One of the changes that has come out of the last few months of upheaval is that I’ve been forced away from my routine. By itself this isn’t a good thing. I’ve kept track of what I’ve eaten and how much activity I’ve done each week with reasonable certainty since November 2006. With a little data cajoling, I could produce a number as to how many calories or grams of fat and fiber I’ve had since then. I’ve kept meticulous records of intake and activity and aside from maybe 3 days out of every year my records were 95% accurate. All that went out the window 2 weeks ago. The triple threat of terrible circumstances, overwhelming responsibilities and unfamiliar surroundings were enough to completely blow me out of the water. While back in PA I exercised a bit and spent a ton of time working around the house, but I ate what I wanted, where I wanted, when I wanted. 1 week of that was enough to erase 1½ YEAR’s worth of progress in a snap. Let me say it again for emphasis. 1 WEEK = 1½ YEARS. I like to look on the bright side, and the one good thing that has come out of it is that I had an excuse to just stop and spend my time reflecting a little bit instead. Here’s what I’ve learned:
I’ve known for a while that what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working. I’ve been steadily eating more even though I’m trying to eat less. Everything I have been eating is the wrong thing. I’ve been riding more, but not enough to compensate. Some of it is due to life, stress and circumstances, but not all. The only thing the obsessive-compulsive logging has been doing is documenting the spiral.
Valuable Information and Soul-Crushing Reality All Bound In One Convenient Package
A month or 2 ago I picked up this book on a lunch break walk to Barnes & Noble. I found a ton of good information about strength training, flexibility, cross training, different foods to eat, a little riding technique, bike fit, and interesting discussions of biomechanics. The bad came in the form of the detailed training matrices which were a sober reminder of the fact that I just haven’t been riding enough to make any kind of real progress. I’ve been fooling myself that my epic 5 mile round trip commute qualifies as ‘training’. Other activities are too sporadic as well.
I decided to keep the journal, but drop the digitized super-detailed information which will save me a few hours a week. Next I signed up at the gym where I work and bought some sessions with a personal trainer. The time has come to ask for second opinions about where to go and what to do next. I’ve been to one appointment for evaluation. Cardio looks good, and they set me up on a strength training program. It was great to learn a routine with proper technique, and I think I finally have the patience to stick with a meticulous regimen, but right now I’m about 36 hours out from my first session and most of my muscles feel like absolute crap. biceps – crap. chest – crap. quadriceps – crap. abs – double crap. I think I averaged just over 11 mph on my commute yesterday. The challenge is going to be how to work everything together. Unless the recovery period improves from strength training, I just can’t imagine doing extended cardio or cycling efforts on the off days. Because I need food to build muscle, I’m not going to try and restrict the amount I’m eating any more, but I HAVE to control food quality in a major way.
It’s not even about how I look. It’s not about any rewards I’ve set up for myself that I haven’t achieved yet. It’s all about not making any effing progress and being sick of it. That and I’m beyond done with hauling a full sized me up hills. I’m done with negative posts. I’m not sure if this new experiment is going to get me any closer and there are still a bunch of variables to work out, but one thing is for certain and that is it’s time to mix it up a bit.