Monday, January 31, 2011


 I talk a lot about it on here. Probably because it's the only thing that is constant. Change is inevitable. And it keeps happening, whether we like it or not.

Things change for the better. And for the worse.

Over the last three weeks, I've changed my diet. And as skeptical as others were (and admittedly, as I was), it actually had a vast impact on me. On a cleanse, it is virtually impossible to snack. I snack a lot. Or I used to. It would be a chocolate passing a coworkers desk. Or a bag of (seemingly healthy) sunchips. Now, no more! Now, snacking is a piece of fruit. Or some veggies. But mostly, it just doesn't occur.

I'm finally to the point when I don't even miss coffee. There are no lulls in the mid-morning when I feel I need a jolt of caffeine. When I have lunch, I don't need a diet soda. I crave water. And the know those that make you think you want a piece of chocolate after lunch? Gone!

The best part is, I got in about 18 hours of training last week. And I didn't feel overly tired or overly sore. And my legs didn't swell. I haven't had preservatives in three weeks. I feel like a new person. My runs have gotten easier. I've lost a few pounds. And I sleep through the night (except for one night when I dreamt I was pregnant...don't ask).

Another change...I have zero discontent in my life right now. I mean, yes, I wish the weather were nice. And I wish the sun was shining every day. And I wish I could go out and run in shorts and ride outside...but, life, in general, is pretty damn awesome.

I absolutely love my job. It's great to be surrounded by people who appreciate what you do and the tie you put in.

I'm also working one day a week at the bike shop. And as slow as it's been through the winter, I love that place (even though it almost burned to the ground on Saturday) and the people I work with.

I have a great team. An amazing family. And incredible friends.

I could have said this all six months ago, but there would've been a hesitancy about it all. Today, it's genuine. Training is going fabulously. And I love my modest life. Even if Saturday evening only consists of grocery shopping and going to bed early.

Everything really does happen for a reason. And sometimes, we just have to get through some shit to see that reality.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh man...

Life has been kinda crazy as of late for various reasons. This past week has been a bit of a blur. There was a three-day weekend that went by all too fast. And lots of work. And meetings. And training sessions. Though not much in the way of socializing.

Saturday morning started off with a lactate threshold test on the bike. And then off to work at the bike shop. Wow. I missed that place. SOooo much different than corporate world. By the time I got home that night, I was ready to crash.

Sunday was a nice long run. I awoke willing to give my left leg for a pancake, but instead had a banana...and off I went for 13 miles. It was glorious. And cold, like 21 degrees. But I enjoyed every minute of hills. I later went to the gym for some weights and core work.

Monday was the Holiday. And I actually worked from home. I awoke and worked and decided not to leave the house until the work was done. That was before a two hour trainer ride, which, to my surprise was somewhat taxing. Coach has us doing these one leg drills. I am so not skilled. But I am convinced that I will improve.

This week at work has been pretty insane, so I find myself reaaaaally looking forward to my training sessions. Ironically, I did mile repeats on the track yesterday morning in 40 degree weather. And today after work, I cancelled my run because we were getting more white death. By the time i was making the trek home at 4:30, there was about 4-5 inches. And the snow kept getting under my pants leg and chilling my ankles.

So, this cleanse? Um,'s not exactly easy. Especially when training 2-3 hours a day. In fact, tomorrow I get to introduce organic free range chicken and fish. And. I. Can't. Wait. The guys at work are having a heyday with this. Every day, I get invited to go eat lunch at the pizza buffet. Or Chipotle. Or to join them for coffee. Or go to happy hour. Fucking hilarious. Tonight, I caved and had a heaping spoon of natural peanut butter. Nuts are not on the cleanse, but seriously, I'm not out to purge my system, just to get rid of the preservatives and crap in my diet. So I don't feel so bad. I just needed something to make me not feel ravenous. I really wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so at least I didn't go off the deep end.

I don't know I've lost ant significant weight, but I do feel better on the whole. Save for last night, I've slept better this past ten nine days than I have in a very long time. And my legs aren't swelling like they usually do with a heavy training load. And I generally just feel good. In fact, this morning at swim practice, a fellow swimmer told me I was "on fire today". I'm not sure if I was actually swimming any faster, but I didn't feel like I just wanted to stop.

A more intense hunger and a bit of fatigue has hit the last couple days and despite that, I was thinking last night about how if I went to a pub right now, I most definitely wouldn't be ordering a burger and fries. Too heavy! And I think a large portion of bread and/or cheese would make me feel lethargic. I'm quite enjoying these veggie based meals. So, don't be surprised if my diet changes for the better permanently. If that's all I get from this, I'm a happy camper.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have the Wall Street Journal sitting on my desk at work. It's from 12/31/10. And it's just the entertainment section. I picked it up a week or so ago with intentions of reading the cover story "Cultural Resolutions" in which artists share their goals for the coming year. I don't know why I hadn't read it until now, but it's intriguing and inspiring to see that even simple things can be goals. Nanette Lepore, a designer, wants to do "more flirting, including with her husband". Ozzy Osbourne: "I'm still alive, so I would say that I was successful with my one resolution last year".  There is a pianist who "intends to do the most difficult thing - to make people dance" and a Danish artist who wants to "create a work of art that only consists of a feeling". David Shore, creator and producer of "House": "i want to find something else that inspires me." Isn't that always a fabulous goal? hmm...

So, the beginning of the year provides this opportunity to formulate new goals. And I've been tossing some around in my head, but I think it's time I actually get a few of them down on paper.

