www.Hypersmash.com Beating Lyme: maart 2014

zondag 30 maart 2014

Getting in shape for tower running

In 2 months the tower running race in Almere, the Netherlands will take place.

Last year I did it with a couple of friends from work. This year there'll be 5 of us competing (as a team) from my work.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I fell off the healthy eating wagon a bit in the first couple of months of 2014. Over the past month I've climbed back onto that wagon and since then life has been great! I'm sleeping much better, way more energy, happier, and a nice side effect is that the weight is coming off and my fitness is increasing.

A month ago I weighed 95.5kg (211 lbs). Today I'm down to 91.5 kg (202 lbs). It's been a fairly steady kilo a week weight loss. My goal is to keep this weight loss rate going for the next 8 weeks. If I do that I'll head into the tower running race weighing in at 83.5kg (189lbs). That would be an awesome achievement!

With tower running weight is a huge factor in performance. Last year it took me 4min 29 seconds. My goals this year are:

goal: run under 4.29
Stretch goal: under 4:15
Real stretch: under 4 minutes

My first goal is to improve on my time. But really I want to do much more than that. I want to blitz my time from last year! However the 2 months of downtime I had over the winter may put a bit of a damper on what I can do. But I'm going to give it my best shot!

My training program at the moment is:

Monday bike to work (1 hour). Train on the stairs. Bike home after work.

Tue: bike to work and back. Yoga in the evening.

Wed: bike to work (1 hour). Train on the stairs. Bike home after work.

Thurs: day off

Fri: Gym and run.

Sat: Yoga and tabata (or bike ride)

Sun: Gym

woensdag 12 maart 2014

are you not yet fully recovered?!?!

I've been asked this question a couple of times via e-mail recently. It's one that doesn't have a yes or no answer.

My health and well-being is now higher than before I got sick. At least most of the time it is. Both mentally and physically I am stronger than what I was 5 years ago. I have never got a cold or flu since getting sick with Lyme. I'm getting more out of my life now than I was before. Things that I couldn't manage before I was sick (e.g, learning dutch) I am able to do now. I would say that I'm happier now.

However it's not all roses.

In order to maintain this level of health and well-being I need to be super vigilant about what I eat. The eating plan I'm following is very strict. What works best for me health wise is gluten free vegan. I know from experience that if I fall back into my old eating habits then my health will go downhill rapidly.

In the past few years there have been a few times per year when I fall off the diet wagon. Usually these periods begin when I'm on holiday. It's hard to exist on water, green smoothies and salads when your family and friends are enjoying a cold beer or an ice-cream on the beach. Usually in those times I'll waver, enjoy a treat, the next day enjoy another treat and begin a ride down the slippery slope back to my old eating habits.

The trouble is that there's no instant feedback. For a few days, a week or even two I feel great. Then the troubles start. Insomnia is usually the first thing to rear it's head. Loss of energy and nerve pain will follow.

The hard bit is getting back on the wagon once I've fallen off. It's a really vicious cycle. I'll be existing on a few hours sleep a night so my energy, mood, discipline and willpower is super low. I'll have some chocolate or a few too many coffees to stay alert or a few wines in the evening to wind down. But in order to get back on an even keel it needs to be full on monk adherence to the diet plan. If I do that then I can, over the period of a few weeks, get back to where I was.

I'm in the process of getting back on an even keel now after fallng off the wagon a bit over Christmas. The thing is that I still ate a very healthy diet over that period. Much healthier than I would have eaten prior to lyme and much healtier than the average guy on the street. But that doesn't cut it for me anymore.

Each time I go through one of these 'relapses' the conection in my mind between the return to old eating habits and the subsequent relapse becomes stronger. Plus each time I learn something new about how to stay healthy. The thing I've learnt in the last few weeks is how badly my body reacts to gluten. Usually I don't have much gluten in my diet but eat pasta quite regularly and bread occasionally. Over the past few weeks I've got to see how badly this stuff affects me. When I eliminate it from my diet I'm OK. If I introduce it it hits me like a freight train.

I hope that over time my holiday relapses will happen less and less. However I'm human and definitely falliable. My recovery from lyme has definitely not been a linear progression upwards. There have been many ups and downs over the years. But the general trend has been positive and I hope that continues into the future.

I must add that even when I eat super clean and stick to my exercise plan there are still some times when I go through a bad patch, usually with insomnia. This was never a problem prior to Lyme. These periods do not happen often but I try and accept them when they come along and try as best as I can to hang tough till the good times come along again. Lyme has a nasty habbit of biting you in the bum just when you think you've got it beat! But if you can figure out your own strategies for beating it then it doesn't need to define your life.