On the path to Africa – Results, where are you!!!!??
I’m officially out 6 weeks away from flying to Africa and 7 weeks out from my next major running event.
The nervousness and panic is periodic, and seems to come in bouts. My training is on schedule though in my own mind not feeling hilly enough. General health is good although the state of my respiratory system is average, and this comes with a referral to see an allergy specialist.
After experiencing a constant state of mucusy build up in my throat, chest, and sinuses, over what feels like the last 6-8 months, numerous doctors appointments later I have found out I am highly allergic to dirt, dust, grasses, pollens, and almost anything airborne. With treatment plans involving a commitment of 3 months of weekly injections and then later 3-5 years of monthly booster shots, this news means I can only currently only manage said allergies with a nasal spray until I can make some serious decisions about my life plan for that time.
The nasal spray makes minimal difference but nothing really can be done to help me in time for Africa so training is still forging ahead as planned mucusy build up and all! Yeehaa!
I am currently seeing Lynette my Miha Body Tech trainer 2 x a week most weeks, and am running 3 x a week following my Lazy Runner marathon program designed by Marie. This is all going well and on top of that I’m managing to fit in the odd cycling session, and my own workouts in between.
But what isn’t quite going to plan is the result. After struggling up the tuart walk hill today in Bold Park I contemplated the speed and ease with which some of my Phattie running buddies are currently running the same hill, while meanwhile here I am sucking air, treading slow, and going at a snails pace up what seemed like a neverending incline. I don’t remember it being this hard last year…so what’s going wrong here???
My running is at about the same standard as my marathon form from this time last year, but I am currently heavier, and my body fat is a few percent higher and psychologically, I’m not feeling strong. Hrmm, much to consider I have!
So I pose myself the following questions:
Am I training as hard as I can, physically and mentally, and nutritionally? (That’s right if nutritionally isn’t a word, I’m making it one!)
Is my recovery adequate physically, and mentally, and nutritionally?
Where can I recognise areas for improvement?
Am I Training as hard as I can: Mentally my automated response is no, however I suspect this is my own silly psychological belief that I am forever capable of more, and probably a fault of my own that I measure results by the state of exhaustion or soreness my body experiences which is just training hard, not smart. So lets check my ego at the door and put the mental part of this question aside.
Physically, the answer would have to be yes as my various muscle groups are experiencing fatigue and I am often found to be doing the penguin waddle after leg day, the pensioner back bend after core and balance work, and my personal favourite the stiff limbed sausage roll out of bed when my limbs cease to bend efficiently and everything seems to be hurting all at once.
This is normal for this time in my training regime. And it’s usually about now I’m starting to look forward to taper. So that all seems about the same.
Nutrition: Has been on and off good and bad. Again this is normal for me. I’ve never been one for ‘strict’ dieting or sticking to a plan long term. In fact I hate salad, and I cave into cravings like anyone else. But I just put myself back on the wagon with vigor time and time again, and as long as I’m forever striving for a permanent seat on that wagon I call that a good job. My nutrition and fuelling during my runs has been good as gold so no dramas there.
So what that leaves is recovery, physically: I have just started getting massage once every fortnight, however that is twice as less than last year. Plus my work schedule allowed me to slip in the odd triggerpoint massage session last year which I have not been doing so much of lately. I was also subjecting myself to horrible ice baths last year after my long runs. I can surely benefit from this again and will reluctantly endeavour to do so as my distances increase. Anyone who has experienced ice bathing before will just know how much I am looking forward to that!
Mentally: My recovery has been important to me. I put a lot of time into thinking about it for sure however the quality of the time spent actually executing it could definitely be better and more efficient.
Nutritionally: I’m confident this has improved. I am eating more avocado, fish on a regular basis. Udos oil intake has been spot on along with multi vitamin and zinc and vitamin c intake. I eat a broader range of veges weekly, even if I have been sneaking in more goodies. Portion size could probably be a bit more minimal.
So areas for improvement are:
Recovery needs to be more efficient. I will fit in a regular triggerpoint session weekly on top of my massage sessions and 2 x a week on non-massage weeks. Ice baths will be done after long weekend runs.
Portion sizes have got to come down so I can drop a kilo or two again. Why am I cursed with eyes always bigger than my belly?! Doesn’t matter, I will grab less and be a bit hungry. Appetite thermostat should be reset in about three weeks or so if I can do that.
Goodies in the house should be a no-no. If its not there I’m 80% less likely to have it. Plain and simple. Dammit, all those honey roasted macadamias and French vanilla almonds are going to have to find a new home that’s not in my belly.
Wow! It’s amazing how empowered I feel just from having written this all down and so I challenge anyone reading this to also take an analysis of where you are currently sitting on the fitness/goal continuum. Make a checklist to improve your position you might be amazed and what comes out when you put some thought in.
Now off I go to forge ahead to become the greatest fitmidget runner with allergies that I can be! Wheeeeeeeee!!!