On devaluing

A funny thing happened on the way to Arizona. At some point doing a forty five minute workout stopped feeling like a workout. This isn’t bragging, this is a psychological problem. After a workout there are steps one must take to properly recover – rehydration and lean protein being two key needs. As I stretch myself out on this Ironman timeline 45 minutes or an hour doesn’t feel like a full workout. And so, dangerously, I don’t properly refuel or rehydrate afterwards. This has caught up with me at the wrong time – my taper week leading up to the Malibu sprint triathlon. I am exhausted, having a hard time catching up on sleep, and when I do work out the legs are sapped of strength. This isn’t how I want to feel in the days leading up to a race so for the first time I am disobeying my planned workouts and taking it easy. Honestly, I did do this to myself. I worked out three times last week at Core Performance and while it was a great experience to be back there, it was also laid over my existing higher volume training schedule. The bow on this gift box of explosives is that I’m deliriously happy to be hovering under 180lbs and so of course, I’m lowering my caloric intake to try and lose more weight while also increasing my workload. This is just plain stupid.

A year ago at this time I was looking forward to the Malibu triathlon as my final race of the season. This week I am a little more than halfway into my Ironman schedule having logged over 50 miles of swimming, almost 1,500 miles of cycling, and near 300 miles of running. While that seems like a lot, in truth I am behind on my goal mileage. The inner tug of war is that I am exhausted getting off the trainer after 90 minutes so I scrub the hour long run afterwards, and then I beat myself up for not doing the full workout and being behind on miles. I think that I am weak for not being able to push it out. Then I talk to Damon on the phone who says he thinks I’m overtraining, and while he may be right, I don’t know what being overtrained feels like.

Here’s my bad inner dialogue:

Wake up. Weigh self. “Damn. I can’t seem to stay under 180lbs. I must not be working out enough.”

Go and work out. Feel exhausted.

“Maybe I’m not eating enough. Shit, then I’ll weigh more. How do I get more energy without adding more food?”

Eat, eat, eat.

“OK, I’ve made myself eat. Now let’s try that again tomorrow.”

Wake up. Weigh self. “Damn. I can’t seem to stay under 180lbs. I must not be working out enough.”

Repeat.

If this was a friend, I’d tell them to 1) get off the goddamn scale. 2) Start up that food journal again. You’re not eating enough consistently. 3) Rest before your race. Taper for real. Sleep a lot. Eat a lot. You’ll want to feel stuffed full of real energy on race day because the adrenaline of just being at a race wears off after the first turn of the buoy. And 4) quit worrying about being behind on mileage. Lots of people do a hell of a lot less miles and still finish their Ironman. You’ve already ridden a century and run for an hour. If you can run for an hour off the bike you can run for four with proper nutrition. All you’re doing now is prepping yourself to run that marathon – everything else is money in the bank and you still have 10 weeks to go.

These are things I know on an intellectual level. Emotionally, however, the process of devaluation is always in effect. An inner voice that whittles away at the confidence and sabotages routine.

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One response to “On devaluing

  1. I know of no one else on this planet more capable of overcoming (or at least coping with) these sorts of problems. You are already doing more by writing this out than most people would even attempt.

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