Eating is important. News flash, I know. But it is and I figured I'd share that with you.
I know this to be true because of what happened on Sunday. On Saturday, Mrs. LB went out for lunch and I was stuffed, so much so that I only snacked briefly the rest of the day. After work on Saturday night, I stopped by at Del Taco and got me some burritos. When I woke up Sunday morning, I didn't feel that hungry. It felt like I'd just eaten, and given that I'd eaten about five hours before I actually just had.
Instead of my usual Clif Bar and water, I opted to skip the Clif bar and drank some Gatorade before heading out to run with the Lopers.
We were only running five miles, and since I'd run 10 the day before I was rather happy with that. The weather was nice as the sun was not out, and our small-but-hearty group got off to a good start. But I didn't feel right. I thought it may have been the 10 miles I'd run the day before, or the four hours of sleep I'd gotten the night before or a combination of the two.
Now, since it was our first five-mile run this Loper season, it was also the first time the water station was out. We have water stations set up along the course during the Loper season, and this one was well-received. I didn't have my fuel belt and was thirsty, but more than that I was hungry. Man, was I starved! And I was lucky too. The water stations always have water (duh) but they don't always have food. This time, though, the table was well-stocked with trail mix.
I grabbed an empty water cup and scooped it full of trail mix. I inhaled that. I grabbed more and sucked that down too. My group was starting to walk away from the table and I was double-fisting the trail mix. So I grabbed one last cupful of it and carried it with me. I lagged behind but ate while the group took off up ahead.
We rounded one block and I instantly felt better. I'd finished the trail mix, it hadn't yet fully settled into my stomach, and I felt like a new runner. We were at about Mile 3 at this point and I suddenly had energy. Instead of wondering if I could make it to the end intact, I felt as if I could run six or seven or eight miles if need be. At one point I sprinted up ahead of the group to cover us as we were running across a street with no stop sign. As I ran and increased my speed, I felt a burst of energy and contemplated running fast the whole way in. I stayed with our awesome group though and finished strong.
I've known for a while that I don't need sleep to run. I got about five hours of sleep before Surf City and probably less before San Francisco but did great, felt great anyway. I ran the Run Through Redlands Half Marathon on a Sunday morning, having gotten home Saturday night well after midnight.
Food, though, seems to be a necessity I can't really do without. So even if I feel full from having eaten late the night before, I'm not going to let that lull me into a false sense of security and won't make that same mistake twice.