Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goodbye Gut!

First of all let me apologize for the heinous picture above. I am hoping to get that fixed as soon as possible. I just came from the gym where I ran 3.5 miles. Not too bad, but certainly not where I need to be. I will be participating in the Nautica New York City Triathlon, an Olympic length race (1500 meter swim, 40k bike ride, and 10k run), on July 26, and I have a lot of training to take care of. Currently I can; run 3-4 miles, swim about 400 meters, and cycle 10+ miles pretty easily. I am signed up for a triathlon training class that runs from May 6th until race day. By the time class starts I would like to be able to complete each section of the race individually and use the class to pull all the pieces together. My training regimen, so far, has been cobbled together from a couple of things I’ve read on the Internet and an introduction to triathlon training book that I picked up. So far, so good. I run three days a week, cycle two days, and am still looking for access to a heated pool. Once I find that I plan on swimming at least two days a week, even if it means 5am wake up calls. Ugh.

In addition to all that cardio, I lift weights three days a week. The lifting isn’t really structured to help me for the race, but I’ve never been happy with my physical appearance so why not add some vanity exercises while I’m at it. At one point I was going to physical therapy to deal with some knee pain so I now have another set of ridiculous looking exercises that involve a foam roller, a bozu, and a goddamn elastic band that I fucking despise. But it keeps my knee from blowing out, which, I grudgingly admit, is kinda nice.

I’ve also been reading a bit about nutrition and have made some relatively major changes to my diet. I’ve basically eliminated dairy and try to limit the amount of meat I eat. The meat part has been difficult, but I’ve discovered a whole world of legumes, leaves, buds, roots, bulbs, fruits, and stems that in some cases are much more satisfying than the sweet delicious taste of bloody flesh. OK, not in that many cases. And PS, I don’t care what any vegetarian says; fake meat is a culinary atrocity. However, one of the positives of all this added fiber in my diet is the meteoric rise in bowel movements I’ve been producing. I probably shit four times a day, which means that almost an hour of each workday is spent flexing my colon, which is much preferable to office work. In an unrelated note, if anyone is interested in nutrition I highly recommend reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. It has changed a lot of the previous ideas I had about my relationship with food.

I’m currently flirting with the idea of cutting alcohol out of my diet (again). This time I’m thinking no booze from January 1st until race day. That would be an unprecedented seven-month absence from alcohol. Outside of the first seventeen years of my life, that would be my longest period of sobriety. I don’t know why I’m so fixated on this. I’ve never worked harder or more consistently on anything before and I’m only about two months in. Let’s see where this temporary obsession takes us. Most importantly, let’s see if it gets rid of my unsightly muffin top. I’ll keep track of my progress and hopefully be able to provide one of those sweet before and after picture sets come August. Stay tuned.

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