Admit it. You spent your weekend wondering if I was actually going to smuggle my own sundae toppings into Nassau Coliseum.
Come now, did you really doubt me?
This photo may be hard to see – I snuck this picture of my top secret toppings stash while they were still inside my bag – I didn’t want the boys to remember what I brought and then ask for some of my chocolate chips.
Yes, those are marshmallows in the bag. I brought those just in case we wanted hot chocolate.
No, I wasn’t a girl scout. My dessert preparedness skills are an innate trait of mine. One of my finer qualities.
Cute sundae right?
Even cuter topped with dark chocolate chips.
And the real reason additional toppings were needed – I hate when you run out of the sprinkles and hot fudge and are only left with the ice cream.
Remember, I only like ice cream for the mix-ins or served a la mode on top of cake and/or cookies. But this cute sundae was a nice treat to eat while watching the hockey game.
Anyway, today is Monday which means I start my “taper week”.
For those of you who don’t know what that means, tapering is when you reduce your workout intensity/mileage as well as fuel up on carbohydrates to prepare your body for an upcoming race.
Runners don’t enjoy tapering. It can be mentally challenging to not go out there and run your normal distance or to take rest days when you are feeling great and up for your normal work out.
But, it must be done to ensure your legs and body are fresh and ready for race day.
Now of course, I don’t really have a set plan for this so-called taper. I intend to run a little less, cross train a little more, take an additional rest day as well as examine my daily diet to ensure that I am hydrating enough and eating well.
Tapering in a sense is good for all of us really, upcoming race on the schedule or not. It gives us a chance to step back and evaluate our daily routine and ensure that we are taking care of our body’s needs.
Sometimes we are so busy that we fall into an automatic routine without really stopping to think if we are getting enough rest, drinking enough water and fueling our daily activities properly with nutrient dense foods.
Since a lot of my readers aren’t runners, I thought it would be fun to challenge all of us to a version of tapering this week.
If you recall, I once offered Three Health Tips referred to as “START STOP KEEP”.
It is a method I learned recently while studying to receive my certification in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness and Sports Performance.
Nutritionists use this technique to help clients evaluate their lifestyle on a weekly basis and set small, attainable goals; one thing you can START doing, one thing you can STOP doing, and one healthy thing to KEEP doing. Each week you go back and re-evaluate your goals and set new ones.
Remember, small changes lead to big results!
For me, START STOP KEEP for this week will look something like this:
START – I really need to drink more water.
Anyone that knows me personally may laugh at this need since I have always been a water guzzler but the truth is, I don’t drink as much as I used to. I notice a lot of mornings that I wake up extremely thirsty and it usually coincides with a lack of water the day before.
Especially with the race coming up this weekend, I MUST hydrate properly this week.
STOP: I chew WAY too much gum.
Is it any wonder I am not drinking enough water? How can you guzzle your H2O when you are constantly chewing gum?
I must cut back.
If not just to ensure I drink more water, have we discussed the ingredients in sugar free gum? A topic for another day but let’s just say it isn’t pretty.
KEEP: I think I do a great job of eating complex carbohydrates. As a vegetarian, I tend to fill my plate mostly with carbs such as oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, brown rice etc. A sweet potato can be found on my dinner plate just about any night of the week. The sweet potato is not only delicious, it is a nutritional powerhouse.
I have absolutely noticed a positive difference in my runs the morning after I eat a big sweet potato.
With this diet already in place, I am not so sure that I need to add any additional carbs for this race.
It isn’t a full 26.2 marathon anyway.
Examine your current diet/fitness/wellness routine.
What are some positive changes you can make this week? What can you START, STOP AND KEEP?
Remember, your changes can be as simple as fitting in a 30 minute walk each day, stopping that extra serving of chips in the afternoon, keeping up with bringing your lunch to work.
Get it? Got it? Good! Let me know your plan!