Rest Week = Good Reads

Everyone has Fat Days; I'm having a Fat Week. I took a Rest Day after the Portland RnR Half Marathon and then was scheduled to go on a short run. But my knee was still feeling off so I opted for a 30-min workout on a stationary bike (first time in years) followed by a simple 30-minute Circuit Training workout. There were a couple of takeaways:

1. I was sore for 3-days after that simple circuit. No bueno. 2. My knee felt worse - probably from doing lunges for the first time in months.

So I took the rest of the week off and my activities were limited to walking Chip. Since I was still on vacation (stayed in Portland until last night), I had all this extra time on my hands to eat (not good when you're not working out) and read.

During the week I was able to read 3 whole books. Two of them were really good, and the third one was...interesting...still trying to figure out how I feel about it.

The first 2 books that I thoroughly enjoyed were:

1. The Running Dream.

This book showed up on my "Amazon Recommended" list and I'm so glad that it did. It's about a high school girl who ran track and had a very promising future. But she gets into a car accident and has to have both legs amputated. The author takes you through her journey of grief, struggles, acceptance and survival. It's inspirational for obvious reasons but also very relatable in terms of dealing with loss, pain, loneliness and ultimately finding joy and gratitude. It's a quick read and I was sad when it ended.

2. Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

Recommended to me by my nutritionist, I found it more educational than her other book on marathon nutrition that I mentioned in a previous post.

This book walks you through building a balanced food plan to fuel your workouts for optimal performance. The author not only discusses what to eat, but also when to eat (including double workout days). She breaks down each vitamin, mineral, carbs, proteins, fats, etc and explains what they are, why they are important and how much of each you need for the type of athlete that you are. But what I liked best were the simple, quick and easy recipes that are included at the end of the book.

I used those recipes to create my food menu for coming the week, compiled a grocery list and went to the grocery store this morning to stock up! Having a Fat Week was motivation enough for me to get back on schedule with my nutrition. Although I wasn't eating bad, I was eating too much which was perfectly fine since up until 2 weeks ago I was in marathon training mode. Now that I'm not, I need to rein things in and eat a more balanced (i.e., not so carb-heavy) diet. I'm gonna start tracking calories again to make sure I'm getting enough protein and healthy fats and not so much carbs.

3. The book I'm not quite sure how I feel about yet is The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno

After complaining about lower back tightness in a Bikram Yoga class a couple of months ago, one of my yoga instructors recommended this book to me and I finally got around to reading it.

It's the second book I've read on the Mind-Body connection (the first being Run by Matt Fitzgerald) and I actually buy into the Mind-Body Connection theory quite a bit. The gist of this book is that body pain - like back/neck/shoulder etc, migraine, repetitive-stress - is caused by stress due to repressed emotions. While I do believe this to be true, I still think you can also have pain from muscle imbalances and incorrect form, being at a computer for too long, etc.

It's an interesting read and I do get what he's saying, but I guess I'm not a whole believer. I guess that's why my IT Band / Hip / Knee issues weren't miraculously solved...yet. If anyone else has read this one, I'd be interested in your take on it.

Although I'm looking forward to getting back on my regular routine, I'm happy I had this down-time to catch up on these good reads.