June 1 – No fun but I saw what I was learning

Started  June1 at 4:30 am, with a group of boy scouts.  I ate a dutch oven meal that included potatoes, sausage, eggs and butter.  Felt it in my stomach all day.  LESSON:  huge Breakfasts don’t work.

Walked 20 miles on the Bartram Trail in Western NC.  Non-eventful exercise and hits the category of downright easy.  Thank you, Jill, for teaching me that a strong core prevents fatigue.

A few weeks ago, I inquisitively took up “some” Pilates…I got woman’d into it.  My wife and two ladies that she exercises with suggested some change in the politest way possible.  OK, maybe it wasn’t so polite.

My history has been that of the traditional dysfunctional American male who has gone past his athletic prime.  I used to go to a Gym a few times a week, do some cardio a few times a week (few can mean “one” and I will feel no sense of guilt about my idea of “some cardio” for the week) all the while eating whatever I want to, whenever I want to, only occasionally saying “no” to 2nds and concluding that i have no issues with self control.  The truth is that over the last 10 years, I’ve added 20 pounds, and my running and cycling times have consistently gone down, year after year.

What is the investment to reverse that trend?

My weaknesses spoke loudly to me.  I can’t stretch.  I can’t admit that my pants are tighter than they were 5 years ago.  And, after 4 months of effort, I still have Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot.  Eating till full is the norm, and I had no vision about how to get to a place where I could compete against the best in the US.

Reading the trade rags on how to compete necessarily meant more than buying into science that is claimed all over the Internet or someone else’s summary of how to do it.  I had to believe and buy into a blend of visions on what is required to achieve excellence.  There are no “how to win a duathlon in your middle aged years” publications that I have found.

There are duathlon plans out there, and they all had in common the idea of establishing a baseline where I will spend 10-12 weeks establishing a baseline of whole body strength.  That means 5 sessions a week of 30 minutes of running and biking, on alternating days.  I haven’t done more than 3 days a week in a year.  Concurrently, I am going to strengthen my whole body by adding TRX and Pilates.

My biggest threat is injury.  I am choosing to believe that nothing will prevent injury better than overall core strength.  At the least, my discovery that I lacked any day after pain on the Bartram when everyone else was sore lead me to ask, “what is different?”  It wasn’t leg strength or mental fortitude.  I had the strongest core in the group.  For that, I am “all in” with the training programs of the ladies at Core Studio Pilates.  The hike on the Bartram trail was easy for exactly 1 reason.  I was able to use my core to keep strong and upright when my body was urging me to lean over and drudge on.

Flexibility equals longevity.  I don’t know if that is true, but I am actively choosing to believe it, as well.  As such, Ann and Shona are my guides, with a little help from Nan, now and then.  All these ladies are Yoga instructors, and the act of stretching while listening to their background guidance and music is changing me for the better.  They may be reading this, so I need to be a little quiet, but I like Yoga.

Age 47 issues are going to be addressed in the short term by two guys….Dan and Mark.  Dan is a Chiropractor who does these sorts of events himself.  Mark is a dry needle therapist who deserves his own post on what that is and how it helps.

My diet comes from my wife’s support and powdered protein.  My last and best friend for that part is myfitnesspal.com  It runs on my phone and I log all of my exercise and food intake on it.  Logging everything I eat is humbling.  Seeing what the totals are is already causing big change.  When I started this, I weight 189.  After less than a week, I am at 182 and change.

Later, as I get further into it, I will find and hire a triathlete coach.

Need a cycling club and a lot of competitive racing opportunities.

I think.

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