I’ve got a couple other posts I’m working on, but here’s an update and stuff and things. This is how it is around here.
Working on nutrition is so much harder than training. You can’t just go get motivated for an hour or four and knock it out and then relax. It’s not an offensive action. It’s that quiet, persistent task that never ends as life throws curveballs and challenges at you. It’s a constant defensive you have to have at the ready. Which makes it SO HARD to work on this stuff when you’re not 100% motivated. It’s easy to poke a hole in a weak defense… one moment of relaxation and you fall face down on a cake, it seems like. I gotta stay strong on this stuff.
However, it’s really cool how shining a flashlight on things can (at least start to) fix it.
Tracking my food daily made me realize how bad I was eating, even though I was mostly sticking to my bread/rice/pasta free diet, so I had convinced myself I was doing ok. Once I realized that, it wasn’t too hard to go back to a more balanced NORMAL. I’ve also thrown the RULES out the window and am back to guidelines and a little experimentation.
I’m finding that if I trust myself to eat more in the first half of the day, and make sure I treat myself right before, during, and after workouts, I don’t need a 1000 calorie dinner + snack and life is better overall most days.
I’m finding that maybe I’m going to vary up the things I’m eating and loosen up the embargo on some things I gave up last August. Yogurt has come back. I don’t know why I stopped eating it, but a little plain or greek yogurt mixed with PB powder and apples is a pretty awesome snack. Much more satisfying than just the apple. Same with dips. Hummus and tzatziki sauce rock my world with veggies.
Also, things I eliminated because of bloat and trying to limit carbs. Beans. Whole wheat tortillas/bread. Rice and rice products. I do know I feel better not loading up with the stuff, but I’m shoving a lot of nuts and cheese and meat in my diet to fill those holes and that’s a LOT of calories (and it’s not that satisfying). I think a limited amount of these things back in my life will help the cause.
I’ve decided to bring back the possibility of these things in my day, but in smaller quantities. The back half of my week, I ate rice, bread, or wheat tortilla once a day. My stomach didn’t revolt, I didn’t feel super bloated, I felt fuller on less calories, and I didn’t die. I think LIMITING this stuff is better than trying to remove it completely (otherwise I do things like eat a double lettuce wrap cheese burger and french fries for a meal and feel virtuous that I didn’t eat grains).
A ~150 calorie snack IMMEDIATELY after killer endurance spin class helped me only eat a ~550 calorie dinner and be satisfied. Normally, I was going for a GIANT, 1000+ calorie plate of mostly junk food since I was so hungry.
Either way, I’m happy to say that I had a good, solid week last week where I:
1. Tracked everything that went into my mouth. This actually definitely helped me make better choices some days knowing I had to own up to the total at the end of the day.
2. Drank more water. I didn’t do as well at tracking it, but I found myself most days on bottle 4 or 5 at the end of the day and that’s pretty good.
3. Weighed and logged it daily.
4. Did better at identifying workouts where I needed to eat something right away instead of just trying to hang on for dinner. Even if my very next stop was food, that’s a delay of workout ending, stretching, showering, changing, transporting, and waiting for someone to either prepare my food or doing it myself, even if it’s just 5 mins on the microwave. So a small snack is useful even though I’m going “right” to a meal, it’s still usually on the order of 30+ minutes unless that workout ends at a location where my meal is waiting for me.
5. I got close a few times but didn’t go off the rails. Counting calories really helps. It kept me from an extra slice of pizza, heck, and extra meal one day. Sometimes I just don’t know when to be done eating. I was able to keep the counts between about 1700-2200, while enduring just a LITTLE bit of hunger some days, nothing unmanageable.
My goal this week is to just do more of the same, and probably will be the week after too. My weight has stabilized around 180.x most days, and I’m hoping that the trend will continue downward, though I know it generally takes me 3 weeks to really respond to anything, so I won’t get
too frustrated for a bit if nothing changes.
I definitely have some senioritis here. It definitely feels like the last few weeks of classes until I get summer vacation. I’m generally hitting the paces and efforts just fine, it was just a little hard to WANT it. If that makes any sense at all. It’s about 10000% better than I was last year at this time, but it’s definitely reinforcing the fact that I need a break so I don’t spiral into the land of burnout, especially now that the HEAT IS ON.
Doing only short races this spring has been so so so so good. While I had planned on trying to maintain my marathon run base, throwing that out the window has been a good (at least short term) decision. It’s been just so fun to go out and put the gas on over a few miles and not worry about it. I definitely feel like a half marathon right now would be a bit of a stretch – doable but would feel long. I also feel like on the right day, I’d have a chance to crack open my 5k PR (8:30 pace) which I was nowhere close to earlier this year (you mean I have to run under 10 minute mile pace? that’s too faaaaaaaaaast…). It all goes in cycles. You can’t have it all at once.
I’m now at the point where it’s one week down, one to go (and then race week). Science says that you absolutely positively cannot absorb any endurance gains this close to racing, and since this is my last triathlon before summer vacation, everything goes into the “sharpening the stick” basket – bringing out the fitness I already have and readying myself for sprint race pace. Short fast sets in the water. Attacking it on the bike. All the run miles are either surrounding or are fast miles. The volume is pretty meager at 7 hours per week, but it ALLL counts, which is just as hard as 10-12 mostly easy. I like the spring being about getting faster.
And… just as good cycles go, I’m dreaming of the other thing. This weekend, I was lamenting that instead of a 90 minute ass kicking brick, I’d rather be doing something easy and longer. Just like the kind of efforts that I was getting super tired of doing in January and February and wanted to go faster. Just like the kind of efforts I will get back to in August.
Either way, I’ve still managed to maintain race enthusiasm this year, which is great. I’m excited for one last party at Pflugerville on June 21st, and then shutting it down for a while.
I had to be two people at work (sort of working against each other) for a while, and it was weird and uncomfortable and scary but also very challenging and exciting and stretched me in different ways. That’s over temporarily, but will return again later this summer. I feel some amazing stress relief right now to get back to my normal for a while and I think this may help with some of the eating and drinking in the short term.
The waterpark opened and we’ve been a few times for a few hours. It’s my happy place. I can’t wait to totally abuse it during off season.
We went scuba diving in Lake Travis weekend before last. This will be part of a larger post later but holy wow – I got some really surreal pictures, here’s one of my favorites.
I’ve been doing things! Training less on the weekends gives me a little more RL oomph. Last weekend, we walked to check out a new bar in the ‘hood. In the rain even. It was the scene of the infamous wing and fried pickles, but it was really nice to go out and hang out on someone else’s patio. This weekend, we went to go see Mad Max in theaters. The movie was a smashy good time and made me watch all the rest of them. I feel educated in post apocalyptic wasteland now!
Anddd…. I’m back to playing EverQuest. They opened up a new progression server (everyone starts at level 1, in the old world, playing like it’s 1999) and I’ve been having fun with the nostalgia element.
This is how it is, and it is pretty darn good. Time to get on with my Monday!