Athletic Reset

Welcome to my athletic reset. Here is the idea. After this past season I was exhausted, burnt out, irritable, sensitive, and otherwise not myself. So I took a month or so of time to enjoy my life a little more. Truth be told I’ve been having the time of my life. So much fun! Unfortunately with regard to training I’ve been more and more off the tracks. I still do my workouts, but I’m not bringing much heart these days.

So this is my Athletics reset. Starting this past Tuesday Nov 1 I am on a no alcohol, no sugar, only complex crab, none of the many foods I am allergic to, and and in bed by 10 pm regiment. It’s my hope that cutting out the sugar and alcohol will help me lean-up. I think sleeping earlier will help me get to my AM workouts with a little more energy.

In my off season I have been having a bit of a rebellion against myself. I want badly to be prepared for the Paralympics for track and field 2012. In order for this to be possible I have to shave a minute off my mile time and get down to the 5 min mile mark. To me today this seems impossible. I keep reminding myself that a year ago a 12 hour ironman seemed equally impossible, today 11:50 ironman is my history book. So I’m trying to keep it on the positive. I’m trying to put my best most hopeful foot forward.

In triathlon people refer to their A race as their most important race of the season. My season was such that ironman Texas was my A race. As a result of Ironman I was added to the national team. Once on the national team the championship became my A race. Once I won that championship the world championship became my A race. All of my races where my A race. That means to me I have been in a high stress, high pressure mode for about a year on top of an already highly stressed life. This would be stressful all on its own not even taking into account finishing my masters and working full time at Microsoft. I do care about doing well at all my indexers, which translates to being *on* all the time. For a long time there I was on a 5 am- 12:30 am schedule.

After the end of my tri season my body gave in. I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue syndrome. It isn’t serious, except now is the time for me to be pushing really hard as I have Paralympics trials in less than 10 months. So the real cure is to get more rest, take specific vitamin cocktail, and try to reduce stress wherever possible.

How is it going so far?

Well for one every once in a while I misspeak and call it my alcoholic reset (loll). I have been a little off the tracks, but it hasn’t been that bad. I certainly could use to rain it in but alcoholic would be a bit of a stretch.

On Tuesday my response to “No sugar” was translated into getting all the sugar out of the house by eating it. That made no sense. I don’t usually keep much sweets around, but I had an enormous piece of cake I had me a while ago gluten free that was frozen. I pulled it out of the freeze and ate half of it on the way to the microwave. I apparently couldn’t wait 49 seconds to heat it up, that is including time to walk from the freezer to the microwave, as well as the time to heat it up. So I ate half frozen, and half warm. Eating it all was not congruent with my reset, but it was an uncontrollable impulse.

 

Motivation by stress:

Lately I am learning about my own motivations. Always before when I felt off the tracks it was as simple as just playing that internal drill sergeant and pulling it together.

 

Adrenal fatigue is the exhaustion of your adrenal system. Your adrenal system is your response system to stress. For people like myself who have long standing durations of mental, emotional, physical stress at some point your body gives up. So for the time being when I get that feeling of stress I’m not responding. So at 5:15 am when the alarm goes off and that internal drill sergeant is screaming at me that I’m already late, that I’m blowing my chances for Paralympics, and that I absolutely have to get out of bed if I ever hope to be taken seriously starts yelling I no longer respond. Now for the first time that I can remember that does not motivate me one bit. Now my drill sergeant meets my used car salesmen and we meet in the middle on some rationalization that really probably doesn’t help anyone. Things like “I’ll work out double later”, or “I need to sleep more to have a quality workout” (that will never happen because I have no other time). And on and on……..

That drill sergeant is atoll I’ve developed in order to always be able to push myself a little harder. I don’t know that I’d recommend that as a strategy, but I will say it has worked for me until recently. So now my challenge is to find a new tool. My thinking was to focus on one of the handful of people who I’d love to have with me if I ever do participate in the Olympics. I love that Idea. What I mean is at 5:15 am wake up and think of how wonderful it will be to have my sister in the audience in London 2012. So this morning I tried it, 5:15 am came and went, I stayed in bed, and now I’m rushing and late for work. Not for lack of love of my sister, but somehow that didn’t have the edge I needed to launch me out of bed.

 

I am reading up on other ways of motivating yourself. Someone suggested a point system. For example if you make a workout you get 15 points and on and on…. I really am not on for motivating for rewards. Some people can say to themselves that if they complete this task they get some reward, something about that has always felt belittling to me, so my usual response is that I’m doing just fine without the reward no matter what it is.

 

Anyway this is my athletic / alcoholic reset…. No drinking, no sugar including natural sugars, more sleep, more focus, more dedication, and we’ll see where I land after a month.

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