Resting Pulse: 66
Today's Ride: Climb Hills, Explore Cobbles
So. Yesterday was a rough day. I was feeling pretty depressed, which happens from time to time. I was feeling problem-oriented, rather than solution-oriented.
Today, I'm feeling a bit better (so far, anyway). I'm still feeling depressed, though now I'm back in 'fake it til you make it' mode -- but now I'm feeling solutions-oriented. For me, this is a good sign: it means the depression is letting up a bit; more importantly, the anxiety that comes with the depression and makes doing anything about anything really freaking hard.
In fact, I would say anxiety is a much bigger problem for me than depression. Anxiety is the thing that prevents me from seeing solutions, and even minor stressors then become nightmares.
Yesterday, I was feeling much more depressive than anxious at first; the anxiety ramped up as the day progressed. Today, my anxiety level is much lower and my mood is a bit better.
I suspect some of this has to do with diet: on Tuesday, we went to Garage Bar with DD's Mom and our friend Adrienne, and I downed like twelve glasses of diet Coke without really thinking about it. Perhaps it shouldn't be terribly surprising that I didn't feel so great on Wednesday: first, diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame, which doesn't agree with me; second, that's a lot of caffeine.
I am grateful for the fact that my depressions, of late, are rarely severe for very long. My overall mood is still more on the depressed side than I'd like, but the worst episodes rarely last more than a few days.
In other news, last night I dreamed about a bizarre cycling snack: a huge banana coated in fudge and rolled in peanuts on one end and M&Ms on the other. Though the whole thing was like 75% sugar, the package (which looked like a banana peel) stated that the peanut end was for endurance and the M&M end for quick energy.
It doesn't sound all that funny now that I'm trying to write about it here, but to my dreaming psyche, the idea was absolutely hilarious. Especially since the thing was nearly impossible to eat. And also came on a stick. Imagine carrying around like 14" of fudge-coated, peanut-and-M&M studded banana plus another 4" or so of stick in your jersey pocket.
Second, though I was dreading it, I bit the bullet and hopped on the scale this morning -- and found that I'm down another 2-ish pounds. Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about that.
Right now, I'm sitting at 175 pounds. I've been debating whether or not I wanted to discuss that openly, since I was down to 163 before my accident in February and was deeply and abidingly embarrassed that I'd let my weight creep back up to 180 -- but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
Given my frame, I still need to trim about 15 pounds before I'll feel like I'm in a healthy range, and I'd like to pin down a racing weight of 135 - 145 next year. Anything below 135 would be too low. My blood pressure tends to run low; below 135, I begin to have serious problems with postural hypotension (that's where your blood pressure drops when you stand up, for example). Besides, if you lose too much weight, suddenly you find you have to pedal downhill, instead of just getting in the drops and pointing the bike where it needs to go.
I regained 17 pounds largely by ignoring my own instincts: I know I shouldn't drink non-diet soda or even juice, for example, because my body has no idea what to do with that much liquid sugar (even if it's naturally-occurring fruit sugar). Likewise, I shouldn't eat tons of carbs, because they tend to turn off that function in which the brain acknowledges that the stomach is full. I can seriously put away the pasta, bread, and so forth -- but for a while there I wasn't riding enough to justify it. Even now that I'm back in the swing of things, I really should try to concentrate on maintaining the 30/30/40 protein/fat/carbs balance that has always worked so well for me.
For a while, I was worried that I would have trouble losing the weight I'd gained back -- but, for a while, I also wasn't really trying. I wasn't riding very much, nor was I eating the way I should be eating, given my particular metabolism. Basically, I was depressed, mopey, and feeling sorry for myself.
Now that I've actually started paying some attention again, I feel pretty confident that I'll get where I'm trying to go.
In other, other news, Active.com's Josh Horowitz has written an excellent article about the mental aspects of climbing. It reminded me very much of the conclusions I drew after my first RCCS ride, back in the early spring. I think I'm going to print it out and tape it to my handlebars :)