It happens every year. Just as the first hint of spring leads college co-eds to don tank tops and short skirts (with Uggs) to their internships, the moment when a triathlete’s training volume starts trending upward, they are back. I mean, of course, the HANGRIES and the TIREDS.
If you aren’t a triathlete or haven’t endured our wrath (lucky!), hangry refers to an incessant drive to eat ALL THE THINGS and RIGHT NOW. Common symptoms are disappearing food (think <24 hours for a box of cereal), $60 take out orders (three appetizers + entree is a reasonable amount, yes?), and near meltdowns upon learning dinner won’t be ready for another 20 minutes (cereal to the rescue!). The tireds are easier to spot, usually indicated by weekend naps (sometimes multiple) and inability to perform basic chores all other times. Sure, taking out the trash is 90 seconds and I just happily biked 90 minutes; what’s your point?
Luckily, I’ve been experimenting with some
- Plentiful food is key, but that can also get expensive. I’ve been enjoying the book Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day after [fully intending to] hearing the author speak at SXSW [and buying the book instead]. While I haven’t followed the budget exactly, I’ve been able to make a variety of delicious and filling meals using pantry and freezer staples. The book also helps people repurpose leftovers, which is not a problem for me these days, but will be useful for the off-season.
- Nap buddy! How to nap without feeling guilty? Get yourself an enabler. After all, when the options are waking up this purring fuzzball on your lap or hitting snooze on the alarm, the decision is easy and guilt-free.
That said, my training volume is still well below where it was most of last year, so this is just the beginning. Get ready, fridge and couch!
Swim: Hit 10,000 yards this week! For the past few weeks, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my swim stroke. Love: it no longer injures my shoulders. Hate: it feels awkward and slow. Solution: another swim lesson with Coach Dominic, who was able to unleash the strength of my lats and give me some confidence that my muscle memory is strong enough to not destroy my stroke when putting some power behind it. Hooray! I then immediately drove to my local pool for a 3600 yard workout, forgetting that I hadn’t eaten in several hours. Whoopsie.
Bike: Power test, round two. After last week’s technical difficulties, I was glad to get through a test with an actual new functional threshold power number. Was it all I’d hoped for? Not really. But it was better than before, so I’ll take it.
Run: I [accidentally] ran an hour! This one was totally my fault but I’ll blame Strava anyway. I didn’t check a map to verify mileage of my planned route, nor did I bring my bikeshare key to pedal home if my 30 minutes ended far from home. So I kept running. I hit 50ish minutes at the bottom of the Penn Ave hill and was considering stopping my watch and walking home but then noticed I was almost at 6.2 miles–so why not keep going and earn the Strava 10k badge? But I had also been averaging under 9:00/mi and wanted to maintain that, so time to book it up the hill. By the time I hit the 10k mark, I was almost home and also close enough to the hour mark (another first since my injury!) so I kept going. Results: 8:58/mi for a mostly zone 1 run (final hill aside), 10k badge unlocked, and a Strava course record on the Penn Ave climb! (Plus blisters on my feet and an open wound on my chest from the Garmin strap, details.)
Other: I realize I’m late to the party here, but the used bookshop near Eastern Market is a hoot. Check it out next time you’re stocking up on ALL THE FOOD. (Though maybe hit the bookstore first, as the aisles are quite narrow and let’s face it, we are hungry.)