I have a lot of complexity in my life. I've raised two sons and run a company.
In the rest of my life, I like simple things. I like sitting on patio having breakfast in the morning or reading a book by the fireplace during the winter....simple.
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, structure makes my life easier. I like to know what time I'm supposed to be some place. I like to know how long it will take, etc. It doesn't mean that things won't happen and my structured little world gets blown up. It just means that 90% of the time, things go pretty smoothly.
I started as a runner. I moved to the glamorous sweaty, dirty, bike grease, gel covered world of triathlon in 2005.
Because apparently running was too easy.
As much as I like structure, I also like challenge.
Accommodating the training schedule for triathlon is a world unto itself. I have a lot of flexibility and can schedule my training. I can't imagine training for triathlon with a job has regular work hours or irregular work hours. The trade off for me is that I'm often working early in the morning or late at night or on weekends, but it's at my own discretion.That schedule works for me.
It's simple. It's easy to understand.
That was all good when I started working with Coach Mike. We worked on sprints. I could easily manage the training volume. The "fueling" was easy.
Piece o'cake. I thinks to myself. I can easily move to the Oly.
And I did. Initially, it wasn't easy as I had to figure out how to negotiate more hours for training. By the middle to the end of the season, I was doing pretty well.
The complexity for me with this distance, is in the nutrition aspect. I haven't been able to figure it out. I've screwed up many times.
One of the reasons that is has been difficult is that I want to keep it simple. I refuse to count calories and macronutrients. It takes all the fun out of eating as far as I'm concerned. If I want a cupcake, I'm going to have a cupcake without worrying about how much BAD stuff is in it. My problem isn't eating so called bad stuff. My problem is eating enough in general.
I don't want to sacrifice training and racing because I haven't eaten enough. One of my issues is that I'm not really big on carbohydrates....problematic when training and racing exceeds 2 hours at a time.
In a way, I feel like I never really left square one. I think I have things figured out only to have my energy levels crash two days later.
Maybe the irony in all of this is that my race day and training "fueling" is pretty much spot on. But that only works if I've eaten correctly the rest of the week. Trust me. I've been thinking about this non-stop all season. The reason training and racing isn't a big deal is because of all the options out there: drinks, bars, gels. All of these options to keep my macro-nutrients where they need to be to support my activity level.
Here I am, once again, trying to figure out yet another piece to the puzzle. All is not lost though, I clearly understand what doesn't work. After all, it took 99 wrong ways to make a light bulb, right? Since my biggest challenge is taking in enough carbohydrates, I recently came up with a simple solution for my lack of love of all things bread and pasta: THE POTATO which I love (and not the french fry version).
Maybe I have moved from square one on to step #2. Hey, it's a start.
As I was running yesterday, I thought, "How can something I love so much, frustrate me this much." It's simply because I love it that it does frustrate me. It's no different than any other relationship. When you stop caring, it's time to move on.
I don't know just yet what type of volumes I'll be doing over the winter, but I have my own goal: get a little closer to better fueling.
For the first time in several years, I want to do a 70.3 again. I just can't do it until I can get this other stuff worked out. It's one thing to bonk on a 10K run. It's quite another to have it happen 40 miles into a 70.3.
Of course, this upcoming weekend will be the perfect ground to get my nutrition nailed down. I have my 41 mile bike tour through the Colorado monument on Saturday and an Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday. Neither of which, am I doing for any PR attempt. It's more of a "training day" (yea, I know that sounds somewhat ridiculous). But, when Coach put it on my training plan, I could only laugh...knowing that I'd do it. That IS our agreement after all. (And one that I might want to look into amending).
Hopefully once I get home, I won't be too tired to write up an appropriate novella of the weekend.