|Rep, I reed to roose some reight...|
Yet there I was, pulling off to the right and falling back. We were riding south on Pacific Coast Highway, approaching Newport Blvd. For those of you not familiar with the area, this section is actually slightly downhill. But no matter, I was done. My legs where burning and my chest was pounding. I did a u-turn and limped home. I have a rule - training has to be fun (or close to it), and the last 15 minutes had just sucked.
Except for last week when I weighed myself only to rationalize the weight increase to water retention, I've been avoiding the scale since Thanksgiving. But it's January 1st and the rules changed at midnight. When I got home from the ride, the first thing I did was weigh myself. 217 pounds. That's 5 pounds over last week and 15 pounds over from where I was before Thanksgiving.
As I result, I've made a tactical shift in my January training plan - to get as much training volume as I can running and cycling in zone 2. If my speed suffers at the Surf City Half Marathon next month, then so be it. And maybe losing a few pounds will have the same effect as a few more weeks of higher intensity training anyway. This training shift will obviously be coupled with getting back to eating more sensibly.
I started the new plan right away. This afternoon (after I licked the wounds received after wimping out on the ride), I went out and ran for an hour. To be honest, I've never really looked at heart rate data as much as I did today. It looks like a pace of 8:15-8:20 puts me squarely in zone 2. This is good news - it's a nice enjoyable pace that doesn't feel too slow, and as a result it will be easier to stay focused. On the food side I made a chicken stir fry with onions, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic coupled brown rice for dinner tonight. More good news - after a few weeks of "bad eating" it was like eating comfort food again. That's another good sign.
The best part about today though, is that when I stepped on the scale I didn't freak out. I didn't go looking for green tea capsules, meal replacement shakes or contemplate a hunger strike. That's what I would have done a few years ago - maybe I would see a really bad photograph of me and suddenly get a bug up my butt about losing weight. Drastic measures where taken. If I was lucky I'd last a week on the new (and foolish) routine and then just as quickly fall back to where I came from.
But the new me doesn't freak out as easily. My lifestyle changes have given me discipline. And discipline makes this problem a matter of "how?", not a matter of "if?". Discipline also tends to make you a student of things. And though I may not always listen in class, I've picked up enough new knowledge to give me the confidence I need to sort this weight gain out with minimal drama. Because when something is viewed as a routine adjustment and not an all out emergency, it's easier to cope with. One of the first lessons in Sun Tzu's "Art Of War" is to always attack from higher ground. And if confidence doesn't give you the higher ground, whether it's in weight loss or pushing yourself to perform better, I don't know what does.
You've all got these coping skills too, so there's no need to worry if you have a similar story coming out of the holidays...