training

Do you know how to hurt?

I was mentally reviewing past seasons of triathlons and racing, and while I’ve gotten much better, I noticed that many of my times have been consistently good, but that’s it.  Just good.  I’m not happy with good.  Not only do I want to be great, I want to see improvement from “good”.  Good is fine if it’s continually improving.  For example, if your run a 1:30 half marathon and year over year decrease that to 1:29, 1:28, 1:27, etc, that’s awesome because you are getting faster!  But if you stay 1:30, 1:30, 1:30, year after year, you’re not making any progress in your training. That’s when it hit me—I workout hard and I know what it’s like to hurt… but I know how to hurt jusssst enough. I’ve said it before—you’ve got be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  If I want to get better, I’ve got to realize that there are going to be some workouts where I collapse at the end of my run or hang onto the side of pool gasping and panting thinking it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever breathed in Oxygen.

And the same goes for racing—at the end of that half Ironman, I need to be able to kick into black-out mode for that last 5k of the run—and not have been holding back for that leading up to it.  I always try to currently, but when I try to go fast, it’s maybe 1 or 2 seconds faster per mile.  Insignificant.

So what’s the point here?  If you want to get faster, you’ve got to embrace the hurt (and also the recovery!)  I’ve been adhering to my coaches plan and we have been swimming as a group a couple times a week

It’s amazing what having your coach watching you and having competition will do to your effort levels.  I’ve set PRs each practice… and also almost drown.  Using paddles while having my ankles bound together with an old bike tube?  Not fun.  I enjoy breathing, actually.  Or 50m kickboard races against someone who is faster than you and seeing black as you try to catch them.

I love it.

Rest and repeat.  If you want to get better, hurt a lot, occasionally, go easy a bit, recover correctly, and know exactly what you are looking to achieve!

I've got a race next weekend so I'm stoked to see how it's going to go!

  1. Do you agree with me?
  2. What do you want to get better in?

Running in Place

Well due to the heat of the Boston Marathon, maybe it’s a good think I couldn’t run it this year… although I still would have liked to!  But being smart and respecting that my knee is injured, not running was a good decision.  That being said, I went to the orthopedist last week and he looked at it and took X-Rays. Basically, what he said was that its more of a chronic thing from a physiological standpoint—that my hips rotate inward slightly putting more pressure on my knee joint.  Therefore, in his example, I could go run like 3 marathons and be fine, and then decided to do an easy 10k and have had this happen.  There’s no real predictor for it.

Got my MRI results back this morning and here is what the doctor told me: I have a slightly torn Meniscus and light arthritis in my left knee.  That gave me 2 options, surgery or cortisone shot and Physical Therapy.  The surgery was just a bad idea altogether because it would just be removing the Meniscus and making the arthritis more susceptible to worsening.

The Cortisone shot will take the pain and inflammation away and get me back to training,  Overall what this means is that someday my running had a stop sign.  Whether that's 10 years or 50 years, we can't say, but by doing the PT and the cortisone shot, I can preserve it as long as possible.

So that being said, I can pretty much go back to training tomorrow,  taking it easy the first day, but then pretty much good to go.  So I guess its not good news, but since there's nothing I can really do about it, it's not that big of a deal! And I figure hell, in 20 years we'll have the technology to fix this anyway so I'll be good for life! So he gave me orthotic inserts for my shoes and I am using those when I run.  Also got all my new gear in from K-Swiss and the Wattie Ink Team and I’ve heard these Kwicky Blade Lights run really well.  Also, with the knee, I don’t think I am going to do Florida 70.3  This would be a half Ironman on May 20th, but instead I think I am going to do an Olympic Triathlon in North Florida.  Honestly, it’s not really any easier, as my instructions from my coach are “to cross the finish line and fall over and die”.  Like, we’re talking ball out.  I also don’t know that I would be in quite the shape I want to be in for an Ironman race, plus they are expensive.

This was the first week I was finally able to pick training back up a bit.  I got to run some this weekend and it felt good, although I kept the pace moderate and didn’t do any kind of intervals, etc.  Also spent a fair amount of time on the bike…well, on the bike in my apartment—thank God the Capitals and NHL Playoffs are on!  Even though the Caps lost their first game!! (My playoff beard is coming along nicely as well, although I did get to trim since the Caps won their first series—and so I wouldn’t get fired lol).  However, they won Monday and are in OT right now but I can’t bare to watch

I really focused on my recovery this weekend as these sessions were a little more taxing and I bring back in quality work efforts.  I made awesome recovery shakes which I drank even though I knew dinner would be soon after.  The first was a mix of a chocolate CorePower drink, chocolate protein powder, and some MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides—I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post).  The second was whole coconut milk with protein and a banana.  There’s nothing better than flopping on the floor with an ice cold shake and just zoning out for a bit after a workout!

I also decided to try out a couple new “recipes” this weekend.  Well, that’s a lie, but I grilled a couple new things.  The first was some delicious grass-fed filet mignon steak!  I seared them in a skillet then finished them in the oven.

The second was some grilled chicken breast wrapped in bacon!  I finally went down to the pool and cranked up the grill—it was awesome!

 

Lastly, I roasted half a Kabocha squash in the oven covered in a mix of coconut butter and coconut oil--awesome!  Plenty of cinnamon of course too.

 

That’s all for now--I have a lot more updates, but those will come later this week!

  1. Have you ever had a Cortisone shot?
  2. Best new recipe or idea you want to share?

I gave up. I quit.

I realized I had stopped trying.  And I was letting it happen again- I have been letting my eating disorder define me. After a long 3 days of training Friday, Saturday, Sunday and finally getting some serious bike mileage in, it all caught up to me- the stress, the lack of recovery, and the volume of training.

I can’t remember the exact moment, but at some point last week, either when I was working out or doing something at work, a thought came into my head and something and the response I had to myself was “it’s ok, I have an eating disorder.”

Now at the time , I didn’t think twice about it, but at home later that night, I realized- I had quit.  I was giving in again; I was letting myself be defined by my eating disorder… and more importantly I did NOT want to let it go.  I was enjoying, or at least defaulting, to the fact that it was ok for me to do certain things or act in certain manners because having an eating disorder made it ok.  I wanted that recognition, I wanted to be known that way.  It’s like I was proud of it.

Oh, I’m going to work out really hard today but then take tomorrow off because I’m sore and eat way less?  That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

I’m going to put my socks on sitting on a certain side of my bed or else I’ll get fat or I won’t push myself to work out tomorrow? That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

I’m going to not eat right after a hard workout so that I can “save” those calories for my real meal when I get home? That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

NO!  It’s not ok.  It’s not normal for me to act like I have these inane “privileges” because I can use my eating disorder as a scapegoat.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t been challenging myself to new foods, etc. but it’s the fact that I wanted to be known by my eating disorder.

So as I was giving into all these rituals and obsessive compulsions that I believed were ok, I realized that I have to fight them.  I’ve written about this many times in the past, but I didn’t realize I was falling back in to it.  Being in a new city, new job, new lifestyle brings a lot of stress and I didn’t realize it.

When we are stressed, we revert back to ways that are comfortable for us.  People find different to handle (or not to handle) this stress and it’s not always good.  I guess this is how I cope.

So what am I doing about it?  For starters, I’m ignoring as many compulsions as I can.  I no longer have to chop my vegetables a certain amount of time.  I don’t have to believe I WON’T believe that wearing a certain shirt will make fat or not exercise. I REFUSE to believe my compulsions will have any effect on the greater part of my life.

Time to get back in the game.

How do you deal when you realize you are giving up?  Any help you can offer me?