NO MORE FUNK! I have Dai Roberts Group to thank for that. 🙂 I spent the last five days in Apex, North Carolina with Dai and Denise Roberts, as well as several other athletes. We trained on the Raleigh 70.3 course. We rested. We ate. We trained on the NC hills. We rested. We ate. I didn’t have to cook. I didn’t have to clean. I rode well. I ran well. I rested well (for the most part – hotels are always rough). My confidence is being rebuilt, piece by piece. It was also very good to share time with like-minded individuals (a.k.a. triathletes) and it was refreshing to socialize in the evening while still getting plenty of rest since, usually, I’m overworked, overtired and sitting along with a lovely though not very empathic or talkative dog.
The gang before we headed out to ride 70 miles on the Raleigh course. We were joined by Rachel and Brian Jastrebsky who just happened to be in the area for a wedding. Rachel is beginning her first season as a professional triathlete and both she and Brian are on the Zoot Ultra Team. I’m so glad they joined us! Rachel’s down to earth conversation and positive attitude made the ride much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise!
On Sunday, we ran the Raleigh 70.3 run course (or at least as much of it as has been identified thus far). There were definitely some serious hills and, for a Midwestern girl who was raised in the flat heart of Illinois, it was an eye-opening experience! I ran 12 miles (obviously not the entire course) at an average pace near 8:15 without pushing myself particularly hard the day after a 70 mile ride so I was also pleased with the morning.
I wouldn’t say that these are the most nutritious post-workedout snacks but after we rode another 35 miles on the Raleigh course on Monday, Bill helped himself to some thin mint cookies, Sarah enjoyed the gorgonzola flavored crackers and I went for the classic mini pretzels. What can I say? I was hungry and it was there.
As of this morning, Deb and I were the last two athletes standing! Other folks returned earlier for work and life, etc., but we hung in there until the end! Dai found a lovely loop around a lake for us to run along. Another hilly 8 miles in the books for me, though the loop seemed relatively flat compared to the previous days’ runs!
It was great to have several days in a row on the new bike. The TARDIS (that’s her name – extra cool points to those who know where it came from) and I are getting along now (btw, I bought a new bike – don’t think I mentioned that but I am now the proud owner of my very own tri bike!). I learned how to better handle hills on the bike (when to shift, when to stay in aero, when to sit up) and I learned that I may have been under eating over the last few weeks. It seems that, as I’ve tried to eliminate most processed foods from my diet, I was failing to eat enough whole grains to sustain me in my workouts. Though individuals who subscribe to the Paleo diet will disagree, Coach Dai tells me that these grains are essential for sustaining the level of training that I wish to maintain and that it is especially important that I get them earlier in the day. Grains aren’t entirely absent in my diet but I will be adding a bit more in the way of grains and a few more calories overall, too. Perhaps that will help keep my mood and energy levels a bit more stable.
I have a big month with three races; two 5ks and an 8 miler. The 8 miler is the only one that I intend to “race” in a way that requires me to take a few days off of strength training. This weekend, I’m racing a local 5k and I intend to race hard but I’m not going to skip strength workouts to prepare for it. The 8 miler is two weeks after that and then I’m racing another 5k on March 30th. My church puts on a race each year around Easter called the “Resurrection 5k.” Last year, the proceeds from the race built an entire medical center in Haiti! This year, the funds will go to multiple sclerosis research. This effort is being led by my friend Thomas Hicks and you can learn more about him, his fight with MS and the Resurrection 5k by clicking here.
I definitely think that the change of pace this week helped out quite a bit. I’m also not sure that we would have so easily discovered that I was under eating if I hadn’t been able to spend so much time around my coach in a short timeframe. Now I know to be on the lookout for such things as nutrition deficits when I’m feeling overly fatigued, sad, cranky and frustrated. I also believe that switching things up and getting more rest played a very significant role in this about-face so I will keep that in mind for the future as well!