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    LDRICHEL   48,834
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Difficult Choices and Healthy Balance

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So, I finally picked up "The Triathlete's Training Bible" by Joe Friel (which has been sitting on my night stand for a few weeks now). Truth be told, I hadn't even glanced at it because I felt a) overwhelmed by the wealth of information within b) a little bit unworthy to call myself a real triathlete and read a real book about training for said sport and c) a little prideful that I already had a good workout plan and system going for me. I reasoned I could pick up that book when race season comes around again and I actually need specific tips on certain aspects of racing.

After my annoying dizziness episode and two days of headache, I decided that enough was enough. I obviously have miscalculated something and I NEED help figuring out how to balance my training with my diet. Also, I need to know the truth about where weight loss fits into all of this...and, sadly, I have heard from more than one very credible source that it doesn't.

The book starts out with a quote that is pretty darn appropriate right now for me.

"Many dedicated endurance athletes don't need to be told what to do - they need to be told what not to do." - Scott Tinley, Professional Triathlete

I only got through one chapter before my eyes refused to open again. But, I will tell you right now that this first chapter (Chapter 1 Smart Training) touched on every single issue I've been having lately. It was as if the author had been watching my past month of effort and knew exactly what to correct. Crazy! It kind of makes me think I'm not the first overzealous brand new triathlete to hit the circuit and that brings me a small level of comfort. Haha.

In general, the entire first chapter discussed the fact that multisport training is like a puzzle, with the swim, bike and run training being the individual pieces (along with diet, rest and recovery and a few other pieces)....and the athlete's ultimate racing goals/desires being the overall picture. Just as you wouldn't attempt a 5,000 piece puzzle willy nilly without a specific plan of attack, you can't expect to train for triathlon without a detailed and focused plan.

The key to this chapter was that a training philosophy of emphasizing the least amount of the most specific training brings continual improvement. There was also quite a bit of information about moderation and rest.

Even with the details all worked out, an athlete must always keep the big picture in mind and stay focused on what they are working toward. So...what am I working toward? It hit me that this is what my friend meant at lunch the other day...what do I WANT?

Clearly, I am at a point where I need to make a choice between whether I want to focus on losing weight or focus on training. But I can't do both and expect my body to be at it's peak performance. I hate to admit this (but it's certainly no surprise to anyone) but my eyes were finally opened to the fact that I've been overtraining. I hate that. It's not like tons of my friends haven't been telling me this and I haven't been ignoring them completely. I don't know why it's so embarrassing to admit, but it just is. Also, I really love what I'm doing...so it's kind of tough to think about limiting or pulling back. But, there again, it's the BIG PICTURE that needs to be in my mind if I'm going to do this right.

Choosing between training and weight loss is something I have been avoiding...because I just didn't want to face this truth. I don't want to make that choice. However, it's a choice between two healthy options - lose weight or train for tri. I mean...that's a pretty sweet dilemma to have, as far as dilemmas go. Let's keep things in perspective here! My dilemma USED to be 3 Hard Shell Taco Supremes or a Mexican Pizza? And we all know the answer to that one, right? ALL OF THEM. Haha.

Seriously, though...you expect training to be hard work. You expect weight loss to be hard work. But you don't expect the hard work to come in the form of forcing yourself to exercise less or making a choice between two healthy options to find the MOST healthy for your own body.

So, I'm taking some rest time...because my body really needs some recovery time. I have ONE workout planned for this week...a spinning class on Thursday night that my friend already paid for so I'm going. For the rest of the week, I'm laying low, babying this ankle, eating as much as my body tells me it needs and sleeping as much as I can. As for my 10k this Saturday, we'll see how my ankle feels. If I can't run it, I'll walk it. If I can't walk it, I'll quit. A 10k race is not worth losing any momentum I could use toward my half marathon in 3 weeks. Although I realize this may be stupid, I AM running my half. It's the pinnacle of everything I've done this entire season and I will not quit that. Call me a stubborn ass, but that's just the choice I've made. I don't expect a fast time at all. And I'm fine with walking most of the half if I need to as well. But I will finish that one. If it takes me 5 hours, I will do it.

We all make our own choices. Some are wise. Some are risks. With everything, there's a balance. A balance of fitness and rest. A balance of smart and stupid. A balance of safety and risk. And we're all learning every day where that balance is for our own bodies.

