Sunday, October 21, 2012

Overtrained, undernourished and Anna the Dietician

Let's see, I really didn't train for anything this year but I'm overtrained. How can this be? Well, Before I move forward I must look back. Thanks to the iphone being unable to stop uploading runs to RunKeeper I took a look at my noon 'events' this summer. The first thing I noticed was the temperature. My runs were HOT! Second, every run was between 4 and 6.2 miles with an average pace of roughly 7:30-8:15 min/mile. With the exception of a few tempo runs during late spring the majority of these runs were just 'runs'. The most striking number was my heart rate average. Since the majority of my runs were in the heat of the day there was barely a HR number that didn't average over 150 bpm. That was really bad. I had no base training. It was all or nothing on what should have been leisure workouts. In other words, I was overtraining to do nothing...all summer. Brent at Mercy Acceleration warned me about my lack of base training but I just needed to run and I ran with a much faster guy than me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my runs but my body didn't. There were many days when both Mike and I mentioned that the noon runs weren't all that great for training, yet neither of us wanted to give up the routine. It wasn't until 4 weeks ago when I finally told him to run and leave me behind. There were days when I'd run and leave him behind. We are starting to do that a few days a week and it's paying benefits. I've played with speed work and different tempo runs and I've slowed the pace way down a few days a week to make sure I just get base days in. Granted, I don't get the low down on his wedding plans or latest cyclocross adventure but my legs and heart are thanking me. One other major 'duh' moment came during the monthly conference call with my dietician (paid for by my employer). Anna is a Cat 1 coach and dietician - bonus! The first 10 minutes of the conversation is the standard protocol - weight, how do you feel, generally what are you eating, etc. Then she digs in. "What are you doing and why are you doing it?" "Give me specifics on what you eat each day and before and after each workout." "How many calories and why?" That's the last 20 minutes. Since we only meet once a month Anna suggested I use to track my food intake...don't analyze it...just record it. I did that for 3 weeks and I logged in so we could review it together. The numbers were humbling. On a given day my intake wsa between 1200 and 1600 calories. Needless to say that was WAY TOO FEW if I wanted to continue doing anything (like stand upright). The data said I needed 3000+ if I was going to continue to do my biking, running and crossfit. She also questioned my pre and post workout snacks/meals at lunch. As much as she dislikes supplement shakes she finally recommended looking at a whey isolate protein shake. Something that would absorb much faster than the little bit of food I was eating before and after lunch. I'm still searching for the right protein shake and she's pushing me to get it done soon. I'm not sold on one particular brand but there are a few out there that are 'yuck'. Unfortunately, I started my additional intake a week before my nutritional day went haywire with diverticulitus. Losing 11 pounds in a matter of a week was a major setback. On the final day of weight loss I was at my 9th grade weight, weak, but I was still running. Stubborn? Stupid? A bit of both? I'm finally gaining the weight and have shifted my eating habits away from wheat after reading Wheat Belly. While it's only an experiment I have found myself to be less bloated, more alert and much calmer through the day (not that I was over the top anxious before...just calmer). I'm almost ready to share the drive...

Losing the personal competitive drive and...

