The two weeks I’m recapping here have had highs and lows, but actually, a lot more lows. I was kind of in a little hole mood-wise, physiologically, and mentally. Spoiler, things have turned around in a major way for me this week (end of the tunnel, light, and all that), but expect that a lot of this post could be written by Debbie. Debbie downer. However, in my attempt to chronicle life as I know it, sometimes you have to wade through the sucky to get to the awesome.
Week 34: Rebel Tummy
Here’s a recap of how my week went…
Monday – Wednesday: still incredibly sick. Well enough to get through work, since I have a bathroom nearby, but I was definitely not feeling like myself. Monday, I did get my appetite back halfway through the day, and tried eating a real meal (chicken noodle soup, tiny caesar salad, and a dinner roll – nothing was whole wheat), and woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and felt terrible the next day. I then realized my tummy just needed some time off, and went on the juice, crackers, and chicken broth diet for 2 days. I finally turned a corner Wednesday and was able to get on the trainer for 30 mins and log 10.25 miles (I skipped both Monday’s swim and Tuesday’s brick day). I made sure, even through the worst of it, to get down at least 1200 calories. Gatorade and ritz crackers are my saviors!
Thursday – Friday: feeling a little better, so introduced cheese and some veggies back into my diet, with a little bit of chicken each day. I still didn’t feel completely myself, but I wasn’t doubled over feeling awful, so there was that. I logged 25 miles on the trainer on Thursday and took Friday off as planned. I made sure to eat ~1400-1500 calories to support the fact that I was (lightly) training again.
Saturday: feeling somewhat like myself, so we paddled around in Lake Pf a bit (1200m) and did an hour bike ride outside (16.6 miles). I ate a whole hamburger and some snacks and salad later, and enjoyed splashing around in a pool for a while – I would say this day I felt about 90% if not a little better and felt confident I could start the race and maybe even finish it decently.
Sunday: felt better, and I didn’t want my last run before this race to be that disaster 10 miler from last Saturday, so I ran a nice 2.15 miles at around 10:30s. Felt great, if a little hot, but walked half a mile to cool down and made sure to stretch. Then we did packet pickup, and we did it after noon. It was a hike from parking to the hotel, then back to parking, assemble the bikes, walk them to transition, rack, walk down to the swim start, then go back to the car.
By that point, it was mid-90s, feels like death, and I was feeling a little woozy. We ate lunch, did some errands, and by the time we got home it took me some time to actually get my tri stuff packed because I was pooped and feeling gross and I kept having to rest between the stages of just packing my shit. Not exactly how you want to feel the day before a race. By bedtime I was exhausted and had a terrific headache, so I took some painkillers and hoped for the best.
We all know how Monday’s race went. In retrospect, I am pretty happy with my swim (everyone’s times sucked because of the lake conditions, so a 2 minute PR is actually awesome and probably equal to much more than that), thrilled with my bike and transitions, and the run… oh the run. It’s exhausting to be tough all the time. I was just tired. I had fought through a lot of long, hot, miserable runs over the last few months, I fought through a lot of physical sickness (and let me tell you, it is not mentally relaxing to be sick and hungry but you can’t eat and have no energy) and I just ran out of give a shit and mental toughness halfway through the run. It happens. No need to beat myself up about it.
It’s one thing to go into a race healthy and blow up, but significantly PRing every other leg after not even being sure I was going to start 12 hours before and bonking on the run – probably expected when you’ve been on the gatorade and crackers diet most of the week. Should I have gone more conservatively? I’m not sure that would have mattered. Sure, doing the doggie paddle and coasting along at 12 miles and hour MIGHT have set me up for being less fatigued on the run, but I think it was the heat more than anything that did me in, and the temps climbed about 5 degrees in that last 30 mins and just kept getting HOTTER.
