Friday, April 21, 2006

The War Against....Food?

That's right, the war in our home begins and ends with food. For Brian, the battle began before our paths crossed. He was overweight and sought to improve his health. He read Body for Life by Bill Phillips and that became his way of life. When we met, he was training to run a marathon and would run most days for an hour to an hour and half. The more important thing Brian did was to eat as well as he could. At that point, it was excellent to most people's standards - lots of fruits and veggies - low in fat and not a lot of junk food. At that point, Brian still liked to indulge from time to time by ordering a pizza or going out to dinner or getting a sundae at McDonald's or even by grabbing a big tub of popcorn and a soda at the movies. I think he'd keel over and DIE today if forced to any of those alternatives, except of course, for the movies. (I think that's the last hold out for him....at least for now!)

Over time, as he's increased his training and as he's achieved goals and set new ones, he's slowly begun a war against food. I believe the first victim was transfat, which appears in most processed foods. I couldn't tell you when or where, only that it most likely came to him in his relentless online research into improving his training. I was instructed to not buy food with partially hydrogenated fats. Okay, seems like an easy task. But then you discover all those snacky foods and cereals you've grown to love have it. Oreos. Cheezits. Doritos. Even Saltines. WOW. It was, at first, a tough transition. It's simple enough not to buy it anymore, but to overcome that craving for a cheezit when it's in a bowl at a party? The self control and will power is difficult. But it's really only difficult at first I learned. Over time, I found that those momentary occasions where you want just a couple bites to satisfy the craving....they were great in your mouth, then you can feel your body's difficulty in digesting them. You feel sluggish. Your stomach is definitely upset. So you learn that the craving isn't worth the consequence. It's much easier for me to skip those momentary cravings now. It isn't always easy, but give me a break - undoing twenty plus years of bad habits is awfully difficult!

So a few weeks ago, I was to this point - feeling pretty good that I'm cautious and careful about my food choices and my body is healthier than ever for it. The catch you might ask? The next battle has been decided. Can I cry here?! The next battle will be against high fructose corn syrup. No more Rice Krispies :( No more Rice Krispie Treats?? :(

So the moral of this story for me is that where I thought there would be some calm on the battlefield - there is only another battle in store. I'm learning, I'm healthier, but some days - what I wouldn't give for a krispy kreme doughnut or a deep fried burrito! I can't even imagine what else we can cut out of our food, but I've learned that there will most likely always be a new enemy on the battlefield....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mud Fest 2006 (formally referred to as the Sea Otter Classic)

So last weekend was three big race for Brian at the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca, California. It was local and, consequently, it was for bragging rights amongst friends! LOL All-in-all it was a good weekend of races and by far it was the best expo of booths I've seen at a race yet. The downside? MUD. Lots and lots of mud. And not just any mud - fine beach sand mixed with five weeks of rain. ugh. At one point the announcer likened it to peanut butter. Mmmmm.......yummy. This mud was accompanied, of course, by a cold, slow, steady sprinkle. For 5+ hours. Not exactly great for the athletes (or their bikes), but definitely not great weather if you're a spectator like me.

In the end, Brian was disappointed that he wasn't able to win a yellow jersey. When races turn out like they did this weekend, with close finishes, tough conditions and results that leave something to be desired for by my husband, I find it difficult to console him. I believe that over time, I've improved at it (if that's at all possible! LOL), but it's so hard to see the disappointment, the effort, the training and then watch him get passed at the line to take second place. It was a tough weekend with lessons learned I think. Even for me - I learned NEVER WEAR HIGH HEELS TO A RACE. EVER. You never know when you'll have to park your car on a mountain and walk a mile to see the race.

Here's a picture slide show of the highlights, including seeing Levi Leipheimer race! :)

Thursday, April 6, 2006

So you may wonder...what's it like?

What is it like to be married to an athlete? Someone who eats, breaths and even sleeps training and racing? It is never a dull moment and I hope to start shedding some light on the matter through my little old blog. If nothing else, to be able to return in a year and remember some of the more obscure memories that could be left behind.

So take this week for example - big races this weekend at the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. A big race usually consists of tapering for a race. What, you might wonder, does tapering mean? Brian would tell you it's slowly easing off the volume and intensity of his training. I will tell you it means a lot more of him at the house, a lot more eating and definitely a nightmare or two. That's right, nightmares. Take last night for example.

I've learned to wake my husband when he starts yelling out in his sleep and I've also learned that for my own entertainment, I must ask right at that moment what he is dreaming about. So last night, he starts yelling out "No, no, no!" in his sleep. I, of course, wake him and ask him if he's having a bad dream. Of course he is, so naturally, I ask him what about. He proceeds to tell me that he was dreaming that he bought a new crank for his bike and it wasn't working and he was grabbing my arm & biting my arm to get the instructions from me. What?! At this point I start laughing at the obvious irony - my husband actually wants to read the instructions? He's biting my arm? Has he personified himself in the dream as our dog or something?! Naturally, I console him and he doesn't remember anything about this nightmare when I asked him this morning.

*sigh*

There's a small tidbit of what its like. The first of many, of that I can assure you. The race starts tomorrow and I'm guessing I will awaken to go to work to find him up with entire house cleaned, lawn mowed, car loaded and wondering what else he can do to kill time until his race at noon...I'll be sure to let you know!

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