Monday, April 25, 2011

Try New Things BEFORE Race Day!

I do live by this rule, but I thought I'd embarrass myself a little by a little TMI today to EMPHASIZE the fact that it's very important to never try anything new on race day (unless you're a glutton for punishment).

On race day, they give out free samples, so easy to want to just eat a new type of gel pack or energy bar, right? well I suggest not doing that unless you have an iron stomach, or don't care about that $80 race fee (or more depending on the race).  I have (or shall I say HAD) a slight sensitivity to whey protein.  Over the last couple of years, I noticed that I could eat or drink protein drinks that had whey in it, in concentrate but it would  bother me a little.

True to my word, I am in training now. Two weeks ago, I grabbed one of my favorite pre-made shakes and had it. I wanted to test how I would react to the whey!  Let me tell you.. 12 STRAIGHT HOURS of chest-strangling hand-on-the-phone ready to call 911 allergic reaction!  I missed my entire workout, and I was worthless for the next day's workout!  I developed a FULL ON allergy to the stuff!  I really have to watch the labels!  This is something you DO NOT want to do on race day!  missing 1.5 days of training, eh.. sucks, but missing a race, no thank you!

People are usually good about SHOES or BIKES for race day.  Not too many people would think about wearing brand new sneakers or riding a brand new bike for the first time on race day, BUT many people get that spiffy new shirt in the goody bag and think "ooh I'll wear this." 

Two years ago I received one of those cool 'tech' fitted shirts at a race.  I am not a 'normal' size, so of course it was tight in the chest and arms, but I wore it anyway because it looked pretty cool!  Well, 2 miles into the run I could feel the skin falling off of my arm!    With every step I felt another layer shave off the inside of my arm, then as you add sweat and salt, OUCH!!!   Now, had I actually WORN this shirt in practice I would have known it didn't fit properly and known not to wear it during a race.  All I could think about for the ENTIRE run was how bad my arms hurt.  Many of you know about Body Glide or Shammy Butter - this stuff is AWESOME - put it in your bag and keep it there (but dont leave it in your car, it melts).   I now lube up my arms so this never happens again, I also KNOW my gear before a race!

Then, the reason for my post today, and the TMI part!  Who thinks that you should TRAIN WITH a new shorts configuration before you use them in a race? well.. you should!

I normally have no problem with bike shorts.  I do not need padded bike shorts unless the ride is more than 30-40 miles.  Knowing this, and knowing that I have a Half Ironman (56 mile bike ride) coming up, I decided that I should start trying out some new things with 'longer' rides.   I normally race sprints with  spandex compression shorts (no pad).  I thought, what if I had the compressions shorts on and after my swim just put the bike shorts on over top? ...

SO!.. I began a two hour spin class (thank you mother nature for a miserable cold rainy day).  One hour in, I realized just HOW BAD of an idea this was.  I will leave most of this to your imagination, but see the paragraph above where I talked about my arm and the shirt?? Well now I have this problem with the SHORTS! 

As they switched instructors I got off the bike quickly and removed the bike shorts, but damage was already done.  The 2nd hour was pure torture.  The spin bikes at this particular gym are a little too big for me and make my shoulder fall out, so I had both ends making me miserable.

I just could NOT WAIT to get off the bike and get to the run (WAIT, did LAURA JUST SAY THAT????)   For those of you new to my blog, I HATE RUNNING.  I am not built to run, not even in the slightest!  I am top heavy, my bones fall out of place and my IT bands are wound so tight you could use them for archery practice!  BUT I love Triathlon and its the 3rd sport in it so its part of the game!

I was doing a brick workout (which is a bike immediately followed by a run), so I got off the bike wiped it down, quickly changed shoes and went to the treadmills only to be blockaided by this jerk er I mean employee "hey are you going to workout.?" -- Mind you I was red faced, dripping with sweat, I imagine I was already walking funny.. seriously?? he gave me a bunch of crap about my BAG.. and made me take it to the locker room ( I wish there were signs I would have done that before hand), so much for my transition! 

I got back downstairs, onto the dreadmilll and started my run. 

30 min to go in my brick and I would be done!  I started and I found my CHI RUN!  Haven't felt it in a LONG TIME!  I can't believe something was actually going right today!  Normally when I "RUN" I walk/run/walk/run. BUT Today I RAN!  I RAN 25% further than I normally do, and I didn't HATE it :).

Then, as I looked out over the rainy gloomy forest  this giant Turkey moseyed up the hill past the large window in front of all of us!  I think it summed up my day!

I survived!  I'm glad this wasn't a race day, and it really shows the importance of trying ANYTHING new, seriously even new SOCKS on a training day not RACE day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food Intervention!

I've finally hit that "wall."  I've watched "The Biggest Loser" for years and heard them say, "oh I now am disgusted at what I used to eat." I was jealous, as I wished I was disgusted at what I wanted to eat!  I don't eat 'terrible' food, but I know it's not the best!  A while ago, I posted a "my relationship with food needs therapy" post, well it does!  I have fully admitted it!  Not until recently did I realize how much it TRULY resembles addiction! 

I also watch the show "Intervention." Sure its for drugs and alcohol, but ya know what? food is just as bad!  I could NOT be hungry and just eat that Reese's peanut butter egg, just because it was there!  I LOVE Pizza. Beyond what anyone can comprehend, I can polish off a medium Domino's pizza with extra sauce no problem!  I love a good hand tossed fresh dough pizza even better.  I can't stop myself if I see it.  The warm cheese, the sauce, yummmm... seriously I think it makes me high just like heroine or alcohol makes an addict high.  I feel gross after, but it was damn good during the binge. (Yes people I let it digest).

