Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why are rest days so hard?!?

I have been training pretty hard in a many ways.  I haven't missed a single day at the gym in following my strength plan, and I have also have a daily run or trainer ride as well.  Apparently, my body has had enough.  Yesterday when my alarm went off to get up and run, I slogged my way to the bathroom, got changed, but felt like crap.  My body was heavy, and I just wasn't feeling like I normally do before a run, so I bagged it.  I went back to bed in my running clothes for another hour.  I decided to make it up that night with a trainer ride, and I did Sufferfest, and it kicked my trash!!  I forgot how hard they are!  I got up the next morning feeling even more like crap than the morning before, and figured I would run after work.  I went to the gym, did my weights, picked up the kids and was prepared to run 4 miles.  I started off and immediately knew my legs felt like lead.  However, I figured I would keep going to let myself warm up and then see how I felt.  One mile in it wasn't any better.  I may as well had lead anvils attached to my shoes! I decided to cut the run short and only went two, though it felt more like 20!

I woke up this morning so achy and heavy, I decided to listen to my body and take a rest day, even though it wasn't planned.  Why is this so hard for me?  Maybe because I have been in a really good routine and have been really consistent with my training, and somehow I think one day is going to derail that momentum I've had going?  I don't know, but this is so hard!  I keep rationalizing things back and forth, like "Maybe I can still go to the gym and just work upper body" or " Maybe just an easy spin on the trainer to flush my legs out" but I know that I just need to rest....and that means do NOTHING!  I really want to get my long run in this weekend, so missing one small bike ride and one gym session isn't going to kill me.

It has also been a wake up call that as much as I am enjoying the weight training, it doesn't necessarily mix well with tri training.  Once official IMTX training starts, I will have to be careful about how I implement it so it doesn't compromise my training.  It will be a trial and error process, but one that is doable.

What do you do on your rest days?  Take it easy, or just take it off all together?  How do you not beat yourself up for it?

Monday, September 22, 2014

I run so I don't kill people

I have always stated that one reason I run is for the mental health aspects, and it is a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy (though with this IMRX stuff, I am not so sure that is true anymore). But lately this seems to be more true than ever.  Not that I can really complain or anything, but life has been really stressful!  Work is nuts this year and for a variety of reasons it has been my hardest year yet as a teacher.  Ken has been working insane hours at his new assignment, so that leaves me on single parent duty after school and into the evenings.  My training, which right now is pretty much just running and my weight work outs, is what keeps me going!

I have found that when I wake up and want to stay in bed because the thought of going to work overwhelms me, my day starts off better when I get my run in.  I feel that I am getting to work already knowing I have accomplished something for the day, and I can deal better with whatever is thrown at me.  Getting up at 4:00 am to get that run in makes my day go so much better than if I got that extra hour of sleep.  The quiet in the morning of the whole world still being asleep and the only sound being my feet hitting the pavement has been absolutely wonderful lately.  I have that time to think and plan my day and just be with myself before the craziness ensues.

After work I am pretty fried as well.  I have that hour between when I am done for the day and when I have to pick up my kids from school.  Filling that hour with another work out, or my weight training, is again another chance to regroup before I start "second shift" as wife and mom.  I honestly think it then makes my evening better and I am in a great mood for my kids.  Having done both of the workouts when my kids are either asleep or still in school also makes me the "invisible athlete" to them, and doesn't interfere with anything I would otherwise be doing with them. 

I know that once IMTX training really picks up, I will still have to do other sessions that are when they are around or awake, but this for me right now is perfect and allowing me to keep all the plates spinning.  I got my bike all set up on the trainer this weekend, so my early mornings might be in the basement letting Sufferfest kick my trash, but either way, it will be DONE and DONE and I will be better with my kids and at school because of it!

And, totally off topic, getting my bike set up this weekend was a major accomplishment for me!  I did it all by myself and there was no swearing, crying, throwing things or breaking a nail on my part!  The trainer tire is always next to impossible for me to get on the bike, but I did it myself and was so proud of that!  I also installed my new Garmin GSC-10, which is a speed/cadence sensor and paired it with my 310xt all by myself!  It is going to make my bike training much more effective to have that data that I usually can only know outside.  Last year on the trainer I had no idea about distance or speed or cadence.  This year will be a different story!

So, though I go through ups and downs with my training, lately staying consistent has been fairly easy because I know that I need it for sanity.  I don't know how I would do it otherwise!

In the meantime, happy training and racing all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nutrition Plan for IMTX!!

I have really been struggling with weight.  I know I am by far not fat, but I also know that I am not at an ideal racing weight either, and even more than I was year ago.  I have been reading a ton, and was really getting fed up with the conflicting information I was getting.  On one hand, you read to cut carbs and really restrict calories.  However, you need calories and carbs for fueling your training, especially as I head into Ironman training.  Then you read that it is impossible to lose weight during IM training, because of that fueling.  I kept thinking there must be a happy medium where you can fuel properly, but also in a way that will allow all that training to pay off!

