It's like eating cereal and milk your entire life...
And then becoming lactose intolerant
That is an excerpt from the lost verse of Alanis Morrisette's song, "Ironic," which I found recently. It was particularly applicable because that's apparently what has happened to me over time.
I suppose the signs have always been there. I have always been a big cereal eater, and with it, gallons upon gallons of milk. I prefer skim milk, mostly because the heavier stuff, even 1%, never sat well with me. Skim milk is basically white water. In college, I lived off of cereal. Most people knew it, too. So great was my desire for Lucky Charms that people would present me with gifts of boxes as birthday or Christmas presents.
But somewhere along the line, it must have begun to wreak havoc on my GI system, because I was not handling it as well. Eat a few bowls, have to go to the bathroom in a hurry. I played it off for a while, denying myself the truth. Over the years people have suggested I try different types of milk, like soy, or rice, or almond, or Lactaid. Fuck that shit. First of all, they are disgusting. Second, and more importantly, they are super expensive. The amount of cereal that I eat makes it impossible for me to afford $3.00/oz milks.
This year I've really attempted to eat less cereal, and, in turn, consume less milk. And I notice that my stomach isn't as bad. Until I have to go on a binge and eat cereal, like today, and then my stomach is not good. It sucks. I don't know what I'm going to do. I genuinely just LIKE eating cereal.
Enough about my lactose intolerance, I've felt like my body is falling apart the past few days. Once again I've succumbed to a lack of riding - did not ride my bike once from the race last weekend until Sunday of this week. Yeah, I know. The weather has been far from pleasant, but I also just don't want to ride my trainer yet. I also took it super easy running last week, recording just 23 miles for the week. I ran 6 easy on Monday, 6 easy on Tuesday, 6 easy on Friday, 5 easy off the bike on Sunday. In the water, I did okay, getting 9500m in, but having some real good workouts along the way. This was in spite of the cold, as the pool is still mostly outdoors. I say mostly because the roof is on, just the sides aren't. It's a vortex of wind and since the sun never hits it, it gets cold in there.
Saturday was the Baltimore Marathon and Running Festival, one of my favorite days of the year here. I have never run in any of the events here, and probably never will. For me, it's a day that I get to watch as literally hundreds of people I know run the races. This year was particularly exciting. My Team CYB teammate Pat was running his first ever marathon, and how many marathons do you get to do that go right in front of your house? Not many, I suspect. Anybody not racing, and even those who were (Arjun, Ed) were out in full force to support Pat along the way and he crushed it, running a 2:50 debut marathon in some absurd wind on one of the hardest marathon courses around.
Also in the race was my friend Dave Berdan, who is a super fast guy now, but wasn't always that way. In high school, the guy didn't break 10 minutes for 2 miles, and now sports a 14:0x 5000m PR, a 29:30 10k PR and just recently ran a 1:05:53 half marathon, missing the OTQ by 54 seconds. His plan for Baltimore was to go for it: 2:18:59 or bust. This is the Olympic Trials Qualifying time for the marathon, and even though Baltimore is probably not the place to do it, he was confident in his shape and went for it, leading the race through 9 miles before getting swept up. He lasted a while longer with the pack but in the decisive few miles he lost the pace and finished up at 2:21:19. It was still a major PR for him (2:23:40 previous best) and on just his 4th try, I know at some point soon he's going to get into the right race and get it done.
It's been a very successful fall for the people I run with, and there are still a few more marathons to come. I'm excited to see how they turn out, and makes me thankful I have so many people to run with.
I pedaled around on Saturday morning to watch the race, and I noticed a little soreness in my left ankle on Sunday. I think the 25-30 miles I rode around with my sneakers on my Speedplays messed me up a bit. On Sunday's 80 mile ride with Alyssa, it was not feeling great. Also not feeling great was me in general, as I started the ride dehydrated and probably a little too hungry, and we had a tailwind out 40, which meant we were going to be taking it in the face on the way home. For one hour and five minutes we barely had to pedal. Then for another hour it wasn't bad. We got to the gas station in Nowheresville and as we rolled out, FACE. That meant 16 miles with a cross/headwind that was one of the worst I've ever seen. The entire way home we were just eating it, and I was not psyched.
By the time we made it up Bellemore, I was wobbly. My legs were actually okay, but I was severely dehydrated. One water bottle that I refilled 2 hours in was not enough for the 5 hours on this day. Oops. And I'm so sick of gels and Gu and stuff, I just didn't want to eat any of it, so I didn't. Needless to say, by the end of just a short 5 miler off the bike, I was ready to be done. My knee hurt - which means that it's getting cold again - and my ankle thing was not good. I got to Alyssa's on Sunday evening and was not in a good place. I reluctantly took a Claritin from Carly and that seemed to help, which also confirmed that the allergies got the better of me, too. I felt like garbage all day today and on my more-than-9-not-quite-10 mile run tonight, my ankle was in bad shape, and got worse throughout the run.
I'll see how it feels tomorrow, but it might be a few days of no running for me. If I can ride without a problem, I'll try and do that, but unfortunately this may actually relegated me to the trainer.
All in all I don't feel terrible, but I can tell that I'm ready for the season to be done. I still have some work to do, with a couple of big rides and runs left, but it's again about striking that balance. I still have about 3 weeks to do things that will count, so if I can get in 4-5 good rides, and 2-3 more solid runs, I'll feel good about that. As always, keeping on target with what I believe I can do at Arizona, is the goal.