Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Rest Week"

Ah, a planned lull in training, courtesy of my new coach, Bill Daniell.  I've been beatin' the legs hard, and now it's time for the prescribed chance to recover, so they can come back stronger.  Eight mere hours of a possible 168 spent on exertion, and not even anything especially strenuous.  It's a virtual mini-vacation from all that sweating and straining, paddling and plodding, spinning and stretching.  By the numbers, this is about six more hours to do with as I see fit.  Doesn't that sound wonderful?

For most folks, maybe.

I, for one, happen to like all that exertion, and not just the fresh air and the joy of motion, but the neurochemical result: endorphins and adrenalin, my other favorite mood elevators, Mother Nature's very own Speedball.  Yes, almost nothing else makes my least favorite coworkers easier to put up with than a couple of heaping scoops of endogenous opioids and catecholamines. . . 

Love me.  Take me.  You know you want it.
But perhaps most of all, I love not having to think so much about what goes in my mouth.  More desserts, more snacks, less self-restraint required to get where I want. 

Or so I think. 

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that one of the few remaining low-hanging fruit left for me in the quest for triathlon excellence is getting a better handle on diet.  Even though I've done at least 5-10 hours/week of exercise for my entire adult life, my weight has vacillated within a 45 pound range.  For the last few years, I've been on the lower end.  But not the lowest, and not as light as I imagine I could be without losing strength. 

So dietary discipline actually has always appealed to me, in a "Mañana" sort of way.  It's a handy coincidence that this week is when Karen and I have committed to start writing out everything we eat in anticipation of a consultation with Grasky Endurance's resident nutritionist and triathlon coach Brandon Nichols.

Hey, hun! What's for dessert?
In addition to more core exercise, foam rolling, and hot tubbing (Did I mention house chores? That's the most likely use for any "extra" time I think I have!), this week will be an opportunity to be more disciplined and aware.  How hard can that be, really? I spend basically all of my active SBR time focusing on how to be smooth and efficient.  What's the big deal about a little more self-awareness?

Already, I've skipped that extra morning bagel, replacing with an apple.   Not so hard, at any given moment, one would think.  Except at night, when my IQ plummets to that of an australopithecus, right along will my will to resist wayward impulses to consume sweets . . . 

OK, it's going to be a pitched battle.

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