Tuesday, July 26, 2011


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.

Gluten Free

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.

Finding Balance

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.


Christi said...

Good luck with all your training!

Aimee said...

I've read about quite a few athletes going gluten free. While I'm glad it's working for you, it's not something I think I could do..I love to bake too much! :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

WOW, I didn't know you went GF! Good luck!
You know the pill...interesting. I have been on the same pill since college....and Jerome needs to have some snip snip...but anyhoo....I swear it equalizes me. Jerome said I was a lunatic when I went off it when we were trying to get pregnant. Every year I ask my GYN/OB about it....b/c now at 40, it is something I need to think about...but she keeps saying, "you are fine." I am so worried that if I went off the even-ness of the hormones on the pill I'd be even more crazy.
:) Time to start IM training and fun Arizona stuff! I am excited too! :)

heather said...

Absolutely best wedding gift EVER! Lol

Mary M said...

I agree. Best wedding present... or anniversary present as the case may be.

Meera said...

Glad your changes are working for you! I had to dump the pill after massive hormonal problems and I feel better than ever. I didn't go GF, but I switched over to high fiber breakfasts (oatmeal with very little sugar/sweet stuff) and my GI problems have almost disappeared. Now, I just need to acquire your fierce dedication :)

Unknown said...

yea for GF!! I think after more training you'll really notice the way you feel. It will help absorb all those nutrients so much better now.

Jill said...

hmmm...you are giving me ideas for what i want for our 5 year anniversary present...

Wes said...

Dee Dee got snipped during the birth of our last child. Lucky me :-)

I love that you're tweaking things. The learning never ends!

Lesley Looper said...

Good luck with your health changes and training!

Maggs said...

i've been 'mostly' GF for 3 years. Huge difference in the # of 'runs' to the bathroom when I'm out on a run. And when I eat some, I refer to my gut as the gluten baby. Holy bloating!

Maggs said...

Oh, and when I get married I'm asking for that for a gift. Best wedding present ever.

Caratunk Girl said...

WOW GF!! I am not sure I could do it, but probably should.

Vasectomy. I want that for a wedding gift too.

elizabeth said...

I went GF too, but also cut out dairy and I think dairy is the big culprit in my stomach and energy woes. Ha, I just begrudgingly went ON the pill for some health reasons that were kicking my ass. Can't believe JH has been on the pill for that long! Sheesh.