8-Week Challenge: Week Three Update
Key takeaways from Week Three. (If you’re just joining us, see The Eight Week Challenge Jump Start post for the scoop. See also: Week One Update and Week Two Update) I am very much looking forward to hearing how the week went for all of you and what you will focus on for Week Four.
Treating Sadness with Seafood
Last week was harder than I expected, which I guess… I should have expected.
THANK YOU, all of you, for your thoughtful comments, notes, texts, emails and phone calls. Knowing I was surrounded by so much support helped me through a very hard week. I can’t tell you how much it meant. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.
I totalled 5.25 easy hours on the bike and some days it was hard for me to even push the pedals over 100 watts. With training volume so low, it would have been a good week to be a little stricter than usual but I ate what I wanted, when I wanted – even drank a few glasses of wine, a little scotch.
To limit the damage, I laid siege to all of the beasts in the sea. Every day after my measly 75-minute, 125 watt ride I’d swing by the fish store on Hawthorne, grab something fresh and delicious, stuff it in the front of my jersey and head home. Clams, halibut cheeks, cod, rockfish, redfish, octopus, sole, scallops, tuna, steelhead. Nothing was safe from my grill. We ate al fresco in the backyard and enjoyed the new Portland sun.
The creative act of cooking was therapeutic and the meals felt very special. I also enjoyed red cabbage slaw, arame and shitake saute with dandelion greens, fresh beet-ginger-kale-carrot juices, and, on two occasions, fried-egg-on-toast cooked in fresh butter.
Week progress: 151 –> 150, -1 pound
Total progress: 157 –> 150, -7 pounds
Week progress: 135 –> 132.8, + -2.2 pounds
Total progress: 139 –> 132.8, -6.2 pounds
- Down a pound. All things considered, that’s fantastic.
- Found a way to engage with food in a therapeutic way that was also healthy.
- Obeyed orders during the rest week – resisted occasional urges to go hammering off into the hills. Understanding the purpose and effect of a rest week helped me stick to the plan. Recovery is serious!
- Spent the whole week suspended in emotional limbo, waiting for the weekend and the trip to Seattle to join our friends in saying goodbye to Ethan.
- Will not lie to you – the reception, after-party and following memorial were excruciating. We celebrated and laughed and took care of each other, but we also cried until it didn’t seem possible to cry anymore. I’m tired, weary and gutted now. And for E’s wife and kids, the hard part just started. Thinking about that just kills me.
Focus for Week Four
I slept like an anchor last night. Lodged in the bottom of a deep blackness, unmoving, heavy. Woke up and thought, “Monday? Really? Are you kidding me?”
Unfortunately, the world is not kidding me. Monday is real – time marches on and so must I. This week I return to some regimen: ditching the alcohol, getting back to daily saunas, increasing the leafy greens.
Training volume starts to go back up this week and I will shoot for a minimum of 12 hours on the bike with at least one big 5-6 hour ride. I’m shifting focus away from intensity and working instead on stretching out my sub-LT work with a focus on cadence to begin to prepare me for the PlatinTour Alpenbrevet.
Questions for You
This week, instead of just checking in with weight progress, I challenge you to answer one or all of these questions:
- Why are you doing this? What is your motivation? (You might have already told me, it’s a good time to remind both of us.)
- What foods are you loving right now? I want this challenge to be less about restriction and more about exploration and creativity with how we nourish ourselves and fuel our lives.
- What will success look like for Week Four? How will you decide if you’ve had a good week or not? Keep this simple.
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