A big part of my running is to remember to keep it fun.
The diet thing is the hardest part. I have to remember that I am not a pro. I am going to have a cheeseburger now and then, and a pizza.
It’s OK to eat things I like instead of shaving a couple of seconds off my time.
I was drinking beet juice. Studies have shown how it has positive results for runners with endurance. They get better, faster times.
It was hard for me to tell if it was helping. A lot of the results they got were things done in laboratories. So I was just blending it up and drinking it. For a while I drank a lot of it, but I kind of gave up on it. It wasn’t that tasty.
I also tried juicing with meats and veggies. It’s a little rough, so maybe I did it once or twice a week, just kind of choking it down.
It can be hard, but it does make a difference. It’s like the old adage, garbage in, garbage out. If I eat the pizza buffet, on that run in the evening, I can tell.
I never drink soda. I gave that up a while ago. I do drink a good amount of coffee in the mornings. But it’s mostly water and fruit juices. It’s mostly natural things.
I am a big fan of drinks like Bolthouse Farms and Naked Juice. I’ve done Muscle Milk a couple of times after a hard run.
I know the concentration on my diet is high on protein and carbs and low in fat. After a workout, I will eat egg whites, fresh fruits and veggies. If I know I have a long run, I will eat more carbs. My diet is really geared around what run is coming, if I have to compete or if I need protein to recover.
I know I have a 20-miler tomorrow, so today I had a big plate of spaghetti and vegetables. For vegetables, I use whatever is cheap and readily available.
Right after my run this morning, I had a protein drink. Throughout the week, I eat a lot of bananas. I do miss eating burgers and pizza. It’s rough out on a long run when you run by somebody who is cooking out and you can smell the burgers. That is torture. And of course, ice cream, cookies, I love them all.
I’ve been doing well with my workouts. Everything is balanced. My work hasn’t taken any crazy turns and my family is doing well. I have the same problems injury-wise, but they are not getting worse.
I just did a 5K in Brown County. The Quaff On! guys ran a Brown County High School fundraiser. Danny Fisher won it. I was fourth in 18:19. That was an improvement. I think I have recovered from my 50-miler, Dances with Dirt in Gnawbone, which was in May. That took a lot out of me. I am coming around.
For a lot of guys now, the marathon buildup is just beginning. My past two have been 80-mile weeks and now I will build up the mileage and get the longer mileage in. If you are a couch-to-marathon person, you probably are looking at 16 to 20 weeks to prepare for a marathon. But if you already are averaging 50 to 60 miles a week, you can get away with 10 to 12 weeks.
The Republic will be following Joe Bell in his preparation for the Sept. 27 Mill Race Marathon. Look for his next runner’s diary July 20. Contact Bell for tips, advice or encouragement at email@example.com.