Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Well, I'm now 5 chapters in to "The Triathlete's Training Bible" and I still stand by my review that it is one of the most helpful books I've ever read and it could not possibly come at a better time for me. Biggest lesson so far: It's time to start using my head and training smarter.
I am now on Day 4 of no exercise at all. Surprisingly, I still hope to meet my 2,000 September Fitness Minutes goal. Truthfully, I've been doing very little moving in general the past few days, as I'm working on some hardcore recovery from my ankle issues this past weekend, as well as healing from a sustained period of about a month of what I now recognize as over-training.
Found a great quote this morning:
"During the hard training phase, never be afraid to take a day off. If your legs are feeling unduly stiff and sore, rest. If you're at all sluggish, rest.
Whenever you're in doubt, rest."
--Bruce Fordyce, nine-time Comrades Marathon champion from South Africa
Right now, my body feels wonderful! If it could talk, it would be thanking me with tears for the rest that I've given it.
I do have a workout class scheduled for tomorrow, which is my first ever spinning class. I'm pretty excited for that class...and also terrified. Haha. I'm sure it will be an interesting blog recap for you at least!
My ankle feels great! I wouldn't run on it today...or tomorrow, for that matter. But I feel confident that it will be OK for running the race on Saturday. This makes me so happy!
To avoid disappointment, though, I fully expect my tendinitis to flare up after that race (as it has with every long run for the past month) and I'm willing to give it as long as it needs after this race to heal up.
In terms of training for my half marathon, I am going to play it by ear. I was advised to try a 10-mile run at least once in the weeks leading up to the race. It just depends on my ankle and how it feels. I've resigned myself to the fact that I might not be able to get 10 miles in before my half. And that's OK. I still believe I can finish the race on October 20th and, well, my ONLY goal for that race is crossing the finish line.
I've also been eating to hunger at this point, with no worries about losing any pounds. I've tracked my food but not always stayed within my SP calorie range. I really am not worried about that right now. I'm more worried about balancing my carbs and protein and trying to find a calorie threshhold that makes my body feel energized. I have got to stop being hung up about numbers and do what feels right for my body. If my daily intake ends up being 2200 calories per day (with as many healthy and whole choices as possible, obviously...this is not a free-for-all), then so be it. I have not yet found a place where I feel satisfied or energized. This is troubling, but I know I will work it out with time.
I intend to go back to consistent workouts next week, but won't be working out every single day like I was before. I am going to consciously build in rest days. It doesn't mean I won't be working harder...I'll just be working smarter.
I've also come to a decision regarding the weight loss vs. training debate. It comes down to this one question: What makes me happiest? (aka: What do you WANT?)
You know...losing weight would be so awesome. Strike that...WILL be so awesome. But I LOVE what I'm doing with swimming, biking and running. The three disciplines fit so well together and they are so good for the body. I read in my Triathlon Training Bible that running, biking and swimming work almost every single muscle in your entire body!
Each of the disciplines does something different for me (running brings that endorphin high, swimming brings a deep calm and tranquility and biking builds my strength). I can't drop any of them and be happy. I want them all. So...I'm taking them all. But...I will systematically and precisely rotate my training to focus on specific elements of improvement in each discipline while generally maintaining fitness in the other two. This way, I won't just blow all my energy on all three and burn out.
What this means is...I've had to look really deep into myself and be OK with the idea that doing this will bring me joy and I have to be OK with the number on the scale, no matter what that is (or isn't).
But here's the beautiful part of all this...I really do believe I can have it all. Call me a dreamer if you will...but I actually think it is possible to train and see my body change...but in a much different way than I imagined.
I asked my spinning instructor about this because he has PROMISED I'd lose weight if I bought an unlimited pass and came to spinning 4 days/week. (I mean...it IS a perfect winter workout when I can't cycle outside!) He said this and I thought it was really helpful:
"I am not an expert in exercise science. I specialize in Dietetics, but what Dietetics did teach me is that if you workout heavily (anaerobically), you will gain muscle, which, in turn, will increase your basal metabolic rate. Thus, your body will need to utilize its energy stores (usually fat) for energy. With that said, your weight may stay the exact same, but your fat percentage can and will change, if a routine is adhered to.
With that said, please do throw away your scale. Instead, stick to a good routine that combines aerobic training (like spinning) with anaerobic training (resistance training). Your clothes will fit much better and, in fact, this is a better check to FAT loss than a scale, as muscle is much more dense than fat."
So, there you have it. Things I already knew...presented to me in a different way and I finally believe it.
And, if you think about it, how long can a body possibly cling to its fat when said body is burning 5,000 calories per week consistently and being fed healthy and whole foods as fuel over a period of years? At some point, that fat will be gone. Will it be as quickly as I might like? Probably not. But, from where I stand right now...I don't even care.
The other day when my friend asked me what I want, I told her I wanted to weigh less. She didn't believe me. She thought there was more. She countered with this question: "If you could do Ironman at this weight, would you be happy with that?" Well...OF COURSE! Who WOULDN'T be happy with just FINISHING Ironman????
Well, there's my answer. And it was right there in front of my face all along. Sheesh.