I've actually already started one. This "cleanse". It's not a cleanse so much to remove the toxins from my body as it is to remove the shit from my diet. I've tried, unsuccessfully on a few occasions to clean up my diet. And I always fail. I figured a good sweeping of all the bad (like diet soda, coffee, sugar, vending machine snacks, the crap I want before I go to bed at night...) was a good way to get there. It's a focused attempt at breaking some bad habits. Seriously, they're habits at this point. I used to have that coffee every morning because it was what I always did. And the Coke Zero at lunch? The same. And having something sweet after lunch? yup. HABIT! The idea is that I will bbreak these habits after three weeks, and therefore eat cleaner all the time.

Already, I've noticed changes. I don't get overly hungry (which, yes, Zen, I'm sure comes from my food choices that create a spike and then a dip in blood sugar), but I also don't get overly full. I was eating pretty well; plenty of fruits and vegetables. But probably too much sugar, bread, crackers, Now, well, now it's lotsa water, which leaves me with better hydrated skin! It just so happens to be a recovery week, so maybe that has something to do with it, but I have steady energy throughout the day. I don't have that dread after work that there lies another trainer session. There is a slight dip in the mid-morning, but I think that will pass as I continue to cope without my caffeine. AND I'm sleeping through the night! That used to never happen. I can't wait to see what happens in the days to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That wasn't so bad

Hmmm....The day started out snowing. It may have let up just a little, but it's snowing, yet again. I went to the store last night and it was a madhouse. Like el fucking muerto blanco is coming!!! Better load up on food because we might starve in a snow storm. Really? I hoofed it to and from work in the snow. People looked at me like I'm crazy. And I might be, but not for that reason.

But because of the snow, today was a trainer day. After walking home from work, I put some spaghetti squash in the oven and hopped on the bike for an hour of time trialing with Coach Troy. It warmed me up, so really, it wasn't that bad.
Today was also day #1 of "the cleanse". And I made it through successfully.

Now before you all start passing judgement about what this "cleanse" is, exactly, let me just tell you first and foremost, this is in no way a fast. It is simply a means of eating clean. REALLY clean.

It's 21 days long. And for the first 10 days, one can eat his weight in organic (non-starchy) vegetables. And have half as many servings of organic fruit. And you're allowed 1/2 cup brown rice or 1 cup lentils per day. And lots of water. Whey protein is also allowed (and recommended) in 2-3 shakes per day. There's just no meat. No dairy. No preservatives. No sugar. Spices and a couple tbsp of oil are also recommended.

Going in, I was terrified I'd be starving. But so far, I've not had any major low blood sugar moments or lingering hunger pains. I did, however, realize just how dependent upon caffeine I am. Not having that morning coffee is no bueno. The morning headache and sleepy eyes are something that will dissipate, but I'm not sure coffee is something I'll give up forever.

I actually didn't even have the rice/lentils today. I made the aforementioned spaghetti squash, which was topped with broccoli, carrots and a ginger sauce I mixed last night. Yum. I may feel differently in a few days, but for now, I'm feeling pretty good. 21 days is a long time though.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Off to a good start

Over the weekend, I got in two fabulous outdoor rides and two longish runs. I also moved back to my old 'hood and made lots of food. It was a damn near fantastic.

Firday was so gloriously sunny and warm, with just a little crazy wind. I mean, shorts on the bike on December 31st?!? Yowza.

I had planned to start the year with a 5 mile race....but I woke to rain, which didn't scare me...but then my buddy called and told me it was $35 registration. And I just got my first real paycheck the day before. I think living like a miser cheapened me up. $7 a mile, or more than $1 a minute just seemed to rich for my blood. So, I bagged it. Instead, I got myself settled into my new digs. And that's when I discovered that I may have a clothes addiction. Half my clothes are still in storage and I have 32 tank tops. I also have about 14 pairs of jeans, 7 pairs of black tights, two huge drawers full of winter training clothes... just at this location! And I've downsized every time I've moved (which was more than a few times this year) and I haven't bought much of anything in the last six months.

But whatever. I waited 'til the sun decided to shine and went out for a nice 10 miles at a brisk pace. It was sooo nice to go out and run an old familiar course. Again, in shorts and a sports bra. The temps were dropping, but I was taking full advantage of the warmness that was.

Sunday morning was a scheduled run with a buddy of mine. Unfortunately, he bailed without really letting me know (hence the word: bailed). Fortunately, I recruited a cyclist buddy that signed up for IM St George so I was not alone. It was a coldish run. I went from wearing shorts and a sports bra on Saturday to tights, sleeves, jackets, gloves, hat on Sunday. I wasn't planning to go fast or hard, but I think the pace ended up fairly spirited.

After 13 miles, I arrived home to a text from Judi asking if I wanted to ride. I had just enough time to down a smoothie, a coffee and warm myself up before piling on riding layers and hitting some good hills for a couple hours. Let me just say that 30 degrees in crazy heavy wind is not the most fun riding I've ever had. And it's much more exhausting than you might think, but we had some good laughs and we're building back our friendship in a good way.

By the time I got home, I was ready to scarf some homemade black beans and rice, thaw in a hot shower and cuddle up with Clubber.

I think the only good thing about Monday is that I got to make the two mile trek to work and then again after work. The legs are feeling a little trashed as we acclimate back into base training, so the active recovery is a nice bonus. Plus, not fighting traffic and paying exorbitant parking fees, not to mention getting to watch the sun rise AND set is pretty cool.