Man, I feel so much better after the tough blow at Vegas. Thanks to each and everyone of you who left a comment on this blog (I love getting comments on here, btw, hint hint wink wink), as well as emails, texts, calls, etc... all so sweet and kind and a great reminder as to why I do this sport!
So, Ironman week is here! Haven't had one of these since 2011, and I probably won't have one again until 2015 (I don't really have the desire to do IMs every year at this point). In prep for the big day in Tahoe this weekend, here are a few things I'm doing. Not the typical checklist, and full of some "biohacks" if you will:
*Bye-bye social media. I think I'm going to disconnect quite a bit this week up until about Saturday-ish, minus work I have to do (podcasts, etc). I find that when I get too wrapped up in social media on race week, it has a tendency to stress me out a little bit more than I need (especially when I see people blabbing about my particular race). I don't know why, that just is. I also think it will be a good practice in relaxing the mind and getting rid of information overflow. So, if you don't see/hear much from me, you know why.
*No gum. Many of you know I am a gum addict, Orbit Sweet Mint is my flavor of choice. I don't like this habit, and it's a waste of money quite frankly. Mostly it's the ingredients in gum I dislike, and while I totally believe some artificial sweeteners in the diet aren't going to kill you, they aren't good either, nor necessary. So I think in the spirit of Ironman I'm going to kick this habit this week! Going cold turkey...finished my last piece this morning, not buying any more... I wonder how long it will take for the cravings to go away?
*No phone, lights, etc, before bed. This one is also big for me, and something I want to keep going with even after IM as much as I can. No phone, no iPad, no computer and no lights before bed. After I brush teeth and floss, I then walk into a dark bedroom and immediately shut my eyes (hoping to fall asleep asap haha). It's proven that looking at our devices and/or having certain lights on before bed disrupts quality sleep because your melatonin production suffers, etc. I want quality rest this week! (This also goes hand in hand with no social media, because that's usually what I'm looking at before bed...) I'm trying to get John on board with this too... he was successful last night, until he got a midnight phone call :/
*Contrast showers/cold therapy. I had an amazing conversation with a guy named Ray Cronise the other day, a dude who I'm getting on the podcast soon in a show you won't want to miss. We talked a lot about the concepts of contrast showers/cold therapy, and I'm going to use these this week (already started) to help the body feel good and recovered leading into the weekend. The only problem is that my shower doesn't get that cold here in Laguna Beach, grrr.
*Not changing my diet much. Here's one thing I won't do -- drastically switch things up with what I'm eating! I'm not cutting out coffee, for example, and food will be normal taper fare, i.e. mostly LCHF and moderate protein through Thursday (low energy expenditure = no need/desire to be stuffing my face especially with carbs). I will be sure, however, to replenish well after any workout I do this week as to not get depleted! Then on Friday/Saturday I'll up the carbs a bit more in smaller portions. I ate too many carbs the day before Vegas Worlds, and I felt like crap by the end of the night (bloated, gassy, ewww, TMI). I'll maybe have a beer or two this week, but I'm in race mode so alcohol isn't even on my mind (except for researching where we will be drinking post race haha).
Also, on this subject, I interviewed Linsey Corbin yesterday for Endurance Planet on the topic of her diet (click here for podcast). One of the things she mentioned was that one year leading into Kona she cut out a lot -- like all coffee, alcohol, any bad food, etc... turns out, she said, that was one of her "worst" performances to date on the big island and not something she'll repeat. Granted, she said she's not just drinking and eating willy nilly and she's keeping it clean, but she's ok having a few cheat days here and there and keeping the regular stuff like coffee in the mix.
*Monitoring HRV. Truth be told: Before Vegas my HRV was mostly crap leading into the race despite resting and tapering. Race morning it was terrible, in the 50s. I guess it's to be expected to be a little stressed on race morning, but that's a very bad score for me. This week I'll be monitoring HRV daily, especially right when I wake up and before I get out of bad (standard). It'll be interesting to see what it does...so far it's been in the 70s and 80s the last few days, yay. Btw, if you want to learn more about HRV, listen to this rad podcast I did with expert Ronda Collier, who is the founder of the popular HRV app, SweetBeat.
*Reading. Any downtime I have (if at all!), I'll pick up a book and chill. I have one that I started and am particulalry interested in called Mind Management, which was written by a fellow triathlete and PhD, Mike Greer. He was also the guy who started the Buffalo Lake Spring 70.3 in Texas. Cool guy.
Other than that, it will just be the regular prep for a road trip and race away from home... I'll grocery shop for any certain items I'm not sure that I can get up in Tahoe, get my equipment all dialed in (although, my bike hasn't changed much since vegas -- wheels still on and all), laundry, pack, etc. You know the routine! I love that we're driving because that means I can over-pack ;)