Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Training for half-marathon and I stumbled along the way

I've been training for a half-marathon since January and I seemed to have stumbled into a small problem.

Recently I was diagnosed with kidney issues. Particularly what happens is I get dehydrated and my lowers legs and feet swell…even after drinking six to eight bottles of water. Can you believe that?! I couldn’t.


My kidneys are not fully functioning. After several tests, the doctor (a wonderful physician whom I trust) discovered that my kidneys are losing too much protein and not taking enough in. Without the protein my kidneys do not function to full capacity.

Kidneys are supposed to get rid of waste and toxins and share the good stuff, in this case, water to the other cells in the body. Well, my kidneys aren’t able to send the water to my cells so it sends it as far away from the heart as possible, which ends up being my legs and feet. They have swollen to the point that during three races my left foot went numb and I thought pins and needles were sticking up from the bottom of my feet. Talk about pain.

How does this happen?

Various reasons, but in my case it appears to be, according to my wonderful physician, malnutrition. No, I don’t eat junk food or garbage, but basically I don’t take in enough food, enough good foods (in this case protein). Basically, I workout too much and eat too little.

Of course, my trainer has been telling me the same thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been trying to eat better, more. I did this, however, by faking it. I drank two protein shakes a day and thought that covered me. Boy was I wrong!!

My doctor asked me, “Do you have an aversion to meat?”

The answer is, “No.” I do not, however, enjoy cooking it. I actually very much hate the smell.

I no longer have a choice. Yours truly has a goal of a half-marathon in Dingle, Ireland on September 1st and I will not get to do this if I do not eat protein and get my hydration back to normal.

How much protein do I need?

A minimum of 60 grams a day…from unprocessed/fake sources.

Where does protein come from?

Meat! One of the best sources of protein is meat; beef, chicken, and fish. Almost across the board for every ounce of meat you eat you intake 7 grams of protein.

Eggs are another fantastic source. An egg has 6 grams of protein.

Dairy is another good source, but watch out for the fat. A slice of American cheese has 6 grams of protein. Greek yogurt is my favorite source of dairy protein. Chobani makes this kids’ yogurt that is mixed berry and it is delicious! It’s a small container so I don’t have to eat a large amount to get 8 grams of protein. I usually save this for dessert after dinner.

Beans and nuts (almonds/walnuts) are other great sources of protein.

In my case, I have been ordered to eat meat and eggs. All the others are a bonus.

In addition to my lack of protein, I have to stay hydrated. In this case, water is not the only or best solution.

How do I deal with the hydration?

This one is way simpler for me. Eat fruits and vegetables! Ah, but they have to be fruits and vegetables high in water content. Believe me, this works!

I have been eating watermelon, cantaloupe, green beans, lettuce, or tomatoes at practically every meal. Broccoli, grapefruit, and plums are other great water fruits and vegetables. There are more, but I don’t like them. I have one cup of fruit or vegetables at every meal or for snacks.

Notice that most of the foods I mentioned are not processed. This is key. Natural foods have less sodium. Sodium is very bad for me because it aids in the bad fluid being retained in my body.

Because I am a nut and I wish to be better sooner than later, I have also endeavored to identify a few other things to help with my kidney issues. I am trying IsoPure water, which is a protein water drink. Just drank two of them this morning. Not bad…but I mixed it with cranberry juice as cranberry juice is good for kidney function.

This afternoon, after I eat my chicken Caesar wrap for lunch (35 grams of protein), I am going to try a protein gelatin. It’s something similar to the water I just mentioned only in jello form.

I am not counting these supplements in the 60 grams of natural protein that I have to intake each day. I’m counting these supplements as bonuses or a hopeful boost.

Wish me luck in getting my kidneys back on track and making my half-marathon!


Keith Goodman July 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM  

Mom & I are hoping that you will return to your old self and take on your noted attitude of becoming a real pisser. :)

Love ya,

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