Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Pursuit of Good Health?

I'm sitting here on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning...blogging. No swim, no bike, no run; I'm just trying to get healthy, I mean really healthy. I find it ironic that my pursuit to be physically active and healthy is actually the cause of my current setback. Case 1: A 19-mile run caused me to piss blood, which in turn, gave me a urinary tract infection. Case 2: I drink carrot juice because I like the taste and I know beta-carotene is good for you. But I also started taking spirulina supplements because like carrots, I think it's good for you. But combine a glass of carrot juice per day with the 200% RDA of Vitamin A from the spirulina, I got a bad case of orange palms or vitamin A toxicity. This extra time on me bum made me realize that I got so caught up on doing physical activity and trying to be healthy, that I never took time to assess if I was indeed really healthy.

I'm positive I'm not the only athlete to suffer from this type of tunnel vision when it comes to sport and life. Both Emma Carney and Greg Welch blamed such tunnel vision as the cause of their early retirement due to ventricular tachycardia. As athletes, we get so caught up in our goals, our training, and our addiction to progress that we forget to step outside of the tunnel and take a different perspective. Though she didn't explicitly state it, I got the sense that Sam McGlone eluded to this idea in this article about her recent hiatus from the sport:

I’m focusing on getting to a place of health, energy and vibrancy—not just as an athlete, but as a person. Pushing through another season wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. It would have been an early end to a career.

The bigger picture was overtraining from years and years of going full-gas all the time.

So here I am, sitting on me bum on a beautiful sunny day, where I would normally be out swimming, biking, or running, looking at the bigger picture...and eating some fruits and veggies from my morning outing to the Farmer's Market. Oh, and yes, I did complete the Strava 100-Mile Run Challenge and so far, with the fewest amount of runs. ;o)


Libby said...

:) health is a beautiful thing. funny I've had this sense of peace about it suddenly as well! rest days are ok :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

Feel better and healthy is the only way! Sometimes it sucks to go thru the healing but you always come out stronger and have more clarity on the back end!

Jill Costantino said...

YOU are NOT alone Dude! I've been trying to get to that "healthy" state for months and yet those goals keep surfacing and it's a bit like a cycle. I go from just wanting to go to the gym to workout and do "whatever" cardio to wanting to do an IM. CRAZY! Let me know if you get it figured out:)

Kim said...

Sometimes you have to step back to move forward.. and what ever moving forward means to you - is the right thing. Hats off to you for thinking about your health and making smart decisions my friend. Good reminder and thanks for the blog.. now, getting to important things - when can I meet you!

GoBigGreen said...

This is an interesting blog topic and YES i think many of us go thru the tunnel vision you speak of. I have had a ton of people tell me how healthy i am doing IM and ihave to step back and remind them i am healthy DESPITE doing IM. I dont think that distance is really all that great for our bodies, at the level we race, it is important to do what you are doing. Take stock and and be thankful for each day:) hope you are doing well soon!