Warning! Before you read this please understand that I realize I'm a middle of the pack, weekend warrior. I feel my ego is in check and use running, biking, etc as an outlet for stress relief more than anything...this year more than ever. With that said... I laced up the Nike shoes that my brother gave to me for my birthday and we headed out for a 30 minute adventure. 1 minute run, 5 minute walk - until we reached 30 minutes. We reached a 30 minute run and then we ran for distance. We'd both enter events and once in a while we'd end up placing in our age group. Honestly, I have no idea how it happened considering I was a weekend warrior and Tim was just helping his older brother. Years went on and I knew I'd never contend for the outright 'win' for any event. I had too many other commitments. That would take actual training. I was content entering and finishing. Of course, each time I'd cross the finish line I'd kick myself because I didn't give it my all. I was always 'saving it' for the next race. Even through the years of just entering events, there was always a race where I'd place in my age group at least once a year. I'd never finish first in my age group, but I'd always sneak onto the 'podium'. As many of you know, Ironman came and went for me last year and after that I backed off triathlon training. I visited the Marshall pool twice between October and February and focused on enjoying my lunch runs with a very gifted and driven athlete. My co-worker made me a stronger runner in early 2012. He pushed me. It wasn't that I was driven to become a better runner. The honest fact is that if I didn't keep up with him I wouldn't be able to continue our guy chats during the noon hour. That was my motivation. I had no plans to enter any event whatsoever in 2012. My plan was to take it easy. The problem with this plan was I was running with a guy who was training for Ironman. I'd get the daily question, "Why aren't you signing up for this event or that event?" I finally gave in and signed up for the Monona 20K in early May. I only did it so I could meet Mike's friend Franz. Franz was sort of a legend of our 'guy stories' during our lunch runs. I had to meet him, right? I lined up next to Mike at the start line, he looked at me and asked, "What's your plan?" I thought, "Plan? My plan was to meet you, Jeanne and Franz here so we could run. I really didn't have a plan." He sensed that's what I was thinking and he laughed - "see you at the finish line loser" was the next comment I heard. It's OK, that's how we spar at noon in Delavan. The gun went off and he bolted. I kept at sub-6 pace for about 1/2 mile and then watched him dart into the crowd. There was no way I was going to get 'guy chat' during this event. I settled in and actually did fairly usual middle of the pack 1:35ish finish. Mike looked totally refreshed after I found him. Low 1:20's for him. One of the first comments that came out of his mouth, "you're slow". It got under my skin. Yep, that's how we roll. Once again I pulled into the finish line with way too much in my tank. It bugged me even though I ran with bronchitis that day. In hindsight that wasn't the smartest thing to do. Subsequent lunch runs were slow and my body took a bit to recover from the last of the winter 'gunk'. Mid-May came and I'd settled into a slow pace. I signed up for what was my 'guaranteed age group place' at the Beloit Duathlon. This year I knew I wasn't going to get the trinket medal. I was gassed and it was mid-May. I came through the finish line with way too much left in the tank. This time it didn't bother me at all. Meanwhile my co-worker entered the event (his first multi-sport event ever) and took 3rd overall. I stated, he's something else. He razzed me to no end for about a week. I took it. It didn't bug me at all. Looking back, this is where I started losing that personal 'drive'. As early June came, I knew my middle of the pack had fallen further back. I entered the Lake Mills Triathlon and trotted across the finish line. My first thought was not hydration or food but saying 'hi' to the owners of the Sand Bar and catching up with a few old and new friends. Next, my focus was turned to Rev3 and finding a "Last Place Finisher" to help with Multisport Ministries. Again, many of you know that I helped coordinate a number of things for Rev3 in the Dells this year through the Ministries. My friend's Alison and Ann were gracious enough to place last. I decided to enter in the last week for the 'heck of it.' My focus was to help and that's what I did. I stopped and tried to help a guy with his chain and gave a tube to someone at about mile 30 of the bike. They were either too proud or just frustrated but they wanted to do it 'by themselves'. Still, that was a good 10 minutes out of my day. On the run portion I paced a gal from Chicago from mile 2 to mile 9. She talked about her tri life and how her husband thinks she's crazy. Meanwhile her husband rock climbs and she thinks he's crazy. It was a good conversation. I walked up a hill with a few participants who were struggling and I stopped about 1/4 mile from the end to help cheer in those that were behind me. It was an inspiring day. It wasn't about the time and honestly, I'm not sure how much faster I would have been that day even if I would have trained. So, I'm now attached with a 'last place finisher' label at work and I was ready to take it to the next level. Instead of watching my co-worker compete in Ironman Wisconsin I was going to travel to Ohio to be the Last Place Finisher for the full IM at the Rev3 event. Weeks prior to the events Mike would ask, "I don't get you. I get the ministry part but don't you have the drive to do 'better'? You don't always want to finish last." I told him that it really didn't bother me where I finished in an event. I really felt good with that comment. Well, the Last Place Finisher thing never panned out and Danielle and I headed up to watch Mike on Ironman Sunday. His goal was to beat his brother (who was also racing) and to blow my 13:04:and change time away. He did both. 11:40:and something. I was very happy for him but beating me by almost 90 minutes didn't sit well. It must be our friendship but a little bit of my drive came back. It wasn't competition because I know I will never beat him. It was the fact that he wanted to push me and I wasn't willing. He didn't understand. After Ironman, Mike cruised to some incredible cyclocross race times, blew some 5 and 10Ks away and asked me again, "What's your plan? Certainly it's not just trying to keep up with me at noon." Yeah...I had nothing on the calendar...nothing at all. I'll stop here for now...

Friday, June 15, 2012

So excited!!!!

It's Friday morning before a normally 'ho-hum' weekend.  This weekend is different.  I'm so excited!  The weekend starts bright and early tomorrow morning with the YWCA Pancake 5K.  I'm excited about a 5K?  Yes I am.  Excited and nervous.  The event is the first for Danielle and I have the honor of pacing her during the 5K.  It's the same course that I ran my first 5K back in 2006.  Best of all, the proceeds go the our local YWCA -- and there's pancakes afterwards!

The second big event is Father's Day.  It's really special this year because Ian and Lauren just got back from a trip to Texas to see their Aunt and it's been 3 weeks since we've last seen each other.  Oh, Sunday is so needed.  We don't have any specific plans but a trip to the lake or a nice bike ride may be in order depending on the weather.  They both love riding and with Lauren's new bike she can finally keep up with her brother :)

Finally, I mentioned to a number of my friends that I'm giving up Gen-X in Janesville.  It's time.  I started writing a blog this morning, was a few sentences in, and just deleted it.  I'm going to enjoy writing as Icarus Steve again.  Marty KC gave me that nickname as I threw myself into running.  I'd always get just a little too close to the sun.  He didn't want my wings to burn :)  Thanks for the many, many tips Marty!

Enjoy your weekend!  I know I will!