Nutrition in Captivity (Part One)
Last week I did a sort of casual interview on the CBCG Twitch channel,
the Endurance School. (If you haven't checked it out yet, it's pretty
cool. They've got online spin classes, strength, yoga and educational
material and interviews.)
We chatted about how to handle or diet while stuck at home with
training stalled and stress is high. Lot's of us are scared that
during this quarantine time our hard earned fitness will wither away
and we'll turn into weeble wobbles. But, you won't. If that's not what
you want. And, I can nearly guarantee it.
Two years ago, I was traveling in Cabo, Mexico with my best friend for
her first Half Ironman race. I was there for sunshine and support. Not
five hours after we'd landed and settled into our AirBnb, I was struck
with the "worst headache of my life" and collapsed on the side of the
street. Turns out that was a brain hemorrhage. I was incredibly lucky
to be taken quickly to the local clinic where I spent 72 hours before
being medivacked to St. Vincent's Hospital where I spent another two
weeks in the Neuro ICU.
I'm sharing this with you because once I got home I had to stay quiet
and rest for a quite a while. Months. My training and racing goals for
the year were totally derailed. I felt like I was starting over. But,
I really wasn't. We never are.
Slowly, I started getting my strength back. For, like the first time
ever, I eased into lifting weights instead of just going crazy at the
gym a couple times a week. I did a little something every day that I
could. Then, I got out for some easy jogs. Then I got back on the
bike. It took a few months, but, low and behold, I came out stronger
(mentally and physically) than ever before.
The other thing I had to do was refocus on what I was eating. After
the hospital stay ALL I wanted was Cheerios, yogurt and chocolate
pudding with Cool Whip. I survived on this and this only for weeks!
While these things are incredibly comforting and delicious, they
aren't exactly foods for healing. Starting with fruits and veggies,
then lean proteins, I rounded out my diet and felt so MUCH better.
I don't talk about this a whole lot. It still seems so strange that
this happened to me. But, I think about it now and can better see what
I learned from the experience.
Don't be afraid of things falling apart. Don't worry that you're
missing workouts or "falling behind". Who writes the plan, really? You
do. Of course there are lots of things we can't control. But, this,
your health and fitness, your triathlon story, that's all you.
Trust that if you want to be fitter, stronger, faster, whatever,
you'll get there. One way or another. So, I guess this message echoes
what I wrote yesterday. I think we've got to find that healthy
balance between grace and grit. Shrug your shoulder sometimes, and at
other times, bare your teeth!
In Part Two, I'll stick to more concrete tips, and offer some snack
ideas and recipes.