So the TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) for Week 34:
- Really sick and didn’t eat much (or much nutritious food). 1344 calories average during the week, didn’t track over the weekend (but it really wasn’t much more)
- Got in just a few miles of swim bike run (1200m swim, 42 miles bike, 2 miles run) before the race (3.5 hours total)
- Yay stomach flu weight progress: 173.6 Low, 176.0 High. Hey, gotta go for the silver linings, right? I kept saying I was just a few stomach flus away from goal weight, and this was an awesome, free cleanse (besides the fact that it was terrible and miserable).
- Bonked at race, but it makes sense.
Week 35: The Aftermath
Physical aftermath: I felt pretty not-broken after the race (all that walking helped with that, heh). My stomach was feeling *better* and I began introducing normal-Quix foods like beans, nuts, veggies, fruit, etc. It felt nice to eat normally again, and my energy levels and mood improved when I wasn’t eating so much processed crap (although, that processed crap kept me alive for a week, so there’s that).
Mental aftermath: I felt pretty low and broken. I would have moped more after the race but we went out with some friends and had some drinks and played some games and I had a good day (until I started feeling crappy – physically – again and just went and slept it off). After I came back to reality, though, my confidence was really shaken for Kerrville.
I tried to kill it with miles. I had scheduled a day off Tuesday after the race, which considering I felt fine, I dove back into training with an easy hour spin on the trainer. I blew off weights on Wednesday due to a time crunch and just swam. I had a 6-10 mile run on the schedule for Thursday, so I upped it to 10 minimum. More miles, more running good after a bonk. It went fairly well, I was excited since I had a 17 mile run planned on Saturday, I’d have my highest run mileage week of the year so far at 33, and as long as the 17 went well, I’d restore some lost faith in myself.
Then, Thursday afternoon, my back really started to hurt. I was going to do some more trainer miles, but I blew them off to RICE and hoped to wake up feeling fine on Friday. I didn’t, so I saw the chiropractor at lunch. She cracked me, and said she WANTED to tell me I could run this weekend, but that I shouldn’t. The order was rest that day (Friday), swim on Saturday, bike Sunday, and if all felt well I could resume Monday. After going over my schedule for the next week or so and when my race was, she advised me just to bag my 17 mile run completely.
I had to get myself a pity slurpee over that one (sugar free and full of chemicals!). No redemption for me. Zliten went out on Saturday morning before the sun was up and knocked out 17 slow, steady, solid miles. I slept in (until 7… I remember when sleeping in was noon…) and hit the pool and swam 2100 annoying meters in 50 mins (morning people suck, I like it at night when it’s super dead in the pool).
The one light I saw in all this was that even with things returning to normal, I’m keeping off this weight I lost last week. I hit my lowest weight in years on Saturday – 172.2. I immediately went to tex mex buffet brunch, so it was short lived, but it’s nice to know that I’ve lost some solid weight this year (about 10-15 lbs, depending on the day). Most folks gain their stomach flu weight back right away, so it’s nice to see it stay gone.
Sunday was the 70.3 world championships, so I set up the bike on the trainer, and watched for 50 miles of riding (at half resistance, so not even easy baby spinning). I got off to stretch, and realized my back was pretty achey, so I called it there. I was worried I injured something again, but prompt ice and relaxing fixed it all up!
I also made some awesome chickpea cookies (don’t mind the hastily put together recipe, I really just needed the calorie count). They look awful, so no picture, but they taste awesome (especially frozen) and are great post run snackies. I’m going to try out some more healthy deserts over the next few months (while I’m still training) that are good post workout, when more natural sugar/carbs = good.
So the TL;DR for Week 35:
- Back to normal eating. Didn’t track DQ, but average calories in = 1833 per day (about 2300 on high workout days, 1500 on low workout days)
- Ran 16.2 miles, Biked 95 miles, Swam 5100m, skipped weights. 10.25 hours total.
- Weight stayed low. 172.2 Low Weight, 178.0 High (odd bounce up – 175.8 was the next highest day)
- Made awesome cookies with beans instead of flour. Win!
I don’t want to spoil the next recap, but it’s like I’ve done a 180 in mood over the last few days. Things have gone much better this week, and hope I can ride this confidence wave through the end of tri season (and beyond!).
Question for the week: what’s your favorite healthy desert?