Day 3 with cake Intervals – powered by lycra lederhosen

Today was a fun day. I tried two things; firstly was the next experiment in daily food distribution. I tried backloading the cakes to the end of the day, but with a high fat/protein breakfast, as well as cakes during my workout. Secondly, was to design my bike ride so that I routed past a few bakeries at around the time I’d be taking a short break.

Both of these things worked really well; the morning omelette kept me energized for a long without any dips in energy (like you get from a high carb meal), and the workout powered by cakes was very good. I rode hard for 2.5 hours but I felt like I could have done another 2.5 hours easily. This was in stark contrast to yesterday’s unfueled workout which felt like I was limping home after just 90 minutes. 

 Here’s a link to my workout on strava. So it was a great day! Excellent workout and the food distribution worked well – I wasn’t hungry at all in the evening – all I had was a red velvet bundt cake and I was 100% satisfied.

Here is a link to the video in case the embed below is not rendering for you…

Cake Day 2

Today I tried to spread out the cakes across the whole day. While it worked ok, I was still too hungry at night. So for me it definitely works best to back load everything to the end of the day, at least as far as cakes are concerned. What I will try in the future is eating my protein in the morning, and cakes at night. Lunch will be super light if anything at all. And I need to plan my workouts better so that I can ride past a bakery if it’s longer than 90 minutes…

I did have some great cakes. Cheesecake for breakfast, key lime pie at lunch, and red velvet bundt cake for dinner (with some ice cream).

Since I ate chicken at lunch, I didn’t consume any protein shakes. Wherever possible, I do like to eat protein from natural sources and not a shake, but on most occasions it is a shake that gets my intake up to the right levels. On a regular diet, it’s a lot easier to get the protein from natural lean meats and fish which is by far my preference.

Totals 3,574 calories 417g carbs 160g fat 133g protein

Cake Day 1 – Lamar’s Donuts

Day 1 of cakes got off to a good start! Probably because I’m so happy to be done with beer…

I used the same strategy that worked well for ice cream, which is to stack all of your calories towards dinner time. That way, it’s a lot easier to get through the day being hungry than being hungry when you try to go to sleep at night. Actually I wasn’t hungry at all during the day. I even got in a 10 mile run which went well. For some reason I wasn’t thirsty either so it was very much a free run with no stuff other than the basics. Meal of choice for today was the reputable Lamar’s Donuts which is 8 miles from Boulder, in Louisville.

I ate 6 of the 7 donuts which conveniently added up to 2000 calories.

I topped them off with a protein shake to get 2240 calories for the day. I have to say, that even though these are good donuts, that I’m not really a huge donut fan, which I think is due to the taste of deep fried dough. For me, it just doesn’t please my palate. Needless to say, I was not hungry at all after eating a dinner of 6 donuts, I might have even felt a little sick. Anyway, I’m really happy that the scope of this phase is broad enough to include any type of cake – lots of variety out there!

Totals 2,240 calories 293g carbs 89g fat 48g protein

 

And I’m done with beer! (Day 14 of Beer)

I thought the day would never come! But it’s here, so I’m on to the next phase until the end… donuts, cakes, desserts, chocolate…Plus the bonus content of allowing any of the previous food phases as extra fillers in the event that I need to get in some extra calories;  beer (no thanks!), pizza (not likely), ice cream (yes please) and burgers (maybe on occasion). Especially since at some point in this phase I will be on a ski trip, so need a bit of flexibility in food choice, but I think there will be no problem finding cakes, ice cream and burgers in a ski town. Worst case I know for sure there will be beer…

I planned a big bike day on Friday, but I felt terrible during the ride so cut it short. However the day before I had an awesome ride (unexpected since I felt tired before I got on my bike), and then today I had a great long ride on the Dimond (tri bike), just over 4 hours and I felt really good. So as they say it’s swings and roundabouts… as long as you expect to have some bad days then it’s all good.

 

 

 

Beer Day 12

I’ve been super busy this week with little time to post updates or record videos… so here is a short update in the interim…

Diet: Settling down now that I’ve reduced alcohol, weight is at least constant but I’m still stuck around 75kg. It’s pretty common to hit a plateau at some point – for me it’s usually the weight at which has been my “lowest constant” in the past 12 months. No matter what type of diet I’m on, I tend to “hover” around this weight for a while before it drops off. This is common for everyone, and can be a make-or-break point in any weight loss initiative. Seeing lack of progress is a sure-fire way to dampen spirits and send you on a downward spiral, binge fest, or maybe both. However, with perseverance and faith, the plateau will eventually be overcome. If this was my first time getting down to race weight, I would probably think that I’ve just reached my weight, and that I’m not meant to go any lower. But since I’ve been here before, I know that getting to 73kg or 72kg is very possible, provided that I have some patience. I’ve been lower than that too,  getting to around 70kg, which requires getting over another plateau that I will see at 73kg (it happens to me every time, and usually I don’t try and go lower because 73kg is “good enough”).

What I really should have done in this project, is anticipate the 75kg plateau and scheduled something sustainable (like burgers) for that phase. Ah well, next time I will do that!

Workouts: I’ve had some surprisingly great workouts when I didn’t expect to, and then I’ve also had some terrible workouts where I expected greatness. The important thing is to just roll with it based on how you feel. If I’m feeling good, I try and go a bit harder and make use of the good feeling. And likewise, if I’m feeling terrible then I just the workout short and accept it.

Anyway, here’s to obliterating the plateau!