Even facing difficult choices, I am so happy with where I am at right now. I wouldn't trade this new life for anything. In comparison to where I was last year, this is like paradise. To actually CARE about my body and think about what is best for it is kind of a new thing for me. All beginnings are rocky. But there will be a smooth path eventually. I have to believe that right now. It's really the only thing that keeps me moving.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEMT 11/4/2012 3:21PM

    I hope those that read you regularly and have had the same dilemma read and understood what you said. You can lead a horse to water but sometimes they don't see themselves in that same situation. I am so glad I finally got to read this blog. You still rock girl! WooHoo to you!

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TRACYNOTGIVINUP 10/4/2012 6:52AM

    Leah its it something amazing that you have come to a point that youre having dreams bigger than just losing weight which a year ago was prolly your biggest dream not even realizing there were other dreams inside you? It was a strange feeling when I got to the point that I didn't care if I lost anymore and was more interested in focussing on running.

Your dreams continue to inspire me to dream bigger and reach for any goal I find that may interest me.

We are all here to cheer you on as you reach for your goals.

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WHITNEYLD 10/4/2012 4:38AM

    emoticon

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FIRECOM 10/3/2012 11:15AM

    Just the word "triathalete" makes me dizzy. Very good blog and I thank you.

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ONCEASANDBROOK 10/2/2012 11:05AM

    I'm so glad to have found this entry! I'm really at the beginning of things, but it's really because I've overtrained in the past and have felt weight loss *and* training slip through my fingers. I have to remind myself that it's going to be a journey, and that committing long term may mean taking things slow and being good to myself. I hope that next year, I'll be in your shoes now!

Good luck with your ankle, your 10k, and your newfound clarity! I'll be following along. :)

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SLENDERELLA61 10/1/2012 5:38PM

    Best wishes for finding the right balance for you! Great blog. Absolutely deserving of the Popular Blog Award. Good going. And I appreciate your attitude, too. I'll be achieving my first HM on Nov 18. I expect to run most of it, but I'll walk if I need to, just as you suggest. -Marsha

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SHAZG321 9/30/2012 2:54PM

    WELL DONE! GOOD WORK

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LYNSEYS06 9/30/2012 10:36AM

    I enjoyed this blog very much! emoticon

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HEARTSTOPPER 9/29/2012 5:30PM

   
Good luck!



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THESLIMMERME1 9/29/2012 2:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon that you have a new perspective of things - emoticon emoticon

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MOTIVACTION2 9/28/2012 10:18PM

    Good luck!

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NESARIAN 9/28/2012 9:58PM

    You've come along way, baby! It has been fun to watch your growth during your process. emoticon

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THEIS58 9/28/2012 3:27PM

    So right. Thanks for sharing this. I learned this the hard way too.

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EARTHTONED84 9/28/2012 11:41AM

    Wonderful blog! What you discussed here is what I have been wondering...if it is possible to train seriously for a tri AND lose weight. Thank you for this earnest blog and I will definitely go and get that book to take a peek too. I think I will be making this same kind of decision very soon. I hope your spinning class went well too!!

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SLFGOLF 9/28/2012 1:02AM

    Great blog! I'm sure it wasn't easy to face, but in all things - moderation, even training and exercise. The rest will do you good.

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KARRENLYNN 9/28/2012 1:00AM

    Thanks for sharing, sounds like you have the right attitude. Good Luck





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SHADOWROSE45 9/27/2012 10:54PM

    Good attitude

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NKOUAMI26 9/27/2012 10:46PM

    Rest is always good.Good luck
emoticon emoticon

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KAPELAKIN 9/27/2012 8:39PM

    As Nigel Tufnel says "It's such a fine line between clever and stupid, isn't it?" Same with training! FWIW, Slow Carb has allowed me to train and lose at the same time, so it's not impossible, at least at the HM level.

emoticon

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JSTETSER 9/27/2012 4:36PM

    You are so right about balance!

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KRISTENMBATT 9/27/2012 3:16PM

    Yes, that is definitely a much better dilemma than the taco or mexican pizza dilemma! Ha ha! It's awesome to see how far you have come!

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LAURA123BB 9/27/2012 2:26PM

  emoticon

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MNWILDCIN 9/27/2012 12:47PM

    Thanks for sharing!
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AMARILYNH 9/27/2012 12:47PM

    No need to be embarrassed - over training becomes to most runners sooner or later. If you happen to be a type A it will almost certainly be sooner. Best of luck to you with the half marathon - stay safe!!

