Ironman blues have been a thing. I hate to keep whining about it but this is my reality. I think I’m starting to see the light but this last week I was definitely still in the tunnel.
Volunteering means: an excuse to ride bikes downtown, get a picture with the hi how are you frog, sport our #imtexas hats, and ask anyone with similar finisher gear “why the hell are you racing already”?
I just did not expect not to want a nice long downtime. I really didn’t expect my brain to immediately want to start training again. Of course, I knew that was body suicide (and a recipe for impending burnout), but I spent the last month trying to poke at being an athlete again. I rode my bike for 90 minutes 4 days later. I’ve swam in open water every week. I even tried to do a (super short) splash and dash which was a huge, catastrophic failure.
You’d think vacation would be an excuse to relax, right? Not us. 7 hours combined of diving and snorkeling. Roatan was kind of chill but Costa Maya was mostly swimming in rough waters and Cozumel was drift diving which meant fighting some massive current and fighting for every picture. We did 3 days on the stationary bike totaling almost 2 hours. We were even talking about what training we wanted to do on the way home.
This last week finally, our bodies said STAHHHHP. My back took the entire week to feel better, and Zliten got a righteous cold. So, we took a full week off touching no swim bike or run (Saturday the 20th through Friday the 26th). My triathlon this week has been sleep/work/read (in bed). It felt really good to let my body crash after weeks of trying not to, and I think it’s a necessary part of the process. However, it’s so humbling how much rest I actually need.
I finally rode my bike this weekend a bit, with the seriousness of a thousand comedians. I really really really want to go swim around the lake this week but probably more because it’s warm vs wanting to really train. I’m thinking that sometime within the next week or so I’ll make my running debut of a few miles slightly above walking pace, but not just yet. And that’s where I am. I feel that endurance deep inside there but it’s definitely not ready to come out and play yet. And there’s no use in rushing it.
I will honestly say that this is the worst part of Ironman. I may have gotten frustrated with some workouts and felt overwhelmed at times during training and worried about every little thing during taper but the waiting for your body to be your own again after the race is JUST MADDENING. The waiting is the hardest part. But my body gave me a great season, ending with a successful Ironman finish. It did all I could have asked for. So patient I will be.
Movement goals last week:
- Unfuck my back – Check. It’s at about 90%. I think some of the muscles are still tight because it went so long without being properly adjusted but it’s better every day.
- Do whatever feels good – Check. Nothing until the weekend and then some biking as transportation. Got it.
- 10k steps per day – Check minus one day and I more than made up for it the next day.
Movement goals this week:
Productive wakeups. 15 mins of yoga/stretching or easy bodyweight work before work every day this week. I think I’m ready for this.
10k steps per day minimum. Walks have been nice!
More if I’m ready… Optional, if I feel up to it: bike commuting as much as possible (since it goes from 4 to 10+ miles in a month when we move). Bikes with friends. Swimming in the lake. But ONLY if my brain and body both agree. If I need another week
of sloth off, I’ll take it.
It was a 4-b weekend, bikes, burgers, brussels, and brats (and chicken and cauli-taters).
The internet and other reading has the universe sending me not-so-subtle hints about the need to refocus on diet. My stasis weight the last two years or so has been about 10-15 lbs higher than it was previously. The last two years I’ve focused on diet quality less, and during the IM training cycle, it was kind of a food orgy because my appetite/caloric need kind of scared me and it was overwhelming to try to beat it back without using junk food.
The good thing about the indefinite break from focusing on race performance is that I can really focus on my diet quality. When I was maintaining a lower weight, I was much more focused on the quality of the food I was putting in my mouth. Fast food was not even a consideration. Something other than sprouted grain bread or corn/whole wheat tortillas was a splurge. My carbs were more natural sources like corn and potatoes. Desert was a few times a month, max. I rationed my alcohol a little better and avoided beer like the plague. I think this summer will be me working on getting back to there.
I spent the greater part of about 10 months really focused on my carb intake – i.e. trying to get it high enough to sustain my workouts. Now that I’m not regularly doing multi-hour training sessions on back to back days, I don’t need a lot of that quick-burning fuel. Some sources argue that to do the long distance stuff you don’t need a whole lot of that at all, but that’s another topic for another day. While I think avoiding carbs is not the answer unless you’re doing it for a specific short term reason, I have been neglecting good quality stuff that makes my body happy.
