Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The surprising power of raw clams

Given that I rise at 3:50 AM most weekdays my interest in late night business dinners is fairly low. I made an exception last night because the situation warranted it. My hosts were in a generous mood, their business is based in New Orleans and after attending the Superbowl on Sunday they were still in a celebratory mood. Before I knew it the waiters had constructed a large three-tiered serving platter covered with every kind of fresh seafood that you could imagine. It was indulgent but great and I ate more than I normally would. Many find raw cherrystone clams unappealing but to a New Englander who spent his summers on Cape Cod, it was a rare treat. Although the wine was well selected and ample I avoided alcohol and my head and body thanked me when I stepped on the treadmill at 4:00 AM this morning.

As I've been doing throughout my recovery, I began today's run at a fairly modest pace. I'm finding that a slower start really helps me later as I pick up speed. I expected my protein-rich dinner to bog me down but the effect was fully opposite. Even as I moved the speed control faster on the treadmill I felt like I still had a lot more in reserve. When I came to the end of my running time I felt great, no pain with some real gain. I felt so good that I kept going longer than I'd planned. The energy and strength I had this morning has made me wonder whether my diet that's high in vegetables and whole grains is not balanced with enough protein. It's hard to know how much last night's dinner really affects your morning performance. If fresh shellfish, mussels and clams give me a boost like that again I'm going to rethink my strategy for pre-race meals.

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