Wednesday, February 11, 2009

General Thoughts...I feel like venting this week

With just over 3 months of our training over in the blink of an eye, I had time last week to slow down and reflect on my progress so far. Unfortunately, last week I got sick with the flu AGAIN for the second time in 6 weeks. That has never happened to me before. Usually I get the flu once a year, twice at the most, but NEVER so close together. I must admit, it was quite humbling to lose control and be laid out in bed for 3 days again and it gave me a lot of time to think.

If you recall, I was sick with the flu for 4 days during the first week of January. The bug was definitely going around at that time and I knew lots of people sick, so I wasn't surprised when it hit me. I recovered, went back to life and hit my training hard once again. It could be that I just never recovered completely from then but I have a feeling it was just me taking poor care of my body. Laying in bed last week I got to thinking. Thinking of why my body was acting funny. During all my years of marathon running I admit that I have felt untouchable. I don't eat the healthiest, get the most rest or really slow down hanging out with my friends, yet I manage to get all my training done and get races completed. Many times I was able to stay out on a Saturday night until the wee hours of the morning, get just a couple hours of sleep and still manage a 15 mile run in the morning. I think those days are gone. I have much respect for the Ironman but I admit I brought some of my old habits to this triathlon training, thinking I was untouchable for this too. I realized last week my body is trying to tell me something. It's starting to be pushed harder than it is use to and it is fighting back. I am burning a tremendous amount of calories and I think my body is obviously not use to it. Last week was a learning experience for me and I realized this training is NO JOKE. I feel like I have hit a turning point.

I want the Ironman race to be an enjoyable experience on August 1st. I don't want to just complete it and hobble through it, cursing the gods for 15 hours. I want to BEAT IT and truly have FUN. FUN FUN FUN!!! In order for me to do that I am going to take my training to the next level starting NOW. I am going to start making small steps and improvements to make sure I stay healthy, hydrated, and strong for the rest of the season. No more bad habits and no more frustrating FLU BUGS. I figured I'd start with baby steps.

#1 is soda. One thing I thought I would start off with is soda. For those of you that know me well, you know I LOVE soda, especially Coke. Not diet, but just old fashioned, sugar-filled, sweet taste of goodness that they call Coca-Cola. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. I've cut back over the years but always thought it would just be a good idea to stop altogether. Even my dentist told me I should stop drinking that stuff because it stains my teeth. Well, earlier today I had my last Coke...last Coke for the week. I've read having a cheat day and taking things in moderation is the best way to go so I am going to limit myself to only drinking soda for one day per week. #2 is fast food. I'm a fast food junkie. Usually it is just out of convenience. You are out, you are hungry and BAM, the drive through begins to call your name. "Carlos, Carlos...EAT ME. EAT ME! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". Two minutes later--me with a Big Mac attack, chicken McNuggets and gurgly McSTOMACH. I am a weak man. As with soda, I am going to limit my fast food intake to only ONE DAY per week. These goals may sound silly, but they are just my baby steps to a healthier next 6 months. Next month I am going to try and tackle alcohol and see where I can limit that. I'm also going to try and get more rest on the weekends, especially Friday nights before our big workouts on Saturday mornings. What is the point of making all these silly rules? I just want to create some small positive momentum that will eventually snowball into HUGE momentum in other areas.

In closing, I am grateful for this Ironman experience. I believe learning is a life-long process and I have already learned so much in the short amount of training I have done. There is no better feeling than waking up every morning and challenging your body and mind to go to places it has never gone before. I look forward to the next 6 months of training that are still to come...bring it. BRING IT!

P.S. Shout OUT to DAN this week. What up Dan! You can thank Stacey for this shout out.


Alexander said...

I think those are great steps to take. Ironman training is long and arduous. Hang in there. We'll celebrate when its all over.

Work said...

Hey Carlos, thanks for the shoutout! I've been following your story here, taking tips and cues to get myself in better shape. Keep it going!