One really big change to my taper before Grandma's Marathon was to try Nichole's carb depletion/load cycle diet...thing. I was a little nervous before starting it since her blog posts on the subject weren't especially encouraging. Lack of carbs + first week of summer TA hours = potential for a meltdown
Honestly, it wasn't quite as terrible as I was expecting. I really missed my carbs, yes, and it was incredibly annoying to learn that just about everything has too many carbs in it for my pseudo-Atkins diet. It was hard for me to get enough calories in...there's only so much chicken and tuna I could stomach.
Thanks to my handy-dandy calorie tracker website, I could keep track of carbs and calories. I also downloaded a few Atkins diet menu plans to give me some ideas (totally recommend doing this!). So what did I end up eating?
- Eggs. Lots of eggs.
- Sausage links!
- Almond milk (not terrible...get original, not vanilla since it has too much sugar AND CARBS)
- Raw broccoli
- Flourless chocolate keto cake (this, plus Erin's avocado totally saved me)
- Turkey pepperoni
- String cheese
- Cherry tomatoes (only a few...)
- Green pepper (again, not a ton)
I definitely got stuck in a rut with breakfast and I was really tired of chicken by the end. (I don't think I've eaten chicken, aside from a post-marathon burrito, since this week...) I also drank a TON of water, partially because all the sodium was making me thirsty, and partially because I was still kinda hungry and at least water was filling me up (and was carb free, to boot!).
I had a tuneup workout on Tuesday of The Diet. Nichole adjusted my paces (SO MUCH SLOWER) and while I felt totally weird and not like myself at all, the workout actually went well. It was oh-so-nice to wake up on Wednesday morning and eat some pre-run animal crackers and then have a bagel for breakfast :) Spaghetti had never tasted so good!
I think this had a positive effect on my race. I had my pre-race UCAN drink, a UCAN gel, and two Roctane Gu's during the marathon, which is pretty normal. I never felt like I was in danger of an energy crash, which was pleasantly different. (Maybe it was my 2:45am bagel/breakfast #1...) Overall, I guess, I'll have to say that this is definitely something I'll consider before my next marathon. I don't feel like I was especially creative with my menu and, like I said, getting enough calories in was a challenge, but the end benefit was worth it!
Yay for crazy runner things :)