I decided I was sick of it and started looking for help.  I wanted to meet with a nutritionist, but not just any nutritionist who understood athletes and their needs for fueling properly, not just in training, but in a race scenario. I  know that working in the high school, TOSH (The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital) helps train our athletes and I looked on their website and they have quite the program.  I saw that they have nutrition clinics or individual consultations.  I immediately called the number and set up the appointment for yesterday.

I met with Kary.  She was awesome!  She told me that I was right that there is a happy medium.  We weighed me (fan-freakin-tastic.  I had lunch on the drive down) and more importantly than the weight saw my body composition.  I am at 23.4% body fat, which is good for my age.  However, she said that it was not unreasonable given my activity level and goals to reduce that.

She said that while we will work on weight, that body composition is what is more of an indicator.  With all my training, and especially since adding weight training 3-4x a week, muscle may build and burn fat, which doesn't necessarily mean a lower number on the scale.  She gave the example of a marathoner my age that she has been working with for 6 months.  She hasn't lost a single pound, however she has dropped her body fat composition by 12%!  She looks leaner, has dropped clothing sizes, but the number on the scale is still 138.  If that is the case with me, I totally won't care!  I just want to be leaner and stronger, I am not set up a certain number.

So, these are the goals we have set for me to start with:

1) Limit calories to 1800 a day, except for days of longer runs and rides.  We noticed that this isn't far from what I am currently eating, but to more evenly distribute those calories through out the day

2) Try to eat fish 2-3x a week.  I take a fish oil supplement, but she told me this is better.

3) While I am in my off season and have some freedom to play around with exercise, try HIIT at least 2-3x a week.  This can be speed work while running, but also crossfit style training, or my Jillian Michaels DVDs that have intervals as well.

I am going to follow up with them on average once a month, and we will can change the plan as needed, as I will be upping my activity level when the training begins.  She will also provide me with race day fueling strategies as that comes closer.

I am really excited about this!  I am not thrilled about counting calories again, its a pain.  But I do like that I don't have to give up Diet Coke, just curb it back some.  And I do like that I am going about this in the right way, and the goals we have set are very conservative and healthy.  So, hear we go!  I will keep you posted!

In the meantime, Happy training, racing and fueling!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Best Off Season Yet!!

I am officially a month into my off season and about 13 weeks and 4 days away from my IMTX training plan starting, but whose counting?

So far this off season thing is the BOMB!  And I am not sitting around eating bonbons watching TV and getting fat!  My off season can be summarized best with running, weights, and low stress.  Its heavenly!

I have been running at least 4-5 days a week. I know my goal was 6 days a week, but life happens, people get sick, or just plain want to sleep in.  Nothing big mileage wise, I am just looking to build my base and be consistent.  It is already coming easier.  I did a 9 mile long run a week ago and it was the easiest 9 miles ever.  I felt great the whole time and could have kept going.  I loved it!  My 4 am runs I have a love/hate relationship with.  The love part is that I love getting them done so early, I love my running partner Jen, and it isn't hot that early.  The hate part is that it is at 4 AM.  Still not quite used to it.

WEIGHTS!  This is my new discovery and I kinda like it.  No, I love it!  I started a training plan for strength training this week a coworker referred me to from bodybuilding.com.  I was a little turned off at first just hearing the website name, because I don't want to turn into the Hulk, but the plan isn't designed for that.  It is to tone up, lose some weight and build muscle but not make me bulk up.  It is simple easy to do, and tells ME exactly what to do.  To do this I have to go to a gym.  I haven't set foot in a gym in AGES, probably because I hate treadmills or indoor cardio, other than lap swimming, and I prefer to do it all outside.  And I am completely clueless about what to do with all the weight machines, feel stupid asking, so I haven't pursued it.  However, this plan takes out all of the guess work and I know exactly what I am doing each day I go in.  The time thing is perfect to, it is literally on the 5 minute drive to my kid's school from mine, and I use the hour between me being done and them needing to be picked up to fit it in.  It's been great!  And there is just something about weight training that makes you feel like a rock star!

LOW STRESS!  I am not beating myself up for missing workouts, and with out the stress, I am not missing many!  Maybe one a week?  I love it.  My only goal is to do SOMETHING every day, but I am not making myself do one thing over another.  It has mainly been running, but with the new gym membership, I won't beat myself up if I decide to hit a Body Pump class instead.  It has been wonderful!

Another thing...Belle's make over!  It is almost complete.  She has new pedals (went with Speed Play Light Action), new tri specific bike shoes (Pearl Izumi Tri-Fly), new aerobars (Profile Design Air Stryke) and now she just needs a new bike fit and she is good to go!  I am so excited about this!  It will have me in a really nice set up for IMTX :)

I have been eating really well too since getting back into a routine with being back at school.  I am not counting calories, but try to have 5 small meals a day, each with a protein and fruit/vegetable with it.  However, I do have weight to lose, I get frustrated with the lack of progress I see when things are going well, so I have decided to meet with a Sports Nutritionist at TOSH on Monday.  I can't wait!

So, things have been quiet on the blog, but not in real life.  But, it is all good!  I am really excited about my off season and enjoying it being relaxed yet productive on the areas that I need to focus on at the same time.

In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing!