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Tuesday was not a recovery day in terms of training—it included a track workout. I figured Wednesday would be the right day to juice fast since all I had on my training agenda was an easy one-hour run.
I started off strong after my morning juice, got to work, held strong until about 11am when I began craving lunch. I was fortunate in that my friend and colleague, Liz Hichens, was up for a juice lunch because of recent dental work. So we drove to a strange little health food joint behind a convenience store in Miramar here in San Diego. We ordered the same thing, a large size of a juice they made fresh from celery, carrots and oranges. Very good stuff. We sat in the sun for a while outside the restaurant and then made our way back to the office. At about 1pm, Liz called me and told me how hungry she was.
She wasn’t the only one. From 1 to 2:30 pm my energy plummeted like a tank dropped from a C-130. I was editing an article for Inside Triathlon magazine—a long story, 4000 words, needing a heavy line edit. I slow-crawled through each sentence. At one point a half hour had sludged by and I’d only made it through 200 words. I began to recall some of the advice from Dr. Cabot’s book, recommendations on doing juice fasts on the weekend when you can kick back and rest. I took that to mean physical rest, but it might be a good idea to not have any tasks requiring brainpower. I got up from my desk a couple of times to walk around the office in hopes of stirring some energy. These were not effective outings. My eyes caught site of various food bars, candy dispensers, people snacking on pretzels. The stabs of pain I felt in seeing or sensing such items were physical.
In the phone call Liz had told me I better get my run in while I was still functioning. Since I was failing at my job, I went to the company locker room, got my running duds on, and struck outside for my easy run. My legs were fatigued from the previous day of training and I had very little in the way of motivation to burn. Thankfully it was a recovery run and I trickled along. After about a half hour my mood perked up. After I finished, I showered and returned to my desk to feel…
FANTASTIC. It was the most bizarre turnaround I can recall experiencing. I drank a large cup of water while my work pace jumped back up to a high level. Mentally and physically I felt—not sure how else to put this—a little buzzed.
I worked till about 6:15 then hit the freeway, still feeling energized. Talk about a runner’s high. I got home, churned up a dinner “soup” with tomatoes, cabbage, celery and garlic. Drank it and cracked open a book. The energy high was over but I still felt a very clean energy through my system. I went to bed early and slept like I’d fell into a black hole.
In my next write-up I’ll share some thoughts on the costs and benefits, per my personal experience, of a one-day juice fast for the endurance athlete.
Advocates of short duration juice fasts suggest that the discipline of restricting dietary intake to freshly juiced fruits and vegetables for a specific period of time offers a number of exceptional health benefits, including enhanced fitness, extra energy and loss of excess body fat. Does it work? T.J. Murphy, Editorial Director for Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon, fires up a juicer and gives it a try.