So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Excuse...

" as good as another on any given day." - Coach Fox, multiple times between 2002-05

Every once in a while I have athletes who decide to engage in 'summer,' a strange season of the earthly year, a time filled with many outdoor entertainment activities, including a very strange concept called vacation. During this vacation, the athlete gets into an automobile & drives for several hours to a place where they spend the majority of the money they saved over the previous year on lodging, food & the exact same outdoor entertainment opportunities which they could have enjoyed at home had they decided to stay.

Also, during this vacation, the athlete usually makes a conscious decision to do NOTHING. As a result, they return back to the track on a Tuesday evening after one of these vacations having lost every bit of the hard-won fitness we attempted to develop from their previous vacation, during the period between the autumnal equinox & two weeks after the winter solstice. Following that vacation, they stepped on their bathroom scale & realized they weighed much more than they if their jeans couldn't have told them the same message some time in late November.
How these athletes became conditioned to believe a vacation was meant to exclude exercise is beyond my understanding. If you were to ask every single one of them what they used to do throughout their summer vacation as a child, I would wager nine of every ten would tell you they were involved in some sort of unstructured physical activity, like swimming, bicycling, walking, hiking, climbing, & all that good stuff...on a daily basis.

So, how did we go from doing stuff on vacation to not doing a thing on vacation? Mind you, one or two of my athletes actually perform physical labor during the week, so for them, physical exercise is probably more fun than chore. A vacation for them would probably not be harmful. However, the rest of you (myself included) are still on the hook. If you're going to go on one of those vacation things, there's a very good reason for the "take half the clothes and twice the money" advice provided by every travel's so you can add at least one pair of running shoes & three outfits, silly. Your employer will thank you. Your co-workers will thank you. And yes, your coach will definitely thank you...not nearly as much as you will, though.
During this time of the year, it's difficult to get fired up about food. Well, unless it's fired up on a grill & sitting beside a cold beverage of choice. Otherwise, most indoor dining is boring. Hardest part about being a person in training at this time of the year is this: You need to get nourishment back into your body, at the least some nourishment within 30 minutes of finishing a workout, but other times during the day, too.
But when the day is divided up into workout, clean-up, commute, work, commute, workout, clean-up, sleep (with a few other small pieces in between), it's a challenge to get the right food in the right amounts into you...especially if you're one of those people who hate eating first thing in the morning, or don't have a stable enough work schedule during the day, or don't have access to a kitchen/refrigerator, or have knucklehead co-workers who raid the fridge. The key is to get what your body needs. Keep it simple.My wife recommended I take a big ol' salad into the office so I could scarf on throughout the day. Nice, but there are days when I'm not exactly sitting in front of my desk doing office things. I could have something a little smaller every so often, though. She made a salad the other morning, which was sitting on the stove next to a couple of bagel halves. I couldn't tell at first what the contents were, so I opened up the lid. Instantly I smelled onions & knew there was no way I could take that in to work.
I don't eat (raw) onions, period. End of story. I can tell if there's one on a sandwich or in someone's lunch across a crowded room.So, I try to get a little something on the way in, but balance it with the wisdom of knowing that eating McBarfle's five days a week is going to make me fat as a pig. My recent screaming about weight & the need to get back down to fit weight made the cartoon above stand out. For those of you who don't know me too well, my dog is below:
...I think you can guess who represents me in the cartoon above. Ah, but it's a temporary phase, one which can be remedied by smarter eating, judicious workouts, & resting as needed.
See you at the track.

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