Monday, November 19, 2012

Reading Enjoyment

This weekend was fun.  Maybe a little too much fun.  I was fairly well behaved Friday night, but Saturday was Kevin and Becky's wedding.  The reception was at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City.  Open bar included sangria and the dinner included chicken paella.  I was a pretty happy camper.  I can't say as much for Sunday morning.  Saturday I did Body Pump at the gym and Sunday afternoon, after a couple of naps, I met up with Sarah for a 13 mile run.  It went a lot better than expected.  I also got to test out my new Garmin 910XT that I was able to get half off from a friend.  We only stopped once for an extended period of time and that was for a bathroom break and to fill up our water bottles.  Since we started just before 5 it wasn't too hot and it only got cooler as it got later.  I think that was a saving grace for me.  I think today was my laziest day, though.  I called in sick from work because my throat was sore and I knew I would be useless at work.  I spent most of the day sleeping.  I spent about an hour reading and the rest of the time, if I was awake, it was because I was eating. 

What was I reading?  I was reading this book called "Sex, Lies, and Triathlon" by Leib Doddell.  This is a comical read for triathletes.  I think some runners would find it amusing as well.  I'm only about half way through it right now.  But, Leib talk about the life of a triathlete through some true and some fabricated stories that I'm assuming are based off of some kind of experience that he once had.  The parts that I've laughed the hardest about are when he's talking about health nutrition stores like GNC and NutriShop.  He says (summed up in my own words) "you go into a store and there is a young kid jacked up on new energy and tries to sell you on pre-workout, during workout, post-workout, when you're not working out, when you're thinking about working out supplements.  Why can't they just come up with a supplement so you don't have to work out?"  Another part is when he's talking about how when you tell people that you do an endurance sport, and they don't, they automatically assume that you are always full of energy and ready to get up and go at any moment in time.  Meanwhile, while sitting at work "I have to prop my head up with a pencil so that I can focus enough energy in my fingers to hit the keyboard keys hard enough to let the computer know I mean business".  This part really cracked me up because I literally do this all the time.  Except, I am usually using a water bottle.  Also, he says "it's just about every day that I am so tired that I am almost tempted enough to curl into the corner of the elevator to get 20 seconds of sleep while I'm waiting to get to the 20th floor of my office."  Yup, I wish almost every day I had found a secret place somewhere in my office that I could just go and hide for 10 minutes.  If you're looking for a slightly comical book about triathlons and triathletes, then go ahead and pick this book up.  It's pretty cheap and an easy read. 

On the subjects of eating and reading, I read an article from by Matt Fitzgerald called "When It's Good to Gain Weight".  I thought it was perfect timing for me to find this article because I have gained 5 solid pounds back since October 20.  I really liked this article because it differentiated why losing weight and maintaining a certain weight is different for endurance athletes as opposed to non-endurance athletes.  Here are the main points that I took away from the article:
  • Runners and other endurance athletes like to look good and be healthy too, but they also care about performance, and an athlete’s optimal racing weight is not the same as his or her healthy weight range. Most often, the body weight at which an athlete performs best falls at the lower end of his or her healthy weight range
  • [maintaining a certain weight year round]... For endurance athletes, this is unrealistic. Training and racing occur in cycles
  • (this one is my favorite) You could minimize post-race weight gain by reducing your food intake by an amount that’s commensurate to your reduction in training.  But it would be difficult to pull off because it takes a while for appetite to decrease after a drop in training volume. 
  • It is possible, of course, to let off-season weight gain get out of hand. The best way to avoid this is to take another cue from the elites and set a personal weight-gain limit.
This last point is talking to me (not literally) because 5 pounds is a good weight gain and I need to start reeling it in now.  I started off my tri season at my current weight and so I don't want to surpass that.  Especially since Thanksgiving is in a few days, followed by Christmas and New Year's and then on February 11 I start training for Vineman.  Wish me luck!

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