The Importance of Nutrition

Today I realized how important nutrition actually is. The last few weeks I have upped my training but left my caloric intake pretty much the same. I was feeling sluggish all last week and I had just assumed it was a direct correlation to the extra training load that I had been adding. I was completely shocked when I started to actually track the calories I was eating vs what I was burning, I was usually in a 2,000 sometimes 3,000 calorie deficiet on my bigger training days, and thats after I was eating to the point where I felt I was pretty much stuffed. I then realized I needed to really focus on craming down enough calories or I wouldn't be allowing my body to repair itself.
Some days I really felt like I was forcing food down and I still was 1,000 calories or more short, but the boost in training that I got from the extra food was amazing. I had a new found energy and felt I was recovering much faster than in previous weeks. Maybe it had something to do with my body being used to the heavier training load, but simply adding another 1500-2000 calories a day had worked wonders.
It was really evident in this weekends workouts, I rode the same exact route as the previous week, with the same exact people, a full 15 minutes faster than last week. Last week I got dropped about 2 hrs in, this week I felt strong the whole way. There was no difference on what I ate on the ride, just on the days leading up to it. Of course I stuffed my face for the rest of day to make sure I was giving my body enough of a chance to recover for the next days run.
I eased into my Sunday run and after awhile I felt effortless, I've started to do most of my shorter runs in the Vibram KSO's and while I still do my long runs in my heavier running shoes, I have noticed a huge change in my running gait, and I feel more "springy" while running on the balls of my feet instead of heel striking. Once again a great workout was had on the heels of eating enough. I ran 13 miles in Central Park, a little slower than my last half marathon, with a lot less effort. With about 20 days left until my first A race of the season I feel like Im ready, one more big week, and time to taper down a bit!