Sunday, April 6, 2014

Excuses...Weeks 3-8 Summary

I apologize for the sporadic posting...or lack there of.  There is no good excuse.  I want to post every week to update followers on this journey.  I am now 8 weeks into training for the 2014 race season.  I'm excited but the first 8 weeks has had ups and downs.  Out of the gates I was ahead of where I was last year.  Then for some reason after taking a mini 3 day break from training after 30 straight days I struggled to get things back on track.  I was not recovering well.  My long run left me with deep quad soreness that would not go away.  Over our spring break a couple weeks ago I could tell my legs were REALLY tired and not recovering well.  All I could muster on the bike was base mileage rides on the trainer.  Anything hard I did not have power for.  Running was even worse.  The deep soreness made easy runs feel hard and hard runs unattainable.  I was humbled when I started a track workout with my wife.  Initially I had a faster goal pace than her.  After warming up and feeling the deep soreness in my quads I decided I would just run with her.  We were supposed to run 3x (1200/400).  On the first 1200 I stopped after just 1 lap.  I decided not to dig the hole any deeper.  I watched Jen go on to run the workout at 5:45 pace on her 1200's and 5:20 pace on her 400's.  I managed to run a 400 with Owen in 2:05. 

I have been frustrated with my lack of losing weight.  I am only 5 weeks away from a race and I'm not near where I wanted to be by May 11th.  I haven't lost any weight in the past 5 weeks and I'm just fluctuating between 168 and 171.  I weighed 152 for Beach 2 Battleship last October.  The extra 20 lbs. doesn't make running very fun.  I could think of a lot of excuses.  I hear excuses all the time.  In the past week I've heard the following...
1.  I missed practice for a doctor appointment (after the fact)
2.  I missed practice for a funeral
3.  I don't have my assignment because I left it at home
4.  I don't have my assignment that was handed out last week because I was gone yesterday
5.  I don't have my assignment because I lost it
6.  I didn't try in the mile time trial because I'm not in good shape yet
7.  I didn't turn in my goal sheet because I forgot my goals

Some of these are great excuses and some are not.  The point is there are always reasons not to get things done.  One of my coaching mentors onetime told me "There are 2 kinds of people in this world...those who get things done and those who find reasons not to get things done."

I could sit here and say that I'm getting older and it's tougher to lose weight (something many others have told me when I say I'm struggling with getting to race weight).  I could say it's tougher because my kids are getting older and playing 2 on 1 basketball in the basement may trump my run workout.  I could say I'm struggling due to the crumby weather.  I could say I just haven't felt great and I needed the extra rest so that is why I've skipped some workouts.  I could say maybe because I haven't started swimming my metabolism hasn't kicked into full gear...there are lots of excuses but ultimately I'm someone who simply realizes I haven't done the work to be where I want right now.  The reasons may be good (or maybe some don't think they are).  The reasons don't really matter come May 11th.  I won't get a head start when I say that I'm not in as good of shape as I should be for this or that...I'll have to deal with what I have set myself up for. 

I am far from giving up or feeling sorry for myself.  I'm accepting I'm not where I want right now but plan to get things turned around.  For the first time this year I printed off my weekly goal checklist to help me stay focused on doing the little things I think have made me successful.  I changed my eating habits about 2.5 weeks ago and have cut down tremendously on the amount of refined sugar I'm consuming.  I am addicted to sugar like millions of Americans.  The more sugar I eat, the more I want it. Currently I'm eating less than 10 grams of refined sugar a day.  I've only given in to the addiction twice in that time.  I'm feeling like I have more energy.  I'm recovering better.  This week I did 2 bike interval workouts, one track workout, 1 tempo run, and got in 43 run miles and 230 bike miles.  Things are starting to look up and I'm remaining confident my weight will fall if I continue eating healthy.  My point in all of this is to show that any training cycle...any journey for that matter is rarely met without ups and downs.  Training is a series of tearing the body down...resting up and gaining new strength...and then tearing down again so the adaptations will leave you in the best shape of your life.  The graph below shows what most hope from training and the 2nd one shows how it really works. 
I'm excited about the weather turning to spring finally!  This weekend I rode my first outdoor rides of the year so far.  I put over 1,300 miles on the trainer (65 hours on the saddle) before getting outside.  I rode 50 miles on Saturday and was tired after doing a morning long run of 11 miles.  Sunday I rode 60 and felt very strong.  I pushed the hills at the end of the ride and even got my wattage over 700 on some of the final climbs.  I got a new Garmin 510 from Healthy Habits this week and a SRAM Red Quarq power meter crank that give me a lot of cool data to learn from.  This next week will be my first week of swimming and I'm really excited to get back in the water.  I haven't swam a yard since October 26th at Beach 2 Battleship.  I really hope our lakes warm up soon because I enjoy open water swimming much more than pool swimming.  Thanks for reading...remember when things are difficult the next peak is just around the corner.  Stick with it.  DREAM BIG! 

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