Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oh What a Difference Calories Make!

Yesterday I had a plan.  My training for the day consisted of a fairly short swim* and a 90 minute bike ride.  I was going to spend some time with my daughter until she went to work and then I had a meeting at 2. 

My plan was to get up early, like 4am, take my thyroid medicine (on an empty stomach and wait an hour to eat) like I'm supposed to, eat some breakfast and then I would go to the pool about 6:30 to get the swim done.  I would then ride from 8-9:30ish, getting me home in time to take a quick shower to spend time with my daughter before my meeting.

That was all well and good, except that I didn't get to sleep until about 11 or so Tuesday night, so I couldn't make myself wake up yesterday morning.  When I woke up about 5, I was dragging so I didn't take my meds until about 5:30ish.  I decided I didn't really have to eat before the swim so I packed my breakfast and got to the pool on time.

YAY for going with the flow!!

Now, let me back up a second and say I had a "harder" run on Tuesday.  It wasn't "hard" but it was my first track work out in a LONG LONG time!  When I started swimming, I could tell I was ZAPPED but I finished the swim and was pleased with how it felt.  I hopped in the car to head to the place I wanted to ride my bike.  When I looked at the breakfast I had packed (an oatmeal/protein concoction I have made up that I like and tolerate pretty well), I just did NOT want to eat it. 

Now, let me say this...I KNOW what I'm supposed to do.  I know I have to eat if I plan to workout more than an hour.  I knew I had already been swimming a good 40 minutes.  I knew I had 90 minutes on the bike.  I KNEW I needed to eat...and I just couldn't even think about putting it in my mouth.  Thankfully I had a Picky Bar in the car that I was able to choke down.  200 calories in.

I got on the bike and started to pedal.  My legs felt DEAD.  I expected to be fatigued from the run the day before.  I reasoned with myself that I was just going to have to push until I warmed up a bit.  It might be slow, but I will dig in and get it done.

Fifteen minutes in and I was getting slower and slower and slower.  I expected the Picky Bar to be hitting my system at some point so I had a chat with myself, and then I texted my coach.  I KNEW I was completely underfueled for the workout, but I really didn't want to quit.  I didn't have time to eat and go back out.  As I was wrestling with myself about what to do, I found a gel in my bike bag!!!  One that had caffeine in it as well!!  I choked down the gel with some water and after ignoring the text back from my coach (sorry...just being honest...for my athletes who are reading this--do as I say, not as I do!!)...I continued on my ride.

I took a road that could either lead me back to my car or could be ridden as a "side route" and add on a little "climb".  By the time I got to the point I had to make a decision I was feeling MUCH better!!  That 120 calorie gel with the caffeine kick did the trick for me and gave me just enough zip I felt like I could keep going.

I KNEW I was riding on fumes at that point so I headed back to the car to see if I could find another gel hiding somewhere ((one of the advantages of living a "pack-rat lifestyle").  I did find one and choked it down before heading out for the final bit of my ride.  I rode so much harder that last bit that I made a loop faster than I had before so I still had some time left on the clock when I got back to my car the second time.  But by then my stomach was growling loudly so I headed home.

Again...I KNOW I have to eat.  That's not news to me.  I KNOW a body won't work without proper fueling.  I don't know what I was thinking.  However, I did learn something.  There is NO DOUBT the calories made the difference.  I'm sure the little splash of caffeine helped some, but the calories are what kept me going.

It's all mental, until it's physical!!

Until next time...

*Okay, to be completely honest, the swim was "leftover" from Wednesday.  I know missed workouts are missed and not made up, but I decided since I was actually supposed to do physical therapy before my bike ride, I would swim instead and that would take care of both!

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