#77b Insects are high in protein (and other pearls learned during endurance training)

I figured, since I’m normally writing this on Sunday and talking about the trials of training, and since I pretty much summed this week up with my blog post #77a (HERE if you didn’t read it….it’s a pretty realistic look into what’s running through the head of an endurance athlete when the training week is done), I’d just give you a quick update on some of the pearls I’ve learned while “out there”

say ahh!

Being a “nose” breather is a luxury that many people take for granted:  don’t really know if it was the years of contact sports or just some sort of familial defect…..(my Dad is notorious for a similar inability) but I’m not blessed with a real functional nasal passage when it comes to breathing.  My left nostril works (as in, lets air in some of the time), but my right is a bit more restricted.  This means mouth breathing is much more efficient.  I know, breathing through your nose is generally regarded as “better” when it comes to endurance sports, but (in my mind) breathing at all is better than that……so mouth breathing it is for me usually.  There are many ways this becomes a disadvantage for me, but last night one really great one was reinforced.  The mouth is a bigger target for bugs to fly in and as the sun sets, the bugs come out en-force.  At least 3 different times last night a bug flew into my mouth.  Two times they were the small gnat-ish type…..so you almost just have to deal with it…..but one time it was big enough that I could work it to the front of my mouth and spit it out.  Yuk!  By the end of the ride (830P) they were pelting off my face like riding through sleet…..pretty gross.  But the scariest thing was when the bat (or bird or something else flying erratically) chasing them just about flew into me I knew it was time to be done. I’m thinking of trying the breathe-right strips.

racing physique

2. PLANNING OUT A TIME TO EAT IS MORE NECESSARY THAN IT SEEMS: Eating becomes something that you feel almost forced to do (it is sort of important) and you’re finding ways to “fit it in” between training and work.  I’ve gotten the “you’re looking really skinny” comment now a few times, and I’m seeing my body fat continue to melt away so I know I’m at a good training weight and almost nearing race-weight.  The trouble is, time is hard to come by no matter what the task….and I’m finding that eating is something that I have to plan out if I’m going to actually do it.  Eat too close to a workout and you’ll pay for it…..you couldn’t possibly eat enough during a workout to match the calories lost DURING THAT WORKOUT, let alone to make up for missing a meal……and after a long session you don’t really feel like sitting down and eating a big spread…..this is not a complaint….just a reality.  This week I ate a powerbar as a meal more times than I’d care to admit….KNOWING FULL WELL this will hamper my training.  This accounts for some of the “other hours” (i.e. not training, but still dedicated) that are involved. Thank God I have a wife that is willing to help w/this.  E.g.: Yesterday I had a couple of bagels for breakfast before running out the door to kid #2 soccer game, drove back and grabbed a powerbar, 2×100 cal bag of pretzels and several handfuls of almonds/dried-fruit mix while watching kid #1 soccer prior to riding my bike x 73 miles……NO WONDER I didn’t feel super powerful (or fast) on the bike yesterday.  Total failure on the meal side……and I paid for it.  This is the point in training when I start making calorie consumption part of the picture…..I’m starting my week long nutrition log NOW.

Keep it clean people

3. WORK REALLY GETS IN THE WAY OF TRAINING: I was once told that owning a small business was great because you got to work 1/2 days……any 12 hours you wanted.  Yep, that’s about right.  I wonder sometimes what it would be like to work only a consistent 8 hour per day job…..or even better a job that had “banker’s hours”.  Could we arrange that?  It would do WONDERS for my training.  I feel like I’m progressing solidly this year and I’m expecting good things…..but unfortunately, not GREAT things b/c I need to be able to do 2x/day training (AM and PM would be ideal) and instead, I’m compressed into the odd hours of “when I can”.  Again, this is NOT a complaint……I’m one of very few people who get to do what they really love and thankfully there’s enough work to grow on…..but when it comes to training…..it’s a roadblock for sure.

Not likely

4. MOTORISTS HATE YOU AND WANT YOU DEAD: Seems unfair but it’s true.  They don’t care that the pothole on the side of the road that you’re about to ride through is large and deep enough to consume your front tire like a snack.  There are definitely some idiots out there that challenge the cars and probably drive motorists nuts (I’ve been behind them before), but there are PLENTY of drivers that seem to be playing the “how close can I get to this cyclist without hitting them” game, regardless of road width, on-coming traffic or anything else. It’s truly a wonder more cyclists don’t get killed on the roadways.

something like this….

5. NEVER EVER EVER RIDE BY A FIREHOUSE WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS: So this one MUST have been hilarious to see.  I was in Long Valley, NJ riding by the firehouse (or first aid house or some such) when the horn…..and I mean….H-O-R-N blared to let the town know there was an emergency.  Many smaller towns in NJ are volunteer and they used to (before the advent of wireless technologies I’m guessing) use a monster whistle to round up the troops…..well Long Valley apparently hasn’t gotten rid of theirs.  Precisely at the moment I passed the first (of several) ear-splitting fog-horn-like blasts was given off.  The timing was impeccable…….and I sort of wish someone had on video b/c I freakin JUMPED.  I mean so much, that without clip-in pedals there’s no doubt I’d have been off the bike.  The motorists near me must have peed themselves if they saw it……after a string of expletives I relaxed……LOUDEST NOISE EVER. 

Week in Review

14 hours of training (about an hour shy of my goal) – but considering a really really hectic week (see #3 above) I’m happy with that.  

  • Equivalent of 135 mi on the bike, which was only about 15 mi short of goal…..but that was largely due to running out of daylight on my long ride (had hope to get b/t 80-100 miles in).
  • Only 2 of 3 swim sessions in…..need to have a long session today (Monday)
  • Got a strength session in…..MAN was I sore from the squats & lunges
  • Run felt pretty good……had 2 really tough workouts and both went about as planned.

The Week AHEAD

Need to focus on getting some rest in this week b/c Saturday is my first RACE-TEST of the season “JerseyMan Classic Triathlon” a .6 swim + 20 mi bike + 4 mi run.  I’m feeling a little burnt, but with some rest and well planned out meals, I think I can have a successful day.

More next week,

Mike E.