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Hello, is this thing on?

Friday, March 18, 2016

I'm still active around here, but just in the food tracking section (sporadically), so I figure I may as well update if anyone actually pops in here. It's been an interesting journey over the last few years, and I'm embarking on another one.

I've enjoyed a few years of not really being strict with my diet in terms of calorie consumption and having fun doing triathlons, running races, and some bike rides with my husband. I was never upset enough with the ~20ish lbs to really do something about it, and it crept on so slowly that it was never a huge shock. I maintained somewhere around 175-185 for the majority of the time.

Finally, last summer I had enough and started working with a nutritionist. He told me, essentially, what I knew in my heart - it was going to be dang near impossible to lose the weight I wanted to in any timely manner while training and racing almost year round. Eating to complete workouts in the most successful way possible and eating to lose weight are actually mutually exclusive, and trying to do a half-arsed job at both (like I had been) will just end in frustration.

I had to pick one or the other. So, for the few weeks I had left before starting serious training, I maintained about 1500 calories per day, which was hard at first but got easier (like making any serious lifestyle change). I lost about 5 lbs, which was great! When you've been about the same weight for a while, being even just a little lighter feels amazing.

Then, my season started. I had signed up for a half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) at the end of September, and two marathons, one at the end of November and one at the beginning of March. These are pretty serious distances that I can't fake my way though, so I decided to go all in. Eat to train. No halfway attempting/hoping to lose weight.

My nutritionist had me at 2500 calories per day with 400+g carbs. I was running, biking, swimming, and lifting at least 10 hours a week, but it still felt like too much, but I figured it was because I was just used to being a little underfed. Over just one month my clothes got tight, and I gained about 10 lbs.

I was performing well but my self image was just shot to heck. I felt like I didn't even look like myself. In my head I justified it as "I'm doing this for performance, not to look good". I was on track and training for a significant personal record in the first race and was hoping that it was all worth it.

Come the day of the race - it ended up being that time of the month, I had wicked cramps that I could only half cover with some painkillers that made me lethargic and dopey, I got in a low speed bike crash and my rode my broken bike uphill slowly to the transition, and actually broke down in tears (I'm not a crier) and almost quit a million times on the run. Needless to say, I came in about an HOUR after my goal time.

My confidence was completely shot. My clothes didn't fit AND I had underperformed at the race. I really honestly at that point wanted to call it, but I had two more marathons I was signed up for, and my husband really wanted to do them, so on we went. Figured I'd get more enthusiasm soon and could potentially do well at these races.

I didn't. In November, my head quit. In March, I was battling a hip injury and I backed off to make sure I could fight another day. While I am keeping perspective and logical me knows that there are very few people that even complete a marathon, it stung to have #5 and #6 be my absolute slowest.

The upside is that I was able to support my husband coming back from injury and he rocked those two races with personal records. We learned some new tricks in training, so it wasn't a complete loss, but ever since September, and really in November, I really just wanted to move on and work on losing the weight.

So, that's where I am now. I'm just under 2 weeks out from that last marathon, I had a little birthday fun, and as of this week, I'm doing #projectraceweight.

-1200-1500 calories per day most days
-1500-2000 1-2 days a week if needed (people have birthdays and events and sometimes I enjoy a beer and life doesn't need to END for me to lose weight - I'm just choosing my splurges wisely)
-10k steps per day
-Being active, but no long training sessions

I can't bear the scale just yet, but I'll be stepping on it Monday. I'm hoping to lose 20-40 lbs in the next 4 months, and I'm looking forward to the journey (and yeah, also for it to be over and my clothes to fit again and me to be training again and eating a more satisfying amount of calories).

I can't promise I'll come check in that often, but I'll try to post something in the next 3 years. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SHERRYE2014
    Good for you. I totally understand your frustrations. I'm not training for any marathons, too much arthritis in my feet, hips, and knees, but the struggles of getting the right fitness and food to get my weight down to where I want it and keeping it off. Good luck to you in finding your perfect bliss
    1523 days ago
  • EMGERBER
    emoticon
    1523 days ago
  • PATRISNA
    Good to see you posting. emoticon
    1772 days ago
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