It’s hard to do that when you come home from a long workout and you need FOOD NOW. It’s hard to do that when you have precious little time to do food prep and all of a sudden you need to handle like 2-3k calories per day vs 1200-1500. It’s hard when your stomach is telling you NO I’m done with fiber but I still need carbs. The last one is the toughest and I’ll definitely have to figure out a better fueling situation next time my hours start ramping up.
I have a tally of this week:
- Weight: 189.0 lbs
- Avg cal per day: 1715 calories
- Avg deficit per day: -803 calories
- Macros: 54g fat, 176g carbs, 90g protein, 22g fiber
Last week’s consumption goals:
- Track food/weight and try to stay at least 500 under my calorie burn overall – CHECK.
- Water Water Water – Check.
- Detox a little – Check.
This week’s consumption goals:
Continue with Week one goals. Track and maintain a deficit. Water. Try to keep the alcohol consumption to reasonable levels.
Fruits and veggies. Since my appetite is back to normal human levels, I don’t need much beyond my 3 normal meals. The VAST majority of my snacks should be unrefined plants. I should be able to track what I consider 5 servings (which is probably closer to what the FDA would consider 10 servings – considering my lunch had at least a serving of veggies in my homemade soup and I had about 3 cups of salad on the side) per day. Fruit with breakfast and as an afternoon snack. Veggies with lunch and dinner and also as a snack. This should help up my fiber a little.
Protein. This shouldn’t be so low. My goal is to make sure I get my allotted 100g protein per day.
It was such a chill week, the only other picture I have to present to you is me, not looking half bad. Makeup, hair not completely crazy, a smile instead of crazy eyes. I was twenty-six seconds away from pajamas, so, don’t get *too* excited.
I love long weekends. I think if I could have three days off per week, I could really get my life together. Too bad it only happens a few times a year. Anyhoo, the combination of the lack of training we’re doing plus the three day weekend made it feel amazingly long and wonderful.
We got to stay up too late one night. We got to spend a lot of time relaxing in bed reading, watching movies, and getting lots of sleep. We volunteered for the Cap Tex Tri. We rode bikes three times. We went on walks. We cooked a bunch of delicious food. We helped some friends with a moving project and had lunch. We got some errands done, made some progress on the office, hung some pictures, and did some other chores around the house without it feeling like it took up our precious little free time. While we lamented this was the first Memorial Day in a while without a big ol’ cookout anywhere, we were able to do a lot because of the lack of that.
Last Week Life Goals:
- Sleeeeeep. So CHECK. I averaged 9 hours per night (and probably more because it didn’t count my 3 hour nap on Saturday). Apparently I needed that more than I thought.
- Non-fiction reading. Check (however, I can only read a real paper book for so long when Zliten was like sleeeeeeeeep now, so I did a chapter per day before I turned out the light and read fiction books because I don’t have anything non-fiction loaded up there).
- The office. Check. We have two usable computers and desks now, the floor is mostly uncovered, and the table is moved from the guest room. There’s still a lot more to do but STAGE 1: COMPLETE
This week’s life goals:
Moar books. The obvious thing after writing above – find a non-fiction book about business or marketing or badassery or something I want to learn about and buy it for my kindle. Something I don’t feel like I need to maintain as a reference book but would be a good read. Also, continue to work through the big yellow book, trying for a chapter a day.
Hostess without the mostess. We’re hosting a game night potluck with our friends on Saturday. My goal for this is to not overdo it like I like to do. We’ve promised a (sort of) clean house, pork tacos, a veggie tray, and that’s it. I don’t need to buy a bunch of alcohol or make 20 appetizers or decorate or do anything super fancy. I’d rather get in the habit of hosting people at my house again without stressing about things being perfect and pintrest-y.
Seat-u-ation. The next step for the office is to get us some chairs. Mine got donated last year because it was about 15 years old, broken, and really dirty. Zliten’s is *adequate* but not for multi-hour sessions. We found the chairs we want at Office Depot for 280$ each. This week we want to hit the discount store to see if we can find something cheaper (if not, bite the bullet and spend the money).
And that’s a lot of words about a short week. So, let’s get on it, shall we?