Running a Half Marathon being primal and doing Crossfit

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while. As lots of you out there in the virtual world know, Crossfit and Paleo go hand in hand. Go into any Crossfit Box and you’ll find a good number of Paleo peeps there. But not all Crossfitters who are Paleo, are also runners.

If you’ve been reading my stuff at all, you do know, that I actually am I runner. When I started about 3 years or so ago, I spent much of my time doing just that. Three days during the week I’d go for shorter run, followed by a long run on the weekend. I’d eat lots of carbs to give me energy, and basically didn’t give my body the chance to recover… because on my off days I went to the gym. Seven days a week of working out in combination with the highly recommend Standard American Diet (SAD), and I ran my very first half marathon in over 2.38 hours. Now, don’t get me wrong, only half a year after starting this new hobby, I was quite happy with this time.
However, I was unable to achieve the goals I had set for myself:

~I did not lose the 7 year old post pregnancy weight
~I did not manage to run a 10 minute mile.

Plus, I was toast for days after the race. Upon hobbling through the finish line, my knees stiffened up, and I was barely even able to walk to the car. I sat on the couch for the rest of the day, unable to do anything for anyone.

This of course changed last year. I still trained by running many, many miles, but my diet had changed… and I was 14lbs lighter than the year before. I ran a new PR of approximately 2:20. My knees were feeling kinda so so… but I was able to go for a walk with my family that afternoon, and for dinner I had one gigantic burger with bacon, mayo… the works!

Another year has passed, and I’m another 10lbs lighter. I started doing a Crossfit style class last year, and, doing plenty of air squats I was well on my way to healthy knees. I signed up for Crossfit in January of this year, and I instantly got hooked. Or as my friend B had me know, I drank the kool-aid. I worked out hard, upped my fat and protein intake, and soon I noticed my body changing yet again. My legs are strong and muscular, I see nice definition on my shoulders and arms. And although I’m just at the beginning of this Crossfit journey, I am absolutely amazed at how quickly I saw results.

Having said that, I knew I had to start running for the race in April. Right? You have to do run many miles, if you want to run a half marathon. I kind of pushed the thought of having to go out to run in the cold and rain far away from me, and just kind of kept doing the Crossfit thing about 4 to 5 days a week. Race day drew closer, and I nervously told my friend B, that I was completely unprepared for this one. How would I ever run 13.1 miles without having trained for it. B of course had words of wisdom for me, reminded me how much stronger I was, and she encouraged me to stick with my Crossfit workouts and then just go for it.

And so I did. April 1st, in the wee hours of the morning, I ate an egg and a banana. Not all athletes will agree that a banana is an ideal pre-race food. But for me it’s a great food before running. At 7am, off we went… over the bridge, through downtown Portland, the industrial area, along the river front, back over the bridge. My plan was not to walk until after mile 8. I managed to not walk until mile 10. After that I slowed down my pace a bit, grabbed water from every aid station, and I finished with no mentionable pain after 2:08! Another PR for me! Amazingly, my knees did not hurt. I did some stretching moves, and B had brought steak and sweet potatoes to fuel our bodies. I watched others eat bagels, yogurt, and fruit… and I didn’t miss it one bit.

I went home that day and helped my husband pack moving boxes. A little fatigue set in later in the afternoon. So I took a nap but I was fine after that.

My next half marathon is coming up in May. I’m running in the inaugural Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in Portland. What a blast. And this time I’m not scared one bit to run the distance. I know I will do just fine… with my Crossfit training (thanks, coaches!!!!!) and of course with eating a Paleo diet.

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