Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nutrition Schmutrition?

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to start logging what I eat again. I've done this a couple times for a few months before and it's so insightful.

Beginner Triathlete has a really great feature where you can pull from its library of foods and log what you eat. I really like this feature, but I find it too time consuming to try to search for everything that I need.

So, I decided to create a spreadsheet which describes what I ate, what time I ate, how many servings I ate and how many fat grams and calories were in each meal. I try to keep it between 1,200 and 1,500 calories.

I'm one of those people who believe that I should be able to eat anything I want, just in moderation. So, if I've had a lighter breakfast and lunch one day, I can afford to go to McDonald's and eat 2 hamburgers for dinner that night. I don't worry about protein, carbs and hardly fat, to be honest. I just focus on the cals.

I think the conventional triathlete wisdom is having your diet be 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. (I really should just look that up.) What I'm realizing, as I'm doing the most intense working-out of my life, is that I really do need to pay attention to these elements.

My stress level is low, I get 8 or more hours of sleep a night and I'm not overweight. Yet I do feel fatigued a little more than usual. It's not much, just a tad. I hope that by taking a closer look at my nutrition, I can begin to address this.

So, I think I'm going to start using Beginner Triathlete's logging feature, because it will tally how much protein, fat and carbs I consume and this is exactly the information I believe I need to keep healthy.

Oh, plus, I really need to start incorporating some strength training. That will help as well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Subtle Wear-Out From Swimming

I've had 2 really great swims this week. One was a nice open water swim (OWS) and the other was a fairly fast-paced swim in my sister-in-law's pool.

Because I hadn't done much swimming the week before, I was really looking forward to a hot Saturday and Sunday this weekend. (I get cold so easily.) So, with excitement, Gary and I went out to the lake.

A little background: I had gone to bed at 11:30 p.m. last night and slept in until 9:30 a.m., getting an extra hour, hour-and-a-half of sleep. I was still tired by the time the evening rolled around, but I was so excited about the opportunity to get in an OWS that I convinced myself that I wasn't as tired as I thought I was.


Right into my swim, I knew I should have listened to my body. I was really thirsty right into it and very tired a couple minutes later. Usually after a couple of minutes warming up, I'm ready to find my groove. Today, I couldn't have cared less about finding my groove or anything close to it. I wanted to find my way to shore.

So, while I only swam 13 minutes, I did take away some lessons. I need to listen more carefully to my body. I'm so afraid of coming off to myself like I'm making excuses, but I can't let that pride detract from what my body is really telling me. I also learned that I need to better hydrate before training. It was definitely an interesting day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And the Answer is...

...I'm going for the longer swim triathlon. Here's why:
  • Though I'm dreading the 1/2 mile swim, I've still got 4 weeks to train for it.
  • I have improved in swimming since my last tri.
  • I've decided to buy a wetsuit. Swimming with the wetsuit will give me an extra level of comfort and safety.
  • This triathlon is so much closer to home which means Gary will probably come. Plus, he'll take pictures. We might even be able to bring the boys.
  • The bike is 12 miles which is the same as my first one. The other tri has a 7 mile bike.
  • The run is 3 miles which is 1 mile more than my first one. I'm excited about training to build up to running 3 miles instead of 2.

I mean, I could change my mind in a couple weeks, but, as of today, these are my plans.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Falling" for a Change

Fall is - without a doubt - my favorite season. October, my favorite month.

I love how the crisp, bright blue sky rests quietly and colorfully above the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the trees below, as if it were finally on a well-deserved vacation.

When the wind blows in the Fall, it even smells differently to me, and the lack of humidity changes how it feels when it meets my skin. It's somehow softer, though it is cooler.

I love bidding farewell to Summer's humidity and to the bees I believe are trying to sting me at every corner. I love the cooler temperatures Fall brings and, with it, the ability to wear a light jacket on a cool evening.

The last couple of days, it has been in the upper 70s and lower 80s. In the night, it has been in the 50s. This, to me, is perfect weather. I can open the windows throughout my house and let nature keep us cool instead of the AC.

However, as Fall begins edging its way into fullness, I find myself not as embracing of this change. Why? Because this means, for sure, that it will be colder in the pools and the lakes which means my time training to swim will be less; mostly because I cannot tolerate cold water temperatures.

All of nature's hints that Fall will soon be here for me to enjoy, now signal to me that Fall will soon be here to interfere with my new love: triathlon training.

Hmm. I guess if I had a membership to the Y, all of this wouldn't matter and Fall and I could become great friends again.

I guess I should go ahead and get that wesuit, afterall.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wheels or Wetsuit?

I'm trying to decide what to do. I could buy a nice, new road bike which will really help me bike a little faster. Plus, the bike I'm using is a friend's who will want it back and I really need my own.

I will, however, probably need a wetsuit for one of the two tris I'm considering in September. One BTer posted that the water was freezing last year. I don't want to freeze.

I found a really, really great deal on a wetsuit and it would only take up one quarter of my tri budget. With the remaining dollars, I could buy a good pair of tri shorts and a nice tri top. These are really great outfits because you can swim in them, bike in them and then run in them. Going through the clothing changes during my last tri made me appreciate the need for them.

I just don't know what I'm going to do.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

To Swim - to Really Swim - Is Beautiful

Gary and I went out to the lake for my OWS Friday evening. The first half seemed a struggle; I just could not get a hold of my breathing. Even though I told myself not to be, I think, subconsciously, I was afraid of my surroundings. Once I realized I was doing this and could really relax, things started to take great shape.

According to the Total Immersion method of swimming, you must keep your bicep stiff and your forearm limp as it comes up out of the water and before it slices back in. This is something I've focused on the last couple of swims and really got the hang of it today.

As always, this brings me to a new dilemma. When my hand enters the water, it seems to be doing so at a 90-degree angle. I don't know if that's problematic, but I can say that, at this point, regardless of whether it's improper or not, I'm swimming better.

I also focused on making sure that that same arm is continuously moving. One thing I noticed about my swim, which was holding me back, was that I would pause for a moment or two after switching arms so my entry-arm was just kind of hanging out. Once I focused on keeping it moving, my swim improved as did my confidence.

So, once I relaxed and focused on keeping my entry-arm moving continuously, I swam for quite a while with no stopping. It was absolutely the most peaceful time I've ever had in the water. What a day.

P.S. Oh, and we came back home and I biked for 12 miles.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So, I Didn't Win the Bike...

Beginner Triathlete drew for the winner of its bike raffle. I didn't win (sigh...), but here's a link to the blog of the lady who did. Congratulations again, Carol.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weight Loss, Confidence Gain

This is one of the forums on Beginner Triathlete As I've said before, if you're interested in triathlons, you absolutely MUST get plugged in here. Join a mentor group, a challenge or a weight loss challenge to start "meeting" people and to get great information on the sport.

This is a "before and after" forum, where some of the people on BT posted pics of what they looked like before training for tris and what they look like now.

If you are reading my blog thinking that you're too overweight to ever do a triathlon, let me be clear: No, you are not! If you want it, it's yours. Let these folks on BT inspire you. They certainly have me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...