Thursday, March 15, 2012

Battling Burn Out and Eating Disorders

Feelin’ like I’ve been off the radar for a while here, but I’m right back into training and feeling on par with where I was this time last year.  In fact, I seem to be hitting all the numbers I hit last year this time – weight is crossing the 165 lb border on the way south, track intervals at the same speed, swim intervals the same speed, etc.  But I’m realizing how much I put into this training thing last year and it’s literally blowing my mind as I attempt to repeat it in order to be ready for St Croix and the early summer races.  This effort is taking a lot out of me!

I intend to stay on the plan through Lake Kristi in June.  After that, I’ll get off the wagon and allow some boozin’ and snoozin’ to preserve my sanity, with the idea of stepping it back up on September 1 to get ready for Ironman Florida.  Well, maybe sometime in August.  Maybe August 1.  I dunno.  But I’m gonna need a break for sure, and I’m already finding my mind drifts to thoughts of 2013 and not giving a rip about all this fitness and training stuff for a while.

Anyway, back to the here and now.  The body seems to be adapting to the training well, even though I now have 40 years behind me.  It’s the mind that seems to struggle the most through all this though.  Meals on time, no second helpings, no boozing, nailing every workout even when sometimes I just don’t wanna… takes its toll.  I’d love to sit on the porch and sip some wine tonight, but it isn’t in the cards. 

And getting my weight back down to sub-160 is consuming me.  I nailed it last year by my early May half iron race, and all is on schedule to do so this year too, but I feel like I have this creepy exercise induced eating disorder (I know there’s a name for it, but if I don’t use it then I feel like I’m not quite admitting I have it).  Two bites of chicken from completing a half a breast last night left me in disgust of what it might have done to my morning weigh-in had I given in to them.  So, I threw them out.  I went to bed early just to make sure I wouldn’t feel a hunger knock later that evening.  I have two scales in the bathroom and I check my weight every morning on each of them – one because I’ve always trusted it, and one for a “second opinion.”  This healthy lifestyle is, perhaps, not the most healthy after all.

So, how does a Kona qualifier do it?  Clearly, they must have more talent to draw from so that the sacrifices aren’t unbearable.  But I can just imagine what a rearranging of lifestyles it is to be one.  I will never understand how one does it with kids and a career. 

All in all, I suspect this is really just some form of burn-out trying to get hold of me.  I made a mistake doing that late fall marathon last December as it didn’t allow me enough of an off-season to bounce back into my routine here in the late winter/early spring.  I still have good days but there are a few bad days in there where I just don’t want to perform.  So, for now I’m just trying to cowboy up to the training but also looking forward to that post-Lake Kristi beer……

A couple notes about the shoulder.  Since the cortisone shot in January I’ve had much improvement.  The PA suggested possible surgery in the long term but for now the shot seems to be doing the trick.  The only time I notice discomfort is after I’ve swam yardage over 2500.  It’s noticeably weaker on the pull phase of my stroke, but otherwise bearable.  I still ice it from time to time and try not to raise my right arm above my shoulder any more than I need to.  I miss doing lateral raises in the gym when I hit the weights but I’ve been diligent to exercise the rotator cuff in place of that.

Spring is happening all around and now there’s still daylight after work for a good workout.  At the very least, there’s gumption to be drawn from all o’ dat!  Peace out!