Monday, July 11, 2011

Preparing for Big Announcement, Plus Hills Run Report

By Wednesday, there will hopefully be a big announcement about the Tri project... and it may be super exciting indeed.  Stay tuned, as news will be forthcoming!

In the meantime, I shall amuse you with training reports.

First, you should know that I changed my diet.  After packing on about 25 pounds of discomfort that I called Connecticut Pudge, I was getting pretty eager to work off a little before the tri.  I had been about the same weight since college, until I moved to New England.  Then... I blame lack of biking, crazy shifts including nights days and evenings in the same week, and a long, long commute.  Oh, and the stress eating.  I expect it'll take until about December before I'm back to my Seminary weight, if things keep going as they are now.  But at this point, I'm a notch smaller on my belt and there are trousers fitting me which have been snug for a long time.

Basically, we went paleo, which is to say that we cut easy carbs almost entirely, and quadrupled our veggies and about tripled our protein.  For a slacker vegetarian-like person, let me tell you, that's a BOATLOAD of veggies!  But eating strictly vegetarian with few to no animal products over the last few years during a couple of EXTREMELY stressful years- I hadn't realized how much I had come to rely on the easy carbs.  I hadn't realized how much of my meals were mostly rice, or how much bread I was really consuming.  I hadn't realized how carby veggie patties can be... especially if you eat two and a half of them.  And of course, by hour 24 of a 30 hour shift, anyone in the universe would be eating the homefried potatoes from the cafeteria, too.  

This led us to a few weeks of change.  In the first week, it was easy.  All things virtuous are easy at first.  It's exciting to consult the list to find out how much of this or that we can eat and to try new cooking methods.  But like any virtue, it is short lived.  In the second and third week, I felt like I would sell my own grandmother for a few easy carbs.  I was dreaming of bread baking.  I would try to workout and run out of steam about two minutes in, slogging away at a pace that the aforementioned grandmother might kindly call "a nice walk".  I very nearly cried right at Crossfit.    

And then the weirdest thing of all happened.

We went for a hills run with our tri club.  Now, I've detailed before my lack of affinity for running.  I'm a cycle sort of girl.  Two wheels, nice and fast.  That's how I like it.  But running is necessary for tri.  So I've been working hard at the running.  And it's usually very, very miserable.  There is panting and moaning, pain, sadness, more pain, and extreme slowness.  Toddlers like running with me because I am their pace person.

So the first uphill was the normal slog, til we got to the first gathering spot.  I was breathing pretty hard... but suddenly, I had my wind back and I was feeling fresh and energetic again.  "Hm.  This is strange," think I.

Not nearly as strange as what was about to happen.  We went into the second climb, which contained a section of little rollers (tiny ups and downs which I usually called conveniently packaged misery), followed by a steep switchback.  As I went over the rollers, I suddenly realized that it felt...

Effortless.  I actually thought I could put on a bit more speed.  So I did.

And I caught up with two of the faster girls in front of me.

And I still didn't feel remotely winded.  Or even miserable.  In fact...

I was enjoying myself.

A Lot.

The run was actually fun.  Nice scenery.  Fast pace, so I felt like I was going somewhere.  And I was not  totally miserable.

At the small swells, I could surge upwards like I had a little nuclear reactor inside my legs.  At the switchback, there was a little energy reserve that brought me up that last little bit.

I was actually kind of freaked out.  This sort of thing just doesn't happen to people like me.  I know my place in the running world, and it is not a happy place.  Until this run.

The next day, M was dying a thousand deaths (Crossfit had killed everyone who did this lunge workout), but I felt good.  Just a little tight (more stretching in my future!).

So something strange has been happening.  This might be beneficial.

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