I used to weigh myself faithfully every AM, this kept me in check and I was able to stay the same weight within a pound or two.  Over the last winter, I just stopped because I knew, I just KNEW.  This was something else I didn't understand from "The Biggest Loser" I always thought "how did you not know how much you WEIGH??"- well there's a point where you just don't want to know anymore." - I think I hit that this winter.  I'm almost 8% HEAVIER than when I started writing this blog - sad eh?  This winter was particularly brutal on me!  I'm 13 pounds heavier than the last time I tried to  squeeze into a wetsuit! (I have until May 8th to get into mine).

YIKES is all I have to say!  I have been getting up at 4:15 to get to my early AM spin class and work my tail off.  I have a half Ironman in less than 3 months!  Pushing my body to THIS limit has really reset my BODY and my brain is slowly catching up!    It's not really about the weight loss right now, it's about food addiction and how it makes me feel!   

My Brain wants to eat these things, I love carbs, I love a warm bagel and coffee in the AM.  But with all this working out, I feel like total crap if I eat this stuff.  I am listening to the likes of Dave Scott and pushing myself to my max at points but I can feel my body saying "hey lady, you can't do this if you try to fuel me on junk."  I can FEEL the pizza on my skin, it somehow oozes out and drags my legs down, pulls my butt down, pulls my hair, it just wants me to sit down and watch TV or take a nap.     

It is a battle that I have to face EVERY DAY!  Food is everywhere!  Especially bad food, or food that is in obscene quantities!  It's awful that in order to eat properly you have to go to extreme lengths!

 I spent about an hour yesterday cutting up fruit, veggies, portioning out some cheese, crackers, and writing stuff down so I would know how much protein, carbs, and calories I had to snack on for the day.  I have a "shake and take" smoothie maker.  I have been pre-making a protein shake at night with fruit, soy protein powder, granola, yogurt, and low cal juice.  It is a ton of work to make this happen!  No wonder half of America is fat, its easier to eat the junk!

I officially don't like skinny people this week, it's too easy for you (I'm kidding, just a little).  I really hope that I can get through the food addiction, (I'm sure I can)!  I have crossed that bridge of being disgusted by what I want to eat.  Sometimes I do 'eat it' because its just SO yummy. I know full well what its going to do to me though!  The really sad thing is I KNOW WHAT TO DO, I've known forever.  I've been on every diet, I could TEACH this class.  I bet many of us could.  Same with many addicts.  We know its bad, we know what its doing to us, the 'pull' to the other side is just so great.  Something has to 'snap.'

I think something just did.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Steel or Mush?

Steel or Mush?

I'm having a hard time trying to decipher which direction I'm going!   Am I turning into a pile of Mush or a Steel machine?   My groups of friends also view me soooo differently!

I have two distinct 'camps' of friends  (well three really).  My Tri friends and my non-Tri friends then my Tri friends can be lumped into hard core and the casual. 

I have ventured into this vortex, Dante's Inferno if you will!  I currently feel embarrassed of my training on so many levels!  If I would post what I am doing, my hard core tri-friends would be horrified at my 'lack' of training. If they saw my training schedule they would yell at me and say "and you want to do WHAT in 12 weeks?"  My non-tri friends would be horrified at 'how much' I'm doing.  My casual tri friends would get it, they're in the same boat, encouraging and we all are just trucking along!

I'm a member of the YMCA now, because Bally's up and closed.  It's great, but I don't like the price!  The Spin class at 5:45AM is just AMAZING.  The instructor plays my kind of music and gets in my head "just enough". Problem is, this class is a 'reservation' class and I often forget to call!  I can get up at 4:30 AM to get my rear end to a spin class where I know I have a seat, but for a WAIT LIST? hm.. the snooze button is just a click away!

I'm having a hard time finding all the hours I need to work out.  I am trying to get 4 days during the week and 1-2 weekend days. I should be doing more if I want to COMPLETE the Half-Ironman in 12 weeks!  Unfortunately this race isn't about "yes you can do it girl." This one has a time limit.

Swim: 1 hour and 10 minutes after the final wave start.
Bike: 5 hours and 30 minutes after the final wave start.
Run: 8 hours and 30 minutes after the final wave start.

Swim - no problem..
Bike - eh Should be no problem unless some issue..
Run. - there's my problem..

I have so much to do between now and then I think my head might explode!  I just officially requested Friday's off between now and then.  I'm glad I've been at my job for 14 years and have that much vacation time!  Also,  I am doing the Pan Mass Challenge (192 mile bike ride to raise money for Cancer) and I'm fully and I mean FULLY engulfed in several fundraising events, not to mention training for THAT event! 

A friend called me an overachiever today.  I'm rapidly pushing the 40 mark and I'm still filling my schedule like I'm 20, so I guess that's an accurate statement.   I just wish I could live on no sleep like I did when I was 20! 

I am having fun and I'm glad the glacier in front of the house is finally gone.  I have my first race in 4 weeks!  I can't even imagine how cold that lake is going to be (are you allowed to put Vodka in your water bottle?).

Well, I will end it with, I am working HARDER with every workout.  I am digging deeper with each step of my run, each stroke of my swim, and each rotation of the bike.  I KNOW I have it in me, and I am looking for the bottom.  There is fight in this girl!