…is still out.
There are a couple of things that regularly seem to happen in my life: I hear what I want to hear and I don’t hear what I need to hear. Now this doesn’t happen all the time but occasionally and sometimes when it happens it is a royal bummer.
Thursday I had an appointment with a trainer. I was excited to just pick her brain for a minute and I really wanted to talk nutrition and fueling with her. I showed up for the appointment and she was great. She runs, a little. She has a half marathon under her belt but her main thing is weight training and getting people into shape. She asked me what I needed from her. Easy. I need a few things. I need someone to hang out with me all day to hand me healthy snacks at the right time, the perfect snacks to feed my muscles and to keep me from storing calories. I need someone to create a perfect training plan for me that integrates ALL my key (social) races. I need a 24/7 personal assistant/trainer. Can you do that? “What do you mean NO? What kind of business is this?”
In all seriousness I have a few issues.
1) I train. A lot. I work out hard and burn countless calories. On my Dailymile I see that I have burned 50 pounds of fat, burned over 964 donuts, gone over 1,414 miles (biking, swimming and running), done 286 workouts, gone .06 around the stinking world (I’m on my way people!). So why on earth do I have 24% body fat? How is that possible? Not saying I have anywhere near 50 pounds to lose, I would be gross and sickly, but I do have some extra poundage that is preventing me from performing at my full potential. I am not at my ideal race weight.
2) I don’t know what to eat and when and I feel hungry all the time.
3) I feel like I lack direction with my workouts and training. I need a yearly plan and that is hard considering I love to race. It is my hobby and it makes me happy.
To these issues she told me, “You need to cut back. You’re doing too much. Your body is in shock. Your calories are too low. You are not eating enough of the right calories and you body is breaking down muscle. When you do eat your body stores it. You need to back off.”
I was mad. Hot. Steaming. Seething. Boiling. Angry. I stopped listening. I mean I listened with my ears but I was no longer processing what she said. I did not blog last night because I needed to re-hear what she had told me and I needed to think about it. I needed to sit with it. How can I be doing too much? I feel fine. My body is fine. I’m not injured. I am doing what I love! How is this too much? How is this bad? How is my exercising making me store fat? What is going on? What does this mean? I work out too much therefore I can’t lose 10 pounds? This is ridiculous! Absurd. Redonkulous! Heart breaking. Sad. Anger-inducing. How do elite athletes do it? There has to be a way. It is some people’s job to work out 8 hours a day. Not mine but they can do it, why can’t I? I didn’t go there to hear that I needed to cut back. I went there to find out how I can eat better so that I can continue to do what I am doing. Is this not hearing what I need to hear? Hearing what I want? Was I taking it wrong? I came home in a rotten mood.
But realistically I know she is right. Kind of. She said I was eating about 1000 calories too few. I need to eat more of what I am already eating. My 6 meals a day is working. I have lost 2 pounds since beginning that. I just need to eat a little bit more and the right mix of protein, fat, and carbs.
Overall, yes. I need to rest more but really running 4/5 times a week, swimming 2/3 times a week and biking maybe 1/2 times a week is not too much. It just isn’t. I was crushed to hear that someone is telling me to back off. Can you tell a dog not to fetch a ball? A grandma not to knit? A painter not to paint? A gardener not to weed? This is what I do. This is my hobby. I enjoy it and want to keep doing it. It’s like telling someone to cut back the booze, or cut back smoking…. Only cut back exercise. ???? I am not injured. I don’t really see any immediate risk to my health. Although last night as I sat, with my back to the laundry room door, head on my knees, I cried. How could something that we have always been told is good for us (people as a whole) be not working? I started exercising to lose weight, and then to keep it off. I don’t wont this to come across wrong, I am truly happy with my current healthy weight, BUT with that being said I am only a few pounds under my healthy weight. Even a 10 pound loss would put me a few pounds above my lowest healthy weight. I want be at a healthy, lighter race weight. But as I sat, having my own pity party crying The Hubs pointed out that maybe, just maybe this is how overtraining manifests in me. Maybe I am overstrained and the result is an emotional burst?
It boils down to this: What started out as a means to lose weight is now preventing me from losing weight. I need to eat and fuel better and train smarter. Bottom line.
Now I just need to figure out HOW to manage it. How to safely do it and how to do it in a healthy manner. I take rest days. I took Saturday and Sunday and Thursday off! That is three good, quality rest days. The trainer of course said I needed to implement at least 2 days of strength training. Yeah. How does that fit in with my doing too much? Hm…I know she is right. I do need strength training. Muscle burns fat even when at rest. But how do I fit in yet another TWO workouts when I am already over-taxed?
Here is my answer:
I will seek out the right kind of trainer for me. Someone who can incorporate all my key races into one plan that combines running, biking, swimming and weights AND nutrition. The trainer I met with was great. She just wasn’t what I am needing. I am floundering and I need direction.
Beginning in Jan 2011 (I know, that is far out. but keep in mind these are long term life changes) and now when I can I will plan my race calendar and not race because there is a race, it’s close and I want to. I will put them methodically on my race calendar and train properly for each one, or use them within training (like race a 10 mile before a half marathon) whether it be a running race or a tri it matters not. As of now I have races all over the place: Half marathon, sprint tri, Olympic tri, full marathons….it is impossible to do all those plans at once and to train properly for any of them.
So I have decided to cut back just a little bit. Today I swam 2600 meters. That is all. No run. No bike. Just swim. Tomorrow is rest. Sunday is an easy 8-10 miles run. And if you know of any online training and nutrition coaches pass the info along…
What are your thoughts on this? Do share. I just felt so defeated and frustrated. So give it to me, the blunt, the truth, and your experience.