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 9/27/2012 12:15PM

    It is difficult to balance rest with activity. I have a personal struggle with this. Thank you for sharing such important insights. emoticon emoticon

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MYBABYGIRLS 9/27/2012 11:53AM

    Great attitude, great thinking! Keep moving forward! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 9/27/2012 11:50AM

  It looks like you have a very clear view of your situation and are now enabled to make the best choices for you - congratulations! I wish you the very best on you half marathon.

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COACHMOMMY 9/27/2012 11:25AM

    I was going to comment on your weight loss dilemma before, but since I'm no expert on weight loss or exercise, I decided not to. After I read this blog, I just wanted to give you some encouragement! I lost 46 lbs. in 7 months almost 2 years ago and have been maintaining (mostly!). The only exercise I did while loosing was walking about 3 miles, 2-3 times a week (and an occasional long hike). I started a C25K training class after I had lost the weight and then started running pretty regularly after that (certainly not at your level, but 3-4 miles). I didn't loose much after that, but I'm positive that running was my "key to maintenance". It's still my main form of cardio!

So keep up the good work!

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DOTTY7267 9/27/2012 11:03AM

    Thank you - I had to learn the hard way as well, when I trained for my first 1/2 marathon.

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SANDYCRANE 9/27/2012 9:51AM

    Great blog, a real eye opener. emoticon

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FARIS71 9/27/2012 9:34AM

    As usual you rock. I am training for a half in Decmeber and need to keep in mind the balance needed to do that. I sometimes wonder if I will ever be satisfied - like once the half is done, what next? Will there always need to be a what next? I know it's important to have things to work toward, but will I be able to work toward maintenance? And you're right - these are awesome questions to be pondering instead of what super sized value meal I want. emoticon

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JLEMUS1 9/27/2012 8:29AM

    The ying and yang...balance is a good thing!!

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1935MARY 9/27/2012 8:08AM

    Great job. You are right. you have to find the balance in everything, emoticon for it to work.Instead of calling it quits on running the race, sit it aside for now . Maybe later down the road it too will become a part of your balance.

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BLOOMING52 9/27/2012 7:55AM

    Thank you.

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AJB121299 9/27/2012 7:40AM

    good job

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LYNNIERN 9/27/2012 7:40AM

    emoticon

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JO28352 9/27/2012 7:37AM

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you've reached the right decisions for yourself and your body. emoticon

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MANILUS 9/27/2012 6:54AM

    You have found the wisdom that comes from a rare place, training OR losing weight are the options.I learned that one the hard way!

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TRYINGHARD54 9/27/2012 6:00AM

    emoticon

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 9/27/2012 4:47AM

    emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 9/26/2012 10:07PM

    Sounds like someone has really received some well earned wisdom. Good for you. Thanks for the inspiration

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MIDROAD 9/26/2012 11:48AM

    I just love your blogs. You write so well! Thanks for inspiring us all!

Blessings to you and yours,
Jeannie

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CZEIDMAN 9/26/2012 10:51AM

  Those are very tough choices. Hoping that your ankle holds up.

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REGILIEH 9/26/2012 10:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 9/26/2012 8:05AM

    It seems that you have weighed your options and are making the best decision you can for you, your body and your health. Kudos to you! emoticon

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CLUMBOY 9/26/2012 7:13AM

    excellent thoughts. think of how much your mind has developed on this journey. very inspiring.

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MCFERRET 9/26/2012 6:38AM

    It sounds like you have done your research and are making good choices for YOU! WTG! Keep listening to your body and stay strong.

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JMARIES51 9/26/2012 12:51AM

    I was so happy to read your blog today. When you were talking about the dizziness, I was really wondering if you were over training or under eating. There can be so many reasons for a person to feel dizzy so I hope you find the right balance, and I am sure you will end up stronger physically and losing weight, all at the same time.

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COCK-ROBIN 9/25/2012 11:36PM

    I'm glad for you! And that book sounds good. Go for it!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/25/2012 11:31PM

    I was overtraining in the summer (and not eating enough!) and I wasn't losing weight that had crept up on me so I started upping my calorie range and eating more protein (thanks to you!) and I started to lose again. I think that you have to give your body enough fuel to have the most efficient machine working for you.

In the past month, I took a necessary break from training for races and I've lost a few more pounds, have been maintaining my weight fairly easily. Running for me gives me a goal, gives me motivation to improve. It is a balance to find how to fuel your body and your workouts, and lose weight... I lost the bulk of my weight before I found running so I don't know from personal experience... But I think that you're doing the right thing, listening to your body and friends and if something isn't working, change it. Experiment. Try new things. Eat more protein, eat less protein, drink more water. See what works. Find the balance.


Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 11:35:23 PM

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