July is a fascinating time of year for me when after months of hard training I really start feeling my oats. I believe that the May-August time period also involves hormonal changes, possibly due to sun exposure, length of day, etc. This has been my experience for years. I always feel great from May - September, and I do take Vitamin D and I think this is highly beneficial.
Lately I’ve enjoyed what I call “free flowing power”, a sort of “use the force, Luke” sort of thing; when things work right, they really work right. I have to laugh out loud sometimes; with weight down and power way up, even steep hills are just a gas, and I fly by 99% of the other riders as if they’re stationary. What an incredible positive feedback loop for staying focused on training. I’m not bragging here, just expressing what an wonderful feeling it is to see all the hard work pay off. OK, I’m bragging a little— about being successful at plumbing the limits of my own potential, which is all any of us can do.
In spite of fighting an E. Coli urinary tract infection (probable source of infection prostratis, now taking antibiotic Cipro for 30 days as 8 days did not kill it off), I have cut 3-4% off three different personal bests in the past week, and I would have easily beaten a 4th today, but I held myself back due to the infection and some right kidney-area discomfort (for a time only 10 seconds slower than my best, and I was not even working hard).
Body fat vs calories
Proving that calories in vs calories out can be meaningless in the body’s scheme of repair-and- build under intense training (the body has its own schedule for such things), my weight (fat) has plummeted following the Alta Alpina 8-Pass Challenge.
The body scarfs up lots of calories to build muscle; the right diet encourages this. I think my body fat is down to about 8% again, but I need to have a new DEXA scan to verify. I’d like to see 5-6% prior to the 2012 Everest Challenge, as I am pretty sure that will allow me to win in the men’s Masters 45-54 category. But I have to kick that damned infection.
I have spent many a recent night drenched in sweat; while a nuisance, this for me is a sign that my body is metabolically active; for me it is associated with harder workouts and muscle gain. My deep reserves of aerobic fitness allow intense workouts more frequently, which is allowing me to press hard on my power development. I have also noticed that my carbohydrate fuel needs during rides are somewhat reduced— meaning that I am burning more and more fat for energy, essential to endurance events.
My real weight (morning) is now down to about 169; those 171 “bumps” are just a couple of pounds of fruit, tomatoes, etc.