Sunday will be three months and three weeks since Ironman Tahoe, which means it's been that long since I made the vow to embark on the longest offseason of my triathlon career thus far. Honestly, I don't recommend taking an offseason of three-plus months if you don't need it because you really do lose quite a bit of fitness and forget what it's like to have that routine. I think for most people, one month should suffice. But I obviously had other goals that required time and patience, and getting out of the routine was even part of it for me.
That said, I'm happy to report that I achieved nearly all my offseason goals and/or am making huge progress. Plus, I'm slowly starting some "training" again, or better yet let's just call it "more consistent working out" at this point. The plan is to start back officially Feb. 1; what' I'm doing now is in prep for that. This week was actually the most real working out I've done in foreva, and as of Friday evening (now) I feel it -- the hints of a little fatigue and muscle soreness. And ya know what? I like that. It, shockingly, hasn't even upset me to see the numbers on my workouts... shitty power, slow runs and horrendous swim splits? Well, that just means I did the mega offseason thing right!
Man, I'm looking forward to this year. I have a few great sponsors and folks with whom I've teamed up, and it's looking to be a fun year in endurance sport! I really have no intention to start racing before June, but there's a reason for that ;) That said, first race is on the schedule, and that would be Eagleman 70.3! A couple of my long-time clients live out there so it will be a fun weekend with them racing and whatnot.
But before that, let's back up to offseaon. What have I achieved? Well some biggies I've been working on involve gut health, hormonal balance, better posture, lower stress, more life balance...
Hormones. As far as I'm concerned, my hormones are in a good spot again. The symptoms of the imbalances from which I was suffering are gone, and while I haven't officially had another blood or saliva test yet (late January is the plan to re-test), it's one of those things where you just know when you're getting back to being your old self. Granted, I don't think I'm perfect by any means in terms of hormone levels/endocrine system, but it's dang better.
Trust me, regaining hormonal balance naturally without any prescriptions or BS is totally possible if you're willing to put in the time and effort. It also requires the confidence to know what you need and the willingness to look outside the box for answers. Do not let anyone stand in the way of that. unfortunately, many mainstream doctors have given me poor information in the past and I wasn't smart enough to think otherwise so I just went with it. But in this past year, I refuse to ever let that be the case. I'm kind of going on a tangent, but it's all related here... one day, who knows how soon, I'm going to write a damn book on all this! Anyway, bottom line: in the process of regaining my health recently, I kept it all natural, all safe, and all good. It worked. It is possible, folks.
Now, the test will be starting to train and race again and hold on to the success I've had these past few months, and not have a setback. I'm determined to still kick butt at triathlon while being as healthy as I can. It wasn't fun having whacky hormones....
Last note on that: For any girl/woman out there thinking she may be having hormonal issues but it hasn't been confirmed or whatever, please check out this book by Dr. Sara Gottfried, The Hormone Cure, it is awesome with quizzes and whatnot to help hone in on your issues and solve them. I didn't use this to diagnose me, but it was helpful in learning more!
Gut. Diet-wise I have been doing the best I can to put the right things in my body for a healthy and happy gut. When you do the right things, the improvements aren't just in the GI area -- you see it on your face, your skin, in your mood and energy levels, hormones (see above), even in your poops! (Sorry for tmi, but your poop says a lot about how your body is doing.) The gut is another brain in our body and controls a lot. Some personal differences I've noted are subtle and things probably I would only notice, others are bigger. But I know I'm doing good things for my body, it's working, and that makes me happy.
Part of my goal was to eliminate or cut back on things including gluten, beer/alcohol, processed foods, refined sugar, coffee, eating out (to avoid crappy and oxidized cooking oils, poor-quality meats/veggies, and all that BS), etc. I was pretty good on certain things already (little to no gluten, sugar, processed foods), but holidays always make things tricky.
And arguably just as important, I've been expanding my diet! I'm doing much more raw, vegan foods, I am juicing regularly (yes, I'm converted; it's not just about smoothies anymore), eating more diverse animal proteins, more gut-healthy foods like garlic and onions, diligent probiotic intake, etc.. I spend a lot of time researching, gathering and preparing the right foods in our little household. Not going to lie, I love it. John's the lucky beneficiary ;)
Posture. Whew, this is a toughie, but it is slowly improving. Getting back on the bike and going aero surely doesn't help the cause lol. Repairing my whacked out posture situation is no overnight fix, but I'm doing the right things daily to bring my shoulders back -- quite literally speaking -- not slouch, relieve tension in my neck/upper back, etc. Honestly, my upper traps have the tendency to be like two balloons that are ready to pop -- they're so tight and gnarled up! And the scapular winging, well, how come no one pointed this out before? |Granted, it's not as bad as it could be, but it's pretty apparent. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever look totally normal the way I envision...hm.
I'll fill you guys in on all the nitty gritty details on fixing posture in a future post.
That's it in a nutshell on me right now. I could go on and talk about how I've also learned to better manage my stress, blah blah... but much of that should go without saying.
I will mention that I am feeling more organized than ever going into 2014, and I need to be. The "Coach Tawnee" roster is nearly at full capacity with a great group of athletes, most of whom are focused on Ironman racing, and that is a blast for me. Other big stuff in the works too...
Cheers to the New Year!