Burning It Up - Sleep, Food, and Nutritional Facts?

Time to start paying more attention to food and sleep!  I've proven that I can "burn it up" as a DailyMile'er friend Leigh put it, but I don't want to burn out.  I'm exhausted today, and I felt pretty down in the weather yesterday.  Only two weeks from my last bout with the flu, I'm struggling to keep healthy this weekend.  It's discouraging!

Gone are the days when I could stay up until two in the morning and still get up in time for a seven o'clock class.  I'm not eighteen anymore, and my body is telling me in no uncertain terms that it is unacceptable for me to get less than seven hours of sleep.

With my increased focus on swimming and increased mileage with running, I haven't successfully increased my caloric intake.  Instead, I keep dropping in weight, down to 178 pounds.  I haven't been this light since I graduated from college in '97.  To put this in perspective, last year at this time, I weighed around 195.  Weight loss was not my focus for running, rather finishing a marathon.  Now weight loss has become a concern.

So, this week's focus will be getting to bed before 11:00 pm, and making sure I'm eating many small meals throughout the day.  I often skip breakfast, and sometimes skip lunch -- if I'm too busy at work -- then have a large evening meal.  From what Meghan has been reading, this is entirely backwards.  Adelle Davis, the renown (or notorious) nutritionalist and biochemist, is quoted, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

I've heard this phrase before but didn't know its origin.  I was about to leave the blog post at this, but like a good researcher, I dug a little deeper.  What was the premise for this statement?  How really does this benefit us?

(Image linked from Wikipedia.) Google to the rescue, or perhaps not, as the waters are now muddied by QuackWatch.  "Despite this training, she promoted hundreds of nutritional tidbits and theories that were unfounded. At the 1969 White House Conference on Food and Nutrition, the panel on deception and misinformation agreed that Davis was probably the most damaging source of false nutrition information in the nation.[emphasis mine] Most of her ideas were harmless unless carried to extremes, but some were very dangerous. For example, she recommended magnesium as a treatment for epilepsy, potassium chloride for certain patients with kidney disease, and megadoses of vitamins A and D for other conditions."  You should definitely read the entire article.  It paints a very unflattering picture of Professor Davis.

So, where does this leave us with nutritional advice?  Looking for more.  As I understand the diets of Ultra marathon runners such as Scott Jurek, they incorporate more beans, legumes, and vegetables in their diet than what most Americans are used to.  I can't say I'm ready to tread the path of a vegetarian, but I'm perfectly happy to add more vegetables.  Especially if it produces results like this.

I have no illusions of grandeur here.  I won't be winning any ultras any time soon;  I just hope to remain healthy and have fun along the way.  If I'm going to run 8 miles and burn a thousand calories, I should definitely replace them or find myself feeling like I do today!  *BLEH*

One other adjustment I think I need to make is to stop burning so hot.  I have been keeping my pace too high on what should be long-slow-distance (LSD) runs.  I'm not trying to do race specific training before Grandma's, rather just build up a nice base of mileage while cross-training with swimming.  It's time to keep the miles up, but slow the pace down appreciably.  If I'm planning on finishing a marathon in sub-4 hours, I should be training slower than that, rather than faster...  I've been doing it backwards yet again.  It's just so fun running fast!

Anyway, time to prep dinner for the family before tonight's Nickelodean Kid's Choice Awards, an event that Connor is quite excited about!  Yep, I'm a dad... :)