Boy, has it already been 6 weeks since I have raced in Mt Tremblant?! It sure has folks. It has quickly becoming time to focus on next season. I'm saying it now, 2015 is going to be big year for me, and it starts now. And, I am excited!!! SO EXCITED! I think that I can do big things if i become obsessed enough.
(sorry, I kinda think it's true... sometimes its not about natural ability, but the amount of obsession that you put into a sport.)
We all know that it is tough to get back on the bandwagon at the end of off season. Especially when next year seems so.far.away. Ironman Whistler is less than 10 months a year, and I need to learn how to run a sub 4 hour marathon. I don't know about you, but, that can be challenging. I needed something to be a "clear start." Something that would provide the discipline and structure that is easy to follow, and not easy to back out of. Something that I can look back on and say "that is when my season started." One week into exercising again, I decided to do a juice cleanse. A three day juice cleanse. It was in my brain, and it wouldn't leave... if I wanted it to or not.
Now, let's be clear... I do have a hard time with a concept of "cleansing." I am a nurse. I have a good understanding that we have kidneys and a liver and a colon and sweating and snot to clear out our systems of toxins. I get that. I also get that when vegetables are put into juice form, some of the benefits of vegetables are taken away.
But I needed something to be clear. A clear start for my year ahead.
I started my cleanse the morning after thanksgiving dinner. I was game. I was ready. I thought that the branding that Juice Truck has on the juices was cleaver and cute. and I had no.idea.how.HARD.it would. be.
The first half day was OK. Sure, it was strange not to have food in my stomach, or coffee in my cup. the afternoon was also ok. Energy was not awesome, and I had a lingering headache, but, I was planning on going running that night. Then... I went home for the evening, lay down for a 20 min nap. The dog barked and BAM... a splitting headache that caused me to be in the fetal position in my bed, crying, and even a small vomit. it was awful. I carried on. I slept for 12 hours.
The second day was... normal-ish. I went for a swim in the AM, drank the juices, and went to work. in the afternoon, I was worried about another awful headache. there was a twinge, but I was able to fight it off. I sat down with Sean in the evening and had some food... for thought. We chatted about this whole thing, and agreed that there could be a different manner of being just as disciplined. For instance, a no-sugar, no-caffeine, no-grains, no-dairy, no-alcohol diet for a week would pretty much do the same thing. Its about being clean. Very Clean. Before sleeping, I had a nice cup of herbal tea. I didn't feel awesome, but, I didn't feel terrible going to sleep. I also think I ate an apple at some point in the afternoon.
The third day, today, was MUCH better. I enjoyed the juices more than day two, I have not had a headache, and I had a pretty great workout this AM with Keighty. My stomach was sure sloshy during some of the exercises, and I couldn't make it all the way through the hour. However, it felt good to sweat. Work was fine (a little stressful), and I loved the change in the flavours of the juices today. I have felt good today; a few times of hunger, quite alert, and the day flew by. I had a salad for dinner with my juice, and now I am sipping my last "sleep tonic." I have a tounge that feels like it had licked a lot of pineapple~ a little raw.
So: what do I think?
I'm glad I have tried this. I think it has opened a window that I (or sean) have ever really had a serious conversation/thought about. My nutrition. Its not that I eat poorly... frankly, I have a pretty solid diet. However: my diet is more of not eating things that are "bad for me" and not so much "eating what is best for me." Despite thinking I know a good amount about nutrition, I realise I know so little. The biggest blaring question: WHY oh WHY did I have such an splitting headache?
The second question: how do I optimize what I am eating to be able to optimize my athletics? Is it possible to maintain a diet that helps me sleep better, and be more alert when I need to be, and be strong when I need to be? How do I optimize my food, in order to help myself reach my goals?
Will I do a juice cleanse again? I'm not so sure. However, I'm glad I did it. I'm also ready for clean eating, and to kick into gear. Thats for sure. I think that there is a good chance that this cleanse has helped me get to that point faster than I would've alone.
Thanks, Juice Truck!