Jan 12, 2011

Howling coyotes and dieting

The Coyotes

On today's menu was a set of short, lung-busting intervals, ranging in time from 30 to 90 seconds. A great way to wake up the legs in the morning, that's for sure. Last night, I was happy to see that I wouldn't have to brave the thirties this morning, but would rather embrace the high forties and maybe even something with a five as the lead digit. The five didn't happen, but it was a pleasant change from last week's chills. Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I do is check my iPhone for the current weather status. I actually had a dream that the iPhone said 55 degrees! But when I woke up and actually checked the phone, it was only 49. You would think that my subconscious mind would be a bit more optimistic, I mean why not dream of 65 degrees? Am I that much of a realist?

I got appropriately dressed and headed out the door. Because the first half mile out of my house (if going through the Wiggle) is downhill, I did get a little chilly, but the little uphills on the way to the bridge warmed me up. I decided that the perfect place to do my intervals was on Bunker road - accessed through the one-way tunnel - because heading east it is a gradual incline ranging from 2-4 percent and obviously the opposite heading westbound - a perfect place to work, then do a 180 and recover.

My ride out to Bunker was in the dark and the sun just started to lighten up the ski as I exited the tunnel. Then, all of a sudden, it really lightened up and all I heard around me were howling coyotes. I've ridden down that road many, many times and have once seen coyotes running next to our little group as we rode (they didn't look very menacing), but hearing so many of the howl without seeing any of them, did make me pedal a touch faster. Interestingly, the howling only lasted about 15 seconds and then all was silent, as if the critters said "good morning" to one another from across the prairie and then went about their business of hunting rabbits.

The interval workout itself was fairly uneventful, other than it was hard. But that's a good thing. Right? However, by the time I was done and checked my Garmin's on board clock, I noticed that I was running a touch late for a work event I had to attend this morning, so I had to do another interval - from GGB to my house in the Castro. I made it in a record 23 minutes, that's at least 7 minutes faster than usual. 

Dieting

I don't refer to dieting in terms of losing weight, but rather in terms of restricting certain foods, and more specifically staying on a certain macronutrient intake regiment. But yes, I am trying to shed a few more pounds for those hilly races. In any event, what I've discovered by tracking my daily calorie intake is that I'm not getting enough calories during the workday, which leaves me hungry after work and results in huge dinners, not because I'm so hungry, but because I feel I have to get my fill of calories and carbs to maintain my training intensity.

The problem with this, however, is that huge meals in the evening, leave me feeling not 100 percent up to par in the morning, as well as a bit heavier than I would like. So I'm going to try a new approach, which I guess in one way or another has been advocated for many, many years - front load most of my calories during the day, and cap off the evening with a light dinner and fruit. This way, I can hopefully get my necessary calories and macronutrients and still feel great when I wake up the next morning. I'll try this out for a couple of days - starting today - and report back on how it's going.

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