Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rave running

Day 2.  2 for 2.  It is a good start, but there is much work to do.  I had a decent swim this morning.  It was mostly technique work because I am pretty much totally overhauling my stroke.  I expect that I will be much slower for awhile until I get the muscle memory down and then after that, I basically have to build up the musculature that is doing the swimming now because it is totally different than my old stroke.  In the end I will be much faster since I am now pulling with the big back and chest muscles instead of having my arm slip through the water.  Tomorrow morning is a swim time trial at 100 yards, 200 yards and 400 yards.  This is going to suck big time.  I haven’t even swum a continuous 400 yards since August.  I expect some pretty miserable results, but it is all part of the process.

                Tonight’s run was the highlight of the day.  It was a beautiful night.  The temperature was in the mid-40’s and the moon was full and just a bit eerie with the clouds.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been running back in Portsmouth, NH along the seacoast with the moon rising out over the ocean.  Those were some of the most amazing runs I’ve ever had and I’m thankful to have run those runs.  Full moon runs on a clear night obviously don’t happen that often, so when you get one, take advantage of it! 
Moonrise over the Isle of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast

                Good eats were had today with no cheating, a 900 calorie deficit, and good paleo adherence.  Dinner tonight was a simple favorite.  Roasted cauliflower with southwestern spices and pan seared tilapia with habanero salsa.  YUM! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Off on the right foot

Day 1.  It is 8:20 PM and I made it.  Good little run at lunch and some fun strength training this evening.  To kickstart the fat loss I decided to do some intermittent fasting, so skipped my afternoon chicken breast and dinner.  I’ll go about 18 hours between meals, which is a good place to start with IF.  It isn’t so bad really, and studies have actually shown that it is good for you.  Here is a link to Mark’s daily apple where Mark Sisson writes about intermittent fasting.  The article has a bunch of links to research as well if you are so inclined to continue reading.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

21 Days

                This is the prologue post of what I am going to call the 21 days of Christmas.  During the next 21 days starting tomorrow I am going to attempt to be as strict as humanly possible with what goes into my mouth as well as how closely I stick to my training plan.  I have been pretty relaxed about both since the end of August.  As a case in point, I’m working on some delicious veggie chips and my second tasty Sierra Nevada beer tonight and I didn’t do my scheduled run.  To be fair, I did have to write a presentation tonight which required a couple of bottles of creativity and ate  up most of my evening.  I haven’t really gone off of the deep end since August eating wise (I’m up about 4lbs with a lot of that being muscle), but I’ve got work to do to be in a really good spot for the real beginning of the 2013 Xterra season. 

                So, why now?  Well I haven’t exactly been motivated about getting back into regimented training.  I’ve actually enjoyed just doing different stuff and not being anal about everything I eat.  I’ve also realized that to a certain extent I have sacrificed a lot of the things I love to do outside of Xterra.  Don’t get me wrong, I love training for and racing Xterra.  I have rediscovered my love for strength training, going for just fun mountain bike rides, and I can’t wait to hit the slopes and rekindle that fire.  So again, why now?  Honestly, I think I have let the pendulum swing a bit too far away from structured training and I need to get it into the center again.  You see, I like improving when racing and training for Xterra’s.  The challenge that the sport presents, whether intrinsic or external, and the victory over or die trying approach to those challenges is what makes this sport so rewarding.

                So, what does the 21 days of Christmas entail?  It will actually be 24 days, so from tomorrow, 11/28 to 12/21.  I have built in 3 “cheat” days for scheduled holiday parties.  During those other 21 days the rules are as follows: 

                Complete every scheduled workout

                Ski or go for fun mountain bike rides whenever possible

                Run a 500-750 calorie deficit/day.  This should result in 3-5 lbs of fat loss over this time.

                Eat strictly Paleo/Primal (that means no more bottles of creativity)

Keep carbs between 50-100 grams/day to facilitate higher % of fat loss and promote metabolic efficiency.

                My hope is that this will not be a complete shit show.  I’m going to write every day about how things have gone.  I promise to keep it honest and funny because I think trying to do things like this can be kinda fun, if a bit OCD.  Hopefully 21 days will get the ball rolling again and I won’t need to do silly challenges with myself about getting off my ass and achieving some goals.  Now that I’ve finished my second Sierra Nevada, I’m going to go rock some twinkle twinkle little star on the piano.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bring on the winter

I am a skier.  I haven't skied much in the past 2 years.  I miss it.  I miss it a lot.  I guess I stopped skiing for a couple of reasons.  I got sick of the drive on I-70 for one.  And as I got more serious about Xterra racing, I found myself training earlier in the winter on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Before I started mountain biking, skiing was my favorite thing to do.  I would still say that a perfect day skiing beats a perfect day mountain biking.  There is something about being out in nature on the mountain on a bluebird day that is unbeatable.  The silence when you are way back in the backcountry on a bluebird day combined with the massive mountains surrounding you and the feeling of just being, for lack of a better word, insignificant, in that grand scene is soul quenching.  it just feels "right".  I've missed this feeling.  I could stand at the top of a ridge immersed in that feeling for quite some time without moving and it is perfect.  I honestly can't wait to get back to that.  I'm sure that my triathlon fitness will be delayed until later in the year.  Well, it can wait.  I'll get there when the time is right.  For now, I need the mountains.  So, I've plunked down the schillings for the epic pass and now I'm waiting for some serious snow.  I know it is only mid-November, but I'm ready. 

I'm going to get some fat powder planks this year so I can really rip some big lines, play more in the trees, hit some bigger cliffs and maybe do some touring.  I'm going to push myself on the mountain this year and try to get back to being the skier I used to be.  I'm not going to venture into the park because I'm over that, and I don't think my body can handle a big fall on the hardpack anyways.  I'm older than my 31 years in that regard.  This body has taken a lot of abuse from my days as a park rat.  That isn't going to keep me from finding my limit again on cliffs and steeps.  Hopefully it won't take too long to recapture what I used to know and be able to do comfortably. 

With that in mind, here is the last decent sized cliff I hit before I hung up the skis 2 years ago.  I'm 90% certain this is the cliff that is as far skiers left as you can go before you get out of bounds off of chair 37 or 38 in Blue Sky Basin at Vail.  For the record, I cleanly dropped this cliff, unlike the joker in this video.  Honestly, get your weight back man!  Nice over the bars though!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been really into Gregory Alan Isakov.  The song 3 a.m. kinda sums up my thoughts about clearing my head, answering some questions and getting back into nature.  Love it right now.

Keep the tips up!