Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monica, recovered.

Monica is back on track this week! And she's got some really great advice on food choices! Thanks, Monica!

This week felt great! It was kind of a "recovery" week, in that I didn't do CrossFit. I caught up on much needed sleep and loaded up on calories. I hiked Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, for 2-4 hours, varying weights of 63-70 pounds.
On the hikes I always go through the same process. The first 10 minutes are undeniably miserable. My gluteals, hamstrings and calves are screaming, I can't catch my breath, and my balance is quite goofy. This is when I start bargaining with myself. Thoughts like "I've been working really hard, if I just do an hour that will be fine." Or "If I don't do any hills but keep it as flat as possible, that will be fine". Self affirmations always seem really trite and shallow, and I tend to respond better to self humiliation. So telling myself "don't be such a weenie" or "man up" usually gets me out of it. This is also when self doubt sets in and I question my abilities. Such as "I'm the only female on this trip" (=weak), or "I'm in my mid forties, what am I thinking?" (=weak). However, invariably after the first hill, my breathing gets rhythmic, my muscles are warmed up, the pack feels like a part of my back, and I'm able to look around me. This is when I realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place and that there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing. I start to feel really strong, especially when I remember several years ago training for my first Mt. Rainier climb, using about half the weight and feeling worse. I also seem to have found my fifteen minutes of fame, as several times people I've never met cheer me on or ask when my big day is. I guess anyone hauling a huge pack sticks out, and I'm up here enough that I'm pretty recognizable.
These hikes are when I test out the different foods that will come with me. As with all my climbs, the biggest winners are Corn Nuts, Gummi Bears, Heath Bars, Lara Bars and Beef Jerky. Questionable are the Rice Krispie treats. I love that they're so light, but unfortunately they give a sudden blast of sugar and such a rapid crash that I'm not sure they'll make the cut, unless I eat something slower burning with them. What most definitely did not make the cut were Sardines, Kippered Herrings and Smoked Oysters. Yuck. After opening the tins, trying a few bites and dry heaving, I was then left with oily, stinky tins of nastiness and no plastic bag to store them in. Luckily my canine garbage disposal was more than happy to take care of that problem. I also try out different drink mixes. Coming with me will be Cytomax, Emergen-C, Propel and Kool-Aid. Gatorade and Crystal Light did not make the cut for me. The relationship between food and performance has become very clear. If I'm not eating enough or well enough, I definitely feel sluggish. Those break time refuelings are so important, and I hope I can keep that in mind on the mountain when my appetite is typically zero and even a Toblerone bar sounds disgusting.

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