Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fine Tuning

There only three days between now and my first race of the season for me and the first race of the Leadman series.  All of the work that could have been done is done so now it is time to rest, focus on smaller quality workouts, rest some more, and prepare to execute the plan come Saturday morning.

The past three to four weeks have been kind of bumpy.  I had a situation a few weeks ago where I just did way too much downhill running/pounding, too fast down Independence Pass on the pavement then another punishing run down Smuggler that got my knees pissed at me.  Basically running to fast and over striding leading to less stability when I would plant my foot which in turn just tweaked things a little.   That took a few days to remedy.

Then the last two weeks a lot of discomfort in both Achilles tendons.  I am not sure of the direct cause of this but it was accentuated by running up a lot of steep grades causing my calves to tighten up.  I could work through the discomfort on the runs until things loosened back up but post run my ankles and tendons would not feel all that great.

Fatigue has been an issue as well and it is still a bit present.  A symptom of that could be seen in my attitude and approach to yesterday's ride. It was to be just a short ride with some three minute max efforts thrown in but in my mind it felt like I was going out for a four to six hour grind.  But the ride went exceptionally well once I got going and even better is that the Trek is starting to feel more natural to me to ride now.  Again. I am getting used to the extra two pounds or so of bike weight and am able to climb better with it now.

So basically some structural issues due to training and then just the tiredness of training have been nagging at me.   The structural issues are gone so now just to unload fatigue and all will be fine.

The last issue and the subject of this entire writing though is weight.  I have been less than strict about diet this winter and spring but it was with a purpose.  I haven't gotten fat, or doughy, or soft so much but I have increased in weight with the addition of more lean mass.  But by eating a lot, more like a weight lifter than a skinny ass runner, I have also had more quality workouts, I recover more quickly and I don't have workouts where the tank is just empty and I have to suffer through them.  I knew what I was doing.

But the weight thing I am overly conscious of.  I have been told and teased that I am worse than most teenage girls when it comes to my weight and that is true.  A nice thing (I guess) about our apartment here in Aspen is that it is fully carpeted so I have gotten out of the habitual act of weighing myself every morning.  To get an accurate reading on the scale,  I need to go down to the garage and place it on a hard surface which doesn't exactly fit into the flow of most mornings. Because of that I don't always have day to day insight to what my weight is doing.  My clothes have been fitting right, and I haven't felt like I have gained a lot but I have.  I weighed in earlier last week and I was shocked at the numbers on the scale.  Shocked.  (I am heavier than Brooks is, again.)

So more fine tuning.   Diet.  Watch the calories diligently and more importantly be more aware of what I am eating rather than how much.  That always has more impact than just calories.  So for the past week or two, gone are all of the pleasurable and comfort foods that I like to indulge in.  I won't go over the list... I've written enough about it in the past.

And of course the weight is dropping just like it should.  So as in weight lifting or body building parlance, I have gone from a bulking cycle and am now in a cutting cycle.  It is one thing to know what to eat and not to eat for better results but a completely different thing to execute that plan. Now I am completely dedicated to the execution.  For the rest of the summer.

On Sunday I had the luxury of riding indoors.  I say luxury because when I get to ride indoors I can think as I have to do everything possible to keep my mind occupied as it doesn't have to focus on not getting killed so much.  It was then that I acknowledged that food does make me happy.  As I am sure it does for a lot people.  And not that I want to be miserable but I have definite goals for this summer and I have to be aware, daily, of what I want to get done.  Sure a milk shake today would be awesome, but I have to put that in context with, yeah, but, dropping X amount of time in X race will make me even happier.

So the fine tuning now is mental and in reprogramming my brain and body to what I consume on a daily basis.  Do I want a soda or do I want to be the very best version of myself than I can be this summer?  All I can say is that I am going to strive for the latter rather than the former.  Of course I plan to be reasonable and allow myself a treat every once in awhile.  I WILL have a Mountain Dew after the race on Saturday and hell, maybe even a Snickers bar but that will be the exception rather than the rule.

As of this morning I am happy to report that I weighed in less than I did for last years LT100 run so I am definitely moving the numbers in the right direction.  At 46 I might only have this one shot at a super summer of racing and I don't want to blow it.  I want to run and ride every race knowing that I have done my absolute best and not have any lingering questions after.  Just like last year.  The bar has been raised significantly by Lucho in my training this year and I have met that  head on.  Now it is time for me to raise the bar even more in regards to my daily routines and habits to be in alignment with the work I have done and the output I expect.  It's not a big deal... just some tweaking and fine tuning on my part.

Unrelated to running... Tomorrow is Annie's 20th Birthday and I will never be able to fully express the joy in having such a wonderful daughter who makes me so proud of her every day in so many ways.  If I was EVER blessed it was the day that she came into my life and in every day since watching her grow up into the beautiful person (inside and out) that she is today.

1997.  Annie is almost three and playing in my boat in the living room.  Ever the fearless kid who has taught me more than I have taught her I think at times.  Happy Birthday Pooh!


  1. You are going to rock it dude. Experience is the most important factor in this event and you now have it. You know what to expect. Sorry I won't be there to carry your beer Saturday night! I have to chop off a leg to get to pre LT 100 weight at this point! Good luck and rip it up. send me an email when you're done!

  2. OH and happy birthday to your lovely daughter!