This morning’s workout was a 600-meter swim alternating between freestyle, right/left arm extensions, buoy pulls and catch-up drills. It wasn’t my best effort and I mostly blame last night’s massive sugar-gorging-free-for-all-self-control meltdown. It was my turn to host the monthly women’s church get together, at which the hostess supplies the coffee and the other ladies supply the baked goods. One of them always makes sure to bring something gluten-free, which works out terrifically for me and my feisty little gluten allergy. I couldn’t eat the majority of the sweets, but that didn’t stop me from powering through the M&M’s and the gluten-free “cracker crack” that somehow found their way into my mouth. Because I found myself in a corner stuffing my face and shaking from the sugar rush, I will now always refer to the baker of these insidious little treats as my dealer. “Cracker crack,” its existence unknown to me before last night, consists of a cracker covered in butter, caramel and dark chocolate. I consumed those crackers as if all sugary substances in the world were going to magically evaporate at the stroke of midnight, never to be seen again. If they had tried to forcibly remove them from my grip, I’m positive I would have resorted to physical violence, which at a ladies’ church meeting would have guaranteed me not being asked back.
With all of that being said, I’m realizing that I’m going to have to do some extensive nutritional house cleaning. I’ve been so consumed with the training that I’ve forgotten about this crucial element. Did I expect to have a good workout this morning after ensuring myself a mammoth sugar hangover? My energy in the pool was about 30% less than usual leaving the door wide open for the Silver Sneakers to kick my ass. While I was inhaling water, stopping in the middle of the lane to catch my breath and getting water up my nose, they were in the other half of the pool working the water aerobics like precious, aging extras from an Esther Williams film. In fact, I felt like someone picked me up and dropped me into the middle of that 1980’s movie Cocoon, in which Wilford Brimley is magically restored by a group of peace-loving aliens to the peak physical condition of his youth. I added an additional 400 meters of kicking drills and freestyle to make myself feel less pathetic. Really.
Before sitting down to write this, I did a bit of research and found a great article at RacingWeight.com that outlines the following ten nutrition tips for triathletes:
- Eat your fruits and vegetables. (I’m pretty solid in the fruit department.)
- Eat a balance and a variety of foods. (I give myself a B+)
- Limit your consumption of “unnatural” foods. (Are M&M’s considered unnatural?)
- Optimize your body composition. (Huh? I’ll have to ask my coach about this one.)
- Customize your nutrition to your unique body. (Unique or just plain coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs?)
- Eat early and often. (I’ve got the often part down.)
- Obey your thirst. (Drink Sprite.)
- Eat and drink for recovery. (From sugar addiction)
- Don’t be a race-day glutton. (No carbo-loading? The vision that keeps me going?)
- Supplement selectively. (I will only supplement my dinner with dessert once a week.)
The article is worth a read:
All joking aside I am dedicated to the training process, so I will be sitting down to research nutrition for training athletes and to make an eating plan that will give me the necessary fuel to keep up with Ironman’s, aka my coach’s Pain Train. I do admit that I cook a lot and tend to, aside from the sweets, not have much processed food around the house and I am somewhat skilled in making and preparing weekly meal plans. There IS hope and nutritional redemption around the corner!
P.S. As I was finishing up that last sentence, I got a text inviting me to go out for a last-minute birthday dinner at Mafiosa’s, a premiere Nashville pig-out destination. The food hurdles never end, but I’ll try my best to scrape together a little drop of self-control.