363 days to go!
For those that read my blog yesterday, you know that I was challenged on my morning ride by an improperly adjusted seat. The result of which left me with a very sore left knee yesterday and a moderately sore right one. By my count I did Tuesday’s rides with the wrong height as well as Wednesday morning. This was because I moved my seat forward to be closer to my handle bars, as I was reaching too far and getting a sore neck. Lesson learned is that if the seat goes forward it needs to go up too!
As a result I rested my knees last night. It was hard to do, I found that I really wanted to get in a bike ride, but as Julie said if I hurt myself badly I may have to miss several weeks of biking instead of one night. This morning I was feeling much better and set off for a nice 30km ride to Summerlea park in Dorval, once again meeting up with my old friend Mark! It was nice to catch up a bit more and it is always good to have someone to bike with. There is only so much daydreaming one can do while riding. Also talking to ducks, geese, birds, squirrels and singing random songs as I do likely makes me appear a little insane!
I was thinking about my blog on the ride in this morning and figured that listening to my body and making healthy choices kinda went well together, so that is my theme today.
In addition to the training I knew I would have to make some personal sacrifices to maintain optimal health, and even going forward to the big cross Canada ride these will continue. The first big change was stopping drinking coffee and caffeine beverages, as well as those awful energy drinks. This choice happened kind of organically last December 16th. Julie and I were enjoying our vacation in Mexico (Aventura Palace Spa and Resort- highly recommended!) and I really despised the coffee. I have to admit I was a total coffee snob (I miss you Kicking Horse!) so the crap they were serving was just not drinkable. We were away for 10 days and I didnt drink coffee the whole time there. Since I was already going through the withdrawal symptoms and the headaches were getting a bit milder, I decided that when I got home I was just going to be strong and stick with the no coffee. Not that I drank alot, 1 cup in the morning and occasionally 1 Second Cup coffee in the afternoon on tired days. The worst of the withdrawal lasted 2 weeks, and I can say that now almost 5 months later though I miss the coffee, I can live without it. I dont need a coffee to get me going like I used to, my digestive system is much happier too! This worked out well because it was my plan to quit coffee before cross-Canada. I didnt want to be dependent on anything and for me it was also a wild card on my system, what with coffee’s laxative effect. Enough said 🙂
With ditching coffee it only made sense to give up the Red Bull / Rockstar / etc. This stuff is the Crack of coffee, and I was relying on it more and more in the afternoons when I would hit that energy dip. This stuff really does create dependence issues! So out the door the energy drinks went.
New Year’s eve I was enjoying some festive beverages and had one with cola. I noticed that it was sending my heart racing and realized that is chuck full of caffeine as well, not to mention some 40+ grams of sugar per can! I decided to call it quits with all soft drinks too. Too much sugar and the diet ones full of aspartame, I really didnt need these in my diet. This was my resolution for 2012 to drop these out of my diet.
Also part of my resolution was just to drop carbonated drinks altogether. For those that know me you will know that I love beer. There are so many different kinds and I enjoy almost every one of them. Well beer is a carbonated drink and it fell into the category of drinks to drop from my diet. I decided to stop drinking beer since it is basically liquid carbs, and I can put a few away without a problem. I was feeling like my weight was higher than my comfortable weight, and I figured that beer was certainly not a helper there. Again the plan was to swear off of beer before cross-Canada so I took the head start New Year’s day. I have since allowed myself a couple of times, on St-Paddie’s day, and when Julie and I were on vacation in March. Otherwise it is easier for me to tell myself that I am not allowed, it makes it easier for me to moderate. This is going to be important because summer and beer go together so well, so I have to stay disciplined. I may occasionally allow myself because Corona, BBQ and hot days are best friends!
I consider these healthy choices as they are not really needed in my diet, and for the most part get in the way of training. I feel better as a result of these choices so I know they are positive for my body. There will be more healthy choices to come during the year and I will determine these as I go. I have been trying to make a conscious choice to pick healthier foods, less fats and sugars, especially when it comes to snacking. This is especially important because with biking more kilometers, I am hungry all the time now. It is too easy to just eat junk so I have to keep in mind all the hard work I am doing, and what choices will compliment this.
Writing this entry has given me an idea for another blog entry at another time. I will talk about food and nutrition in relation to cycling, especially longer trips. As Julie and I are vegetarian (I eat fish as well) this is sure to pose a challenge while crossing Canada.
Until then thanks for reading, and remember to listen to your body, you only get one!