This past Sunday I told you I ran 17 miles (Running.  Why We Let it Hurt So Good).  The run went well.  I left feeling successful, happy.

In another post, I told you I juice beets before my races (Compression Sleeves – Are You a Believer?)

Yes, I believe juicing beets has enhanced my race performance.

When I drink the beet juice, I reach a point in my race where I feel fast.  My breathing is under control.  I feel fluid.  I feel the juice is effective.  Others who drink the juice voice the same benefits, stated here.  Beets lower our blood pressure, they are high in nitrates and allow athletes to require less oxygen to perform.  They’re winners for me!

As I geared up for my run this past Sunday, I decided to juice the beets I had in the fridge.  I knew I was in for a heavy day of running, and I thought – I will not have race day adrenaline pumping through me.  Maybe a little beet juice would help.

So, I juiced the 2 1/2 beets I had.  Then I took a moment to stare into the glass of murky purple liquid and wonder “what the heck is wrong with me?”

I took every piece of “chugging 101” I learned in college to drink the thick earthy murk down and keep it down.  I made a funny face.  I did the wiggly dance.  I rinsed my cup, ate a cracker, finished up my morning routine and went to the trails.

Based on the research and my past experience I know to give my beet juice about 2 hours to become effective.  On Sunday the juice was to become effective around 9:00 in the morning (I drank it at 7:00).

At 9:00 I was at Split 4

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Things were going well.  I was feeling well.  I loved my beets on Sunday.

After Sunday I decided to buy these beet performers and keep them on hand.

Today, I had a 5 mile Fartlek on my treadmill scheduled.  So when I woke up this morning, I came right down, poured the juice from the can into a cup and did the stare thing.  I plugged my nose and drank it down.

To my surprise, it was not nearly as thick and murky as the real deal.  It really wasn’t bad at all.  It was like running a flat surface after doing hills.  It was a relief!

I gave the beets about an hour and got on the treadmill.  My fartlek looks like this:

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In the interest of time, my warm up was 5 minutes and my cool down was at 6.5 MPH to finish at 5 miles in 44 minutes.

Was the beet juice effective?

Not today.  Not for the fartlek.

Was it the can?  Was it because it wasn’t the real deal?  Was it that I only gave it an hour to work?

I had to finish the fartlek at 5 miles.  I had to get my family moving, fed and out the door.  When I had my chores done another hour later, I hit the pavement for another 2 miles at a fast pace.

Those felt great.

That was 2 1/2 hours after I drank the juice.  The time for peak performance.

I am leaning towards saying timing is everything here.

I’ll continue my research.  I’ll drink the beet juice, canned and the real deal.  I’ll make the funny face and do the wiggly dance.  And I’ll let you know what I find.

And if you have never drank the beet, just know – your pee will be beet pink for a bit.  It’s all good!

Cheers to the beet!

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