As I’ve mentioned a few times, as I geared up for IM training this year I made a few changes that I hope help support my training and overall health.
About a month ago, when I came home from Mexico and got back to serious training, I cut gluten out of my diet. I don’t have gluten intolerance per se (though I have certainly noticed a response from my stomach when it’s slipped back in) but there seems to be a lot of information out there about the role of gluten in inflammation and it’s yet another way to clean up my eating habits even more.
Surprisingly, it hasn’t been that difficult to cut gluten/wheat out of my diet. Thanks to Whole Foods and a number of conscientious local restaurants, there are gluten free cupcakes, gluten free brownies, gluten free pizza, gluten free beer…what was I saying about cleaning up my diet? Oh yes, I am still trying to avoid those things now too, but it’s nice to have the option at least when I need a fix. Instead I spend even more of my day’s calories on fruit, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, etc etc etc. I took a look at my sports nutrition products and cut out one item that included wheat, but otherwise most of what I’d selected for the year is still good.
I’ve committed to keeping this change in effect through IM AZ, I’ll assess again after that. But I’ve gotten through one month of the five since I made this change without too much trouble, so I know I can handle it. I have seen a marked reduction in my random digestive upsets so that’s a plus. Other than that, I’m not sure there’s a real way to measure change anyway, other than that I’m happily bouncing along through my workouts and recovering well.
Letting Natural Hormones Take Over
I started taking “the pill” when I was 15, for health reasons (massive problems with normal function). I stayed on them through my 20s because I like dogs, not children. But really, there’s been no reason for me to be on them for some time now.
Vasectomy: Best. Wedding. Gift. Ever.
And so, after some more reading/thinking about how the artificial hormones affect female athletes in a possibly detrimental way, I chucked those too. Again, it’s too early to say if there’s any quantitative change but between that and going gluten free, I dropped 3 pounds in the first couple weeks.
It should be clear by now I tend to find myself on the overcommitted side of things at times. This is not how I want to find myself during Ironman training – it *does not* end well.
As such, last weekend was our last agility trial until after the race. Weekends will simply be too booked up with training. But fear not for the social lives of my dogs, because that makes this the perfect time for Stanley to do more conformation shows. He absolutely loves the show ring and his handler, and all I have to do is drop him off clean. Win-win. It doesn’t hurt that quite a few of the upcoming shows are near places I want to ride my bike!
And Max has been having a blast hanging out with Jeff, including going to a bar for guys night out while Stanley and I were doing agility last Friday night – he’s delighted with all the fun he’s having as a “retired” agility dog.
So that’s where we leave it for now – lots of swimming, biking and running to do and in between the usual mess of work and dog training classes and sleep and massive quantities of FOOD. It’s a hard life but someone’s got to live it.