Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feeling the squeeze

I announced last week that I had turned over a new leaf. I was going to try to do everything right leading up to my once in a lifetime opportunity at the Twin Cities Marathon. I committed to stop drinking, start sleeping more and pay attention to my nutritional needs even more closely. How has that worked out, you ask?

Giving up on the drinking was easy. For many days in a row, I resisted the temptation provided by hecklers posting endless Facebook comments about how they were busy enjoying glasses of wine while reading my "climbing on the wagon" blog. Then, last Friday night, I discovered the "only in moderation" clause in my contract. Actually, I don't have a contract, but whatever. I had dinner at Tuli Bistro and ordered a glass of wine. I believe The Universe was trying to tell me something when that glass of wine turned out to be not so great, and I did not finish it. Or maybe it was the guilt on my taste buds that tainted the flavor. Regardless, I call leaving a half drunk glass of wine behind a success.

Nutritionally, I have done so so. I have been eating out a lot more than I generally like to, and I haven't been tracking my diet as closely as a result. This, as noted in my latest weight-related blog, has led to weight gain for me in the past. I've worked pretty hard to attain this lower-body-fat physique. I can't afford to let mondo burritos, burgers and pizza spoil it. I also haven't been prompt about eating post workout which can be a problem for recovery.

I blame part of my nutritional snafu on a new sleep cycle. I have done a great job of allowing my tired body to get more sleep, averaging between 7-9 hours lately. But, I am starting to pay for this in a few ways. I realized pretty quickly that my eating cycle is pretty tightly linked with my sleeping cycle. Mess with one, and the other suffers. I have found that I am not hungry when I should be eating and allow myself to go too long without food which ultimately ends in a quick take-out fix.

I also realized that I get a lot done in those extra 2-3 wakeful hours. Let's use my housekeeping as Exhibit A. I'm not a clean freak by any stretch of the imagination, but I know there's a problem when the dust bunnies in my house have bred, built houses and are now opening coffee shops in the corners of every room. I plan to fashion sticky suits for my pets and The Genius to wear around the house to collect lint and fur in an effort to combat this growing problem. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

Work is always a priority, so I don't skimp there. So, when something has to give, it's my workout schedule. For example, yesterday morning, I got up later than usual because I couldn't get to sleep until after midnight the night before. This set in motion a series of workout disrupting events. I had a double planned for Tuesday with 15 in the morning and 5 in the evening. Honoring my need for sleep, I decided that I could only run the 5 miles in the morning if I was going to make a morning meeting and would postpone the 15 miler for that night. Of course, my workday ended close to dark, and I was not able to get in the 15 miler unless I paid Tready a visit. I was also exhausted. So, I decided to run 8 moderate miles last night and postpone my 15 miler to this morning.

While I ran the 15 miler, I was not perky during the workout. The quality included 5 x 2000m repeats with 400m @ 5k effort, 400m @ 10k effort and 1200m @ goal marathon pace and included a 2 minute jog between repeats. When I looked at this workout on paper, I thought, "piece of cake." I'm not sure if it was the double yesterday or just the cumulative miles on my legs that made this one feel so hard. I completed it running the 5k effort at 5:45 pace, the 10k effort at 5:55 pace, and the GMP at 6:15 pace. But, I did not feel as good as I had hoped. I have a big race at the end of the week, one that I've been looking forward to for this whole cycle, and now I'm starting to doubt whether I'll even come close to my goal for the race. I must seem like such a fragile flower: struggle in one workout and my world goes to hell. When I get this way, I remind myself of the fact that I have had some of my best races off of workouts like this one. Sometimes, I think it helps to be humbled by a workout before a race so that you set reasonable expectations for yourself and may even end up surprising yourself.

So, tomorrow will be another juggling act as I have to be in San Francisco for a 9 a.m. meeting and won't leave the city until 5 p.m. I have another double planned with 10 in the morning and 3 at night. This means I will be up at 4:00 a.m. running the morning workout and will likely end up with a nighttime dog jog after 8 p.m. when I return. I have a feeling I'll be back to my 5-6 hours of sleep sooner rather than later.

So, what in the world am I doing sitting around writing this? I need to get to sleep!

1 comment: