Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School

Even though I haven't been attending classes for quite a few years now. . . the last week in August still signals that school is right around the corner. With my triathlons completed for the season, I decided to take a "back to school" approach with my fall training. My study? Three of my triathlon weaknesses:

1. Running
2. Strength
3. My weight

My extra-curriculars for the fall semester will be some fun easy time on the bike and some technique work in the pool.

Yesterday I started my new "running focused" plan. My ultimate end goal is the Richmond Half Marathon on November 15th. Coach Michael is gearing all of my run training over the next two and a half months towards getting me across the finish line under the 2 hour mark. Yesterday's workout was a nice break in post 1/2 IM - a half hour run on the grass field focusing on technique with 5 minutes in the middle of barefoot running.

Today I started my second class - my weight. First, I've made major progress over the past year and a month that I've been seeing my nutritionist, Tina Shiver. Not only have my stomach issues decreased substantially (after figuring out my gluten intolerance) such that now they seem to be infrequent rather than every day and are usually associated with a meal eaten in a restaurant, but I've also lost about 15 pounds and gone down almost 2 clothing sizes. That said, I still have a few tires around my stomach and more wiggle in my thighs than I'd like. So, we are aiming for another 10 to disappear.

In anticipation of my appointment today and refocus for fall, I took last week completely off (i.e. drank lots of wine, ate a few more sweets and didn't really pay attention to portions or nutritional content) and celebrated my "last meal" last night post workout at Casa Grande with a large margarita, lots of chips and salsa and our usual fajitas texacanas. This morning as I faced a new day, I got a good chuckle at pro Elizabeth Fedofsky's very timely blog this morning about she and her husband's grocery shopping habits. It reminded me of the difference between Bart's and my grocery lists - mine usually full of locally grown produce, organic fruit, alternate grains and "happy" meat and Bart never letting the jar with the dark chocolate Hershey kisses get empty, loving his hot dogs with cheese whiz and finishing off many meals with either a cookie, some ice cream or a big glass of chocolate milk. To his credit, he now also usually has bananas, salmon, organic strawberries and V8 on his list.

Today's visit with Tina as always was helpful in getting me prepared for my next goals. We talked through my successful nutrition and hydration at Timberman, designed some new bars for me to try from You Bar and then got down to business - my new eating plan. In essence, the next 3 weeks are going to be an attempt to trick my body into losing weight again by mixing things up and giving me enough protein to repair my worn muscles. We rarely talk calories (I have a hard time counting them) and instead talk in servings. My new plan is going to be tough - a lot more lean protein than I'm used to (a whopping 12 oz a day) and a super tiny allowance for fat (between 35-38 g a day). Since today I learned each ounce of protein from meat averages 2 g of fat, that means if I get at 2 oz of my protein from non-meat sources, I only have 15 g of fat left to spend during the day. Not much if you consider that a teaspoon of olive oil or butter has 5 g fat and most of our starches have some fat content - even if only 1 or 2 grams. Essentially this means I have to make some hard choices these next three weeks and eliminate most of my "luxuries" that I've been allowed to enjoy this past triathlon season - i.e. chocolate, mayo, regular salad dressing, butter, potato chips and the most disappointing of all, wine. Yes, wine must be counted as a fat and so most nights (thankfully not every night) I will have to go without.

So. . . if I'm a little grumpy the next few days as I adjust to my new plan, I apologize. The grumpiness will disappear soon and hopefully this will be just the jump start I need to get me back on track and losing again.

Tomorrow - I tackle the start of my final class - strength training - with a 6 am core endurance class.


TriGirl Kate O said...

Boo hiss on the no-wine-every-night edict! That's the only thing that keeps me sane these days, and it helps me sleep! It's been great training with you and I'm looking forward to our new year's training (did i just type that?!)

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

That is quite a challenging syllabus - which I am sure you'll ace!

I agree with Kate about the wine, though.

Michelle said...

We can be sober together :) You are making some great goals and I love your approach with it being the fall semester :)