 

 

Beer – Day 9 – low alcohol is so much better

I really feel much better now that I’ve reduced alcohol. Weight is also stable now around 75kg and not jumping all over the place. My calories today were all from liquid (water, kombucha, ginger beer, a regular beer, and a protein shake), with the exception of some tomato and avocado I had in the evening. I only did a short 8 mile run, but I felt great and the pace was good.

Calories were a bit low today but I just was not hungry at all for more. I could have forced some food down, but let’s face it I could do with losing this kg and moving on to cakes!

Totals 1,288 calories 214g carbs 29g fat 51g protein

 

Day 8 – Beer is a FAIL – but continues with a mod

Ok – the decision is in – out of necessity (or maybe desperation?) I am modifying the beer phase so that I can avoid the alcohol. Even with relatively small amounts (like 2-3 beers at night), the impact on me is really negative… sleep is compromised, I feel terrible most of the time, and weight is fluctuating all over the place (even with constant calories). This phase was always about experimentation to see what would happen – and the [obvious?] answer is “nothing good happens when you are on a beer diet”.

So in order to get back some stability (and general human function) I will continue with this phase, but broaden the scope to drinks that are brewed in some way. This gives me flexibility to include non-alcoholic drinks such as kombucha (which does have very small amounts of alcohol) and ginger beer. In the spirit of the overall “bad food diet” we are still ok – ginger beer has a lot of sugar and is generally something I would avoid except during and directly after a workout (or race). I will still drink beer but limited to 1-2 per day… there is just no way to get most of my calories from beer and still function! My fellow South African countrymen will probably disown me – I know a few who can put back 12 a day, every day, no problem. But I am clearly not one of them!

Beer Day 6

Today started bright and early with a 3:45am wake up to get my 6am flight. I got some sleep on the plane, which did help to offset the early start. It was a heavy work and travel day but I did manage to squeeze in a 2 hour bike ride in. I was still sore from 2 days of running in San Francisco, so being able to bike instead was welcome relief.

That’s certainly one area where triathlon excels as a sport that offers ample opportunity to get some training in no matter how you feel. As a pure runner, I would be taking a lot of days off just to get the recovery in from the physical pounding, but being able to bike or swim really helps to offset that. And even though I was sore from running, I didn’t have to bike super easy – I actually got a very solid workout in. I did one of the best workouts to do when you have limited time. It’s a continuous build of equal intervals where you start easy, then build straight into a “solid tempo” effort (around Ironman effort) and then straight into the final intervals which can be described as “everything you have left”. Intervals are quite long, anything from 10 minutes up to 45 minutes per interval. Obviously it’s good from a physical exertion perspective but it’s also a very good pacing exercise, since you have to settle into an effort level that you can actually consistently sustain over each interval period. So I did 30 min at 200 watts, 30 min at 240 watts, and then 27 min at 265 watts. My final interval was cut short due to a flat tire 3 minutes from the end of it. The one cool thing that happened when I got the flat tire, was that (amazingly) Garmin’s incident detection kicked in and asked if I wanted to text Michelle. The way it works is that you need to override it in order to prevent the text from being sent, so if you’re lying in a ditch somewhere, the text will be sent automatically unless you stop it. I found it incredible that the accelerometers were sensitive enough to detect that I got a flat tire, and that it wasn’t just a rough patch of road. I suppose they detect a sudden rough patch followed by an immediate stop. Either way, it impressed me, and I don’t get easily impressed by technology.

As you may notice, this post is quite light on beer content… I did have 2 beers for dinner, accompanied by 2 hot dogs. So beers were probably less than 50% of my calories for the day. I will never include beer again on a diet like this, but if I did then it should really be part of a phase with actual food included too. Since I would be totally non-functional on ONLY beer, I do have to eat. And because there was no pre-defined rule about what food that could be, I find I’m making it up each day, with the only rule being that I try to include the other foods that are part of this diet, such as burgers, pizza, ice cream etc.

So I will see how the weekend goes. I’ll stick with the beer until the end of the week, but I really need to move on from the alcohol because it makes me feel terrible. Three people have suggested I switch to ginger beer (which is a great idea). I am actually interested to do that and see what effect it has, because the carbohydrate content is similar to beer, but there is little or no alcohol, making it easier to function effectively as a human being (especially one that has to work and train!). 

 

Beer day 5 – Pliny the Elder!

Well I have not managed to find a working scale here at my hotel, so it appears I am stuck with beer for the rest of the week. But, that is not a bad thing, since I got to taste my Pliny the Elder today! I have to say, it lived up to the hype – very very good!

The day started with a great run from Union Square in downtown SF, to Chrissy Field and back. Just over 10 miles, and I felt very good (even though I got through 7 beers the day before). In fact I think the high carb content helped, and since I spread the beers out over the day, the effect of any alcohol was mitigated.

It was a full day of work, then the big moment of enjoying Pliny The Elder around 5pm before heading over to some evening networking events, which entailed a few IPAs, a cider, some mai tais, a moscow mule, and another beer of which I forget the name.

We also had dinner at a cool eatery called State Bird Provision, which apparently is hard to get into but we just walked right in. The food was absolutely excellent, and the drinks were good too. Another good day!

Beer day 4

Day 4 was a bit more successful. It was a long travel day and I spread the beers out over the day, so managed to get 7 in:

    • Odell’s IPA at the airport
    • Fat Tire on the plane
    • 3 x Lagunitas IPA at evening event
    • 1 x Anchor Steam and 1 x Sneak Attack

Then, in the middle of all of this I got two great beers from my trusty crew member Ian Hersey. The much sought after Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing, and Blind Pig from the same brewery. Pliny is a fantastic example of scarcity driving demand.

Totals 2,552 calories 282g carbs 43g fat 99g protein