I have been having a hard time coming up with material to write about.
I am not sure what it is, but the thing between my ears just quits working when I try to write about my last run in the cold/snow/rain or bike in the paincave.
I guess they haven’t been that notable to me lately.
I think what is notable is the way my attitude about training has changed.
I think when I did IMLP in 2011, I was all nervous – it was something I hadn’t done before and I stuck to the training because I was scared not to. For IMMT, I was overwhelmed by a lot of new things, and so I training just seemed like another (optional) thing I had committed myself to do. It became a burden.
This time, it is different. I am seeing gains in my performance and training that I never thought I would.
The thing is, I am not really 100% sure WHAT is different. But one thing I know is, I have made rules for myself and I am sticking to them. Some of them are:
1) Eat a high fat diet with no sugar and no grains.
I first heard this on Vinnie Tortorich’s podcast, and I thought I would give it a try for two weeks. That was about 5 months ago. I have lost 22 pounds and kept it off. Yes, I had treats over the holidays and on special occasions I will have a slice of birthday cake, but overall, I am staying away from the sugar and grains. What I have found is that when I eat them, I feel like crap.
I am not 100% sure what this means for training yet, but what I have found is that since I do not eat sugar, if I have a single sugary…say chomp in a race, I take off like lightning.
In my head, the reason is this: eating fat is like throwing a nice log on the fire, it burns long and slow…sugar is like throwing dry straw on the fire, it burns fast and hot, but then you are back down to that slow burn.
I am not really sure how this is going to translate to an 8 hour training day yet, but I am working it out.
2) Eat lots of veggies.
Organic when I can (this is Caratunk in February, you are lucky to find anything here that is green (in a good way) and not wilted).
3) I am living what I am saying.
I am that person that wakes up at 4am and runs or bikes (or swims). I eat my burger without the bun, shun the french fries for a big ass salad (without croutons), and make smoothies that have kale, almonds, and coconut oil as staple ingredients.
I totally own that. I don’t really care that people think I am weird or crazy.
What is funny is that people are starting to accept it as me. The other day at a birthday party one of my relatives came up to me with a slice of cake on a plate, ready to offer it and then said, “Oh yeah, you don’t eat cake,” and walked away.
I almost dove on the plate as she turned to offer it to the next person (it was carrot cake, the most delicious cake in the world).
4) Don’t let what people say get to me.
I had two things said to me in the past week that bothered me (until I remembered I wasn’t going to let that crap bother me.)
At a lunch with a full table of people, someone asked me if I was actually going to do the Ironman this year. It is a fair question – this person only knows of my DNF at IMMT. But it bugged me and made me question myself a little, and I think I even got a little defensive (I had gotten up at 4am to drive 90 mins to the pool that morning after all.)
The other one was – someone told me with lots of…conviction…that I should be doing these races to win. I laughed (because of course I thought he was kidding) but then I realized he wasn’t. I said I don’t train for Ironman races because I am competing to win, it more of a personal goal, an experience.
I told him it really wouldn’t be as fun for me to train and race in the way you need to in order to be competitive. Besides, I am just really far away from the pointy end of the stick. Plus, to get to that level, you have to race all serious. Serious isn’t fun.
He looked at me with a baffled look and said, “Winning wouldn’t be fun?”
Well, of course it would be fun jackass. But let’s be realistic with our expectations here – I am…more of an entertainer and socialite on the course than a winner (exploit your talents I say).
When he found out that there was ~ 4+ hours between my time and the person who wins (I am a 15:02 IMLP finisher), he laughed and said “You must not try very hard.”
Go ahead, scream. I wanted to.
Anyway, I can’t control the way people act, think, speak, or treat me. I can only control my reaction. SO I swallowed my bubbling rage and just said (very nicely), “Well yes, I try hard, it is just I try to manage my expectations and keep them realistic.”
I was pretty proud of myself.
Do you have new (or old) rules that you have found are working for you? What are they?
Thanks for reading!