bobby’s best thing he’s ever ate + training tip #1

So, if you don’t know me well, you may not know that, although a vegetarian, I am a HUGE foodie, along with the Hubs. There is always at least one Food Network show we are DVR-ing every night. Last night, we just so happened to record probably one of my favorite FN shows, Best Thing I Ever Ate. On this show, they interview different Food Network chefs, along with food writers, editors, and executive chefs about the best things they’ve ever eaten of a certain theme and where to find that particular item/meal. Last night’s theme just so happened to be Sweet Tooth. As they scrolled through the opening credits, the very first image they showed was a Ted Drewes concrete! And who’s best thing they ever ate was it? The one and only Bobby Flay (or as the Hubs and I like to call him, Flobby Bay)! OK, I must admit, I have a little crush on Bobby (along with Alton Brown), so this took the excitement to a whole new level. They also have never had anything on this show in St. Louis, so it being something I have actually eaten in the past week… I was floored! So, read about our trip and GO if you are in the St. Louis area. If a big-name chef like Bobby Flay claims it as the best sweet tooth item he’s ever ate, you gotta try it! Again, to quote Ted himself, “It really is good guys… and gals!”

Training Tip #1: Listen to Your Body
I am now officially 2 weeks in to training for the Chicago Marathon (10.10.10) and albeit a little hot + humid at times, training has been going pretty smoothly… until my long run this past Sunday. I was scheduled to run 9 miles, which is still pretty short for marathon training. However, I had been sick with a pretty nasty cold/sinus infection I lovingly received from the Hubs (thanks babe). I was starting to feel much better, but it reared its ugly head again Saturday night. I took some Ibuprofen to ease my aching sinuses and prayed to feel better in the morning.

Needless to say, I slept horribly… my nose was running like a faucet and I woke up continuously coughing all night. My alarm went off at 7 AM, and I decided that I’ve ran through feeling crappy like this before, so I should be fine… or at least get by. I fueled up on half a banana with some peanut butter (again, the obsession), some Alkaseltzer, and some more Ibuprofen.

It wasn’t too bad of a start, a little warm outside, but I felt OK. I decided to view the run like 3 5K’s (OK, that sounds WAY longer now than it did then) to break it up a bit, and planned on walking 1 minute for every mile I ran. As I got into mile 2, I started to feel nauseous, my stomach not settling well from the seltzer or the heat. I kept going, still keeping a pretty good pace. As I got into mile 6, my legs were rubber. I know I wasn’t getting in the oxygen I needed to keep my muscles going. I decided to start walking… I just couldn’t handle it any more. I walked most of miles 6 + 7 and ran the last mile in – slowly – and still finished with a 9:00/mile average pace, which I could still break 4 hours with.

This brings me to my point. You have to listen to your body. Although I listened enough to know it was time to walk, I probably shouldn’t have been out there at all. I had been miserable the night before and didn’t get a good night’s sleep. My sinuses killed and I had difficulty breathing since my nose was all snotty. Although the rule of thumb is above the shoulders you can still run, but below the shoulders, take the day off, I have realized that just listening to how I feel physically is a good indication of whether I should run or not.

With the injuries I’ve dealt with training for marathons in the past, I know listening to my body will be key to my success at this training. I had to cancel training for my first marathon in 2007 because of an IT band injury that hurt to the point where I could hardly walk. And even training for Go! St. Louis in 2008, I dealt with neuromas in my feet due to hammertoes that caused me to take off training for 2 weeks. This is not going to happen this time. I know better and I want to treat my body with the respect it deserves. Distance running is grueling and tough on the body… it needs a break every once in awhile. Listen to it… your body knows best.