Sunday, July 19, 2009

A week of recovery

The past week of recovery from the tri has definitely been a learning experience. In the past, I have usually gaged my recovery with soreness; if I was sore, I needed to rest, and vice versa. However, this past week wasn't wasn't the same. I wasn't sore, but I was not up to par.

I experienced physical fatigue like never before. Five nights in a row, I slept like crap with less than 6 hours of sleep. On top of that, I was feeling like crap and knew something needed to change with my nutrition. Friday night I finally got my first night of solid sleep, sleeping from 11pm to 5am (when my body woke itself up), and then slept again until 9am!

I have been keeping track of my nutrition for this past week and have already learned a lot. I was skeptical going into this, because I didn't want to become obsessive over what I ate and didn't eat, but I have found this to be a real eye opener.

I kept track of how much sleep I was getting and the hours, what I ate and when I ate -how I felt afterwards, my workouts and how I felt after those, the supplements and vitamins I was taking, how much water I drank each day, and then my overall feelings and thoughts at the end of the day.

Here is a list of things I noticed when I started to keep track of everything:
  • Some days I didn't drink nearly as much water as I needed - and this coincided with some fatigue.
  • I have always been a "small-portions-eater" and came to realize that I function best on eating 5-6 times a day, every 2-3 hours.
  • Soda does not agree with my body, leaving me feeling slugish with extra water weight. I gave up soda for a year once, and I should have never started drinking it again.
  • My favorite coffee drinks need to be consumed minimally - once or twice a week at most.
  • Like most people, if I wait too long to eat or am ill-prepared, I eat crappy stuff. So, I have gotten better about packing snacks and lunches, especially when I have morning swim practice - I leave the house around 530am and don't return until after 2pm.
  • I have been taking my daily women's vitamin and fish oil vitamin every day for the past week. (It's been months since I have taken these.)
  • Some of the days I was really good about fruit and veggies, but there were a couple days that I didn't do so well and my stomach told me so.
  • There were many times I wanted to stick crap in my mouth (ie. chips, chocolate, beer, kids snacks at school), and I refrained for the most part. I am not perfect, but I know I only ate a third of what I would have eaten if I wasn't writing down everything I put in my mouth. I think that a splurge here and there is okay, in moderation.

I am going to continue keeping track of all of these things. I don't want to do this forever, but it is helping right now, and isn't too much work to do so.

My workouts last week were pretty minimal, but the ones I did have were solid. I got in 3 hours of sand volleyball, a good 2 hours of softball, two 3+ mile runs (one with sprints), a nice swim, and a group bike ride this morning. I can't say exactly what this coming week (or the week to follow) will look like exactly. I am leaving Fargo for the Twin Cities Thursday afternoon, and fly out to New York City Friday morning. I won't be back home until the following Wednesday evening. I will get in a couple swims this week and hopefully another solid bike ride before leaving town. If I am lucky, I will get in a couple runs through Central Park while we're there!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Cheers to a great week ahead of us all!

16 comments:

X-Country2 said...

I've thought about writing everything down, but it really seems to be working for you. Keep up the good work!

Marlene said...

I find that I eat/drink and therefore FEEL so much bettwe when I'm tracking. It's a lot fo work, but once I get into the habit I find that it's not so bad. Good for you taking the initiative to do a little 'overhaul' and hopefully improve the way you're feeling, sleeping and training! (after recovery, of course)

Danielle said...

I definitely notice eating better is more helpful. I wish I could cut out all the crap. :(

kelsalynn said...

I think you've already recognized a lot and you'll probably continue to do so. You don't have to be crazy-obsessive about what you eat, but if you notice something makes you feel crappy afterwards, it really just doesn't make sense to consume it, or, it will at least make you consider this before you do. I think it's great you're learning so much!

Keep me posted--- I'm super curious to see what else you realize.

Borsch said...

Wow...I really should try this. Not for the sleep factor but the "extra" weight that seems to come and go. Like up to 5 pounds of inconsistent weight (mostly water is my guess).

Peace out cross training foo!

D10 said...

Sometimes I think io order to fix a problem you have to see everything from all side. Writing everything down will help you determine what may be going wrong.

N.D. said...

This was great to read! : ) Glad it helped. I have to keep doing it too

Jess said...

Glad that tracking it helped. I've heard that many people really benefit from writing everything down.

Wes said...

Being fatigued, but not sore, means you executed your race and training plan very very well!! Glad you are starting to feel recovered!!!!

Jess said...

Sounds like you learned a lot from all the recording you've done. Maybe I need to start doing that to help pinpoint my fatigue.

Carolina John said...

i gave up the soda's a long long time ago. years before i ever knew anything about healthy eating. i just didn't like the carbonation anymore. best thing i ever did.

Holly said...

I've heard that keeping a food diary can really help get a person on track. I've thought about doing it - perhaps I should give it a try.

Fair Weather Runner said...

wow this is such a great idea. i've been feeling so tired and sluggish lately, and my runs just haven't been where i want them. i've wondered if it's nutrition.

you've inspired me to start tracking what i'm eating/drinking (drink so much more beer in summer than i normally do!) and see how i feel. BRILLIANT! :) thanks for posting about this.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

interesting learnings as you track nutrition things. i hope you'll continue to share...

aron said...

i have been keeping track of my nutrition lately too and have learned a lot!! its not too hard either once you get the hang of it.

scott keeps running said...

I'm horrible at my nutrition and recovery, I think. Wish I had some words of wisdom. I usually just try to run through my fatigue. Eventually I catch up, but I should probably rest more than I do.