It's hard not to agree with a quote like this. Considering the many things in life that require hard work, it is the consistency of actions, with determination, passion and dedication that bring change. It doesn't happen over night but rather, days, weeks and months of work, work, work. Many people say things in life that require work are worth it and I certainly agree. But what we often forget is that with hard work, we should not stop having fun. If you struggle to have fun or feel like you are a bit on the obsessive side when it comes to training/exercise or the diet, remove (or turn down) the pressure to be perfect all the time. This will help you achieve better balance in staying on track with your personal goals. Never stop remembering that every day you have the ability to inch closer and closer to your goals.
This past weekend was our last "official" weekend of training. On Saturday morning we changed things up and instead of training out of our house, we drove 20 min to the beach because there's nothing better than a cold rinse-off shower (outside) after a hard workout. Oh, and the beach is nice as well.
Saturday was hot and windy. Nothing new. We rode on A1A which made for strong headwind and a fast tailwind. Both directions were challenging for the headwind was a steady hard effort and the tailwind made my legs work hard to stay on Karel's fast wheel.
Our main set was 3 x 40 min w/ 3-4 min EZ spin in between. Weeks and weeks of working up to this point and finally putting the training to the test. The zone was Z3 - nice and steady. I stayed on Karel's wheel and it was a solid workout. Off the bike, a 45 minute run. 3 miles warm-up. 3 miles descending w/ 1 min walk in between. Of course, Karel was nearly a mile ahead of me as his fast cycling legs now enjoy running fast as well.
Sunday morning we were going to do a group run but with the radar looking not-so-good at the beach, we stayed local and both did around 8 miles early this am. Karel did his own thing based on feel and I did 4 miles warm-up and then 4 miles tempo (~7:20-7:29 min/mile, holding the same HR for all 4) w/ 1 min walk in between.
Nutrition is going great and both of us are playing it smart - saving the best performance for race day.
Karel has this saying that I find so appropriate for training:
"All the money is in the bank now. All the work is done. It's time to make investments, rather than withdrawals."
This upcoming week will be a recovery week to allow the body to rejuvinate, repair and relax. No running until Thursday, light swims and bikes this week and an easy weekend of the normal biking and running (but less volume and intensity). The following week is race week and that is officially the "taper" week where intensity is high but volume is low w/ ample recovery. We both have a massage scheduled for next Tues. Monthly massages have been a ritual throughout our 13 (for me) week and 16 week (for Karel) "official" Branson 70.3 training plan.
Wow - can't believe the time is finally here but mind and body are ready. No need to rush the days for the time will come and every day is a day to prepare my mind for the challenge ahead. No need to buy time for my body is strong and healthy. I won't lose fitness in two weeks and I won't gain fitness. All went as planned so it's time to just let the magic happen. Sleep, nutrition, massage, stretching. The work is DONE!
Speaking of nutrition....Sunday's dinner was another winner.
- Sweet potato slices tossed in olive oil (425 degrees in oven until golden on the bottom)
- Asparagus (cooked in glass casserole dish in oven, with a little water)
- Corn on the cob (split w/ Karel) (cooked w/ sweet potatoes)
- Hard boiled egg (every Sunday I try to boil some eggs for the week for easy protein for lunches)
- Brown rice w/ tomatoes, black beans and feta cheese (this was easy - microwave rice for 20 minutes, cut up tomatoes, rinse can of black beans under cold water for 1 minute and toss w/ feta cheese. I made leftovers for work the next day).
Even thought I've been a vegetarian for almost 19.5 years, these creations never get boring and they taste A-mazing. I really get inspired by flavors (a lot of the time, based on what I am craving) and get excited by what the foods can offer my body. There is always a time and place for processed foods and I'm not a believer of "off limit" foods. But with plant-strong meals, there isn't always a lot of room for the "extra" stuff so it all seems to work out that we (at our place) can eat wholesome meals without feeling restricted in our diet.
Most of all, there's a lot of yumming when we eat and I love feeling better after I eat, than before. The best part for me is creating creations and seeing food for its powerful nutrients, rather than counting calories.
For those who are working on their own personal journey in order to focus more on quality over quantity, keep in mind that some progress and slow progress is better than no progress.
And to make sure you start your week with a smile - another Campy pic reminding us all that an after-work walk is the best feeling in the world after you have been inside all day.