during Wednesday morning’s run.

I ate tortilla chips at lunch on Tuesday, and they were still working their way out of my body on Wednesday morning. Eighteen hours later, those little buggers were still in there, doing their thing. Seriously? A little treat – deep-fried though it may be – got me all gummed up to the point where I could feel it was compromising my ability to run at 100% effort a day later?

Yes. This is how our body lets us know that we might just need to pay a bit more attention to what we’re doing.

There’s a popular notion out there that if we exercise consistently, what we eat doesn’t matter as much, because we can “exercise it off.” I once worked with a fitness coach who purported to be an expert tell me that in almost exactly those words. It was when I was forty pounds overweight and all he said was “Oh, you can eat whatever you want. You’ll work it off.” Nope. Not this body, not this package of goods and services. I have to pay attention.

I’ve paid attention. The extra weight is gone. But once in a while my body will still tell me things I need to know. This is how I figure out my own personal do-this list. Call them…

Best Practices

Yes, I’ll wear the “I’ve worked as a consultant” hat for a minute here. Best practices are exactly that: a list of things we know get the job done best, because we’ve tried a few different things and here’s how we’ve landed on the very best things to do in critical situations. This will be the title of a new page here at the Every48 blog soon as I work through my own personal stories of which best practices – like planning a full week of workouts in advance, working out first thing in the morning, and, ahem, not eating deep-fried tortilla chips the day before a key workout will go.

But you know what? When you’re in the middle of a hard workout, your mind is going to drill down and figure out the absolute best way to go about the best practice you’re discovering. And the one that bubbled up yesterday morning was this: No more deep-fried food until after the Boston Marathon. And very little of it after that, to boot.

Just, stop it. No more deep-fried food while you’re in serious training. It’s that simple. Your body cannot just “handle it” because of your increased activity. It is protesting. It is sending you tummy texts. You are farting up a storm on a running and biking path in a lovely place and somehow your fellow happy exercisers on the trail are not taking terrible offense. Consider yourself lucky to be part of such a brethren of athletes. They get it.

And, Best Practice #1 for Nicole today, a day removed from her tummy texts: No deep-fried food until after Boston. There you go.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: In between the tummy texts, 6 miles at a nice clip – not quite tempo pace, but faster than easy pace. Fun and got it in early, so I had the rest of the day to feel like a badass.

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