Monday, October 1, 2012

Chocolate Overboard

Throughout August and early September I made some pretty good gains in climbing fitness, but then I spent a week on a cruise ship for vacation. I was worried that I’d lose all of my recent gains since I wouldn’t be on my normal schedule and I’d have easy access to junk food.
As expected, I couldn’t resist the temptations of overeating. A perfect example was Friday evening, midway through the cruise. That day I had a moderate breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I planned to hit the fitness center that night and have a light post workout snack. But just before my workout, I bumped into “Chocolate Night” at the 24 hour buffet. The crew had set up a dozen or so chocolate sculptures, a chocolate fondue fountain, and laid out dozens of chocolate desserts: chocolate ganache cake, chocolate brownies, chocolate ├ęclairs… you name it, it was there. Before I could stop myself, I had already eaten a couple plates worth of chocolate delights.
Miraculously, I didn’t gain any weight even though I consumed thousands of extra calories throughout the trip. I figure that one reason was because I wasn’t stuck behind my desk and I was on my feet for much of the day so I burned more calories than on a typical work day. However, I think the biggest reason I kept off the weight was because I kept to my normal exercise routine. Although I didn’t use the stairs on the cruise ship (other than for normal everyday use) I went to the fitness center every single day for a good hour and made sure I pushed myself as hard as I would have at home.*
* It wasn’t easy. Several times I went to the gym after a late dinner in order to get my workout complete before closing time. Trust me on this… working out on a full stomach isn’t the most pleasant experience.
Fast forward two weeks and I’m back in top shape even though I suffered through a nasty cold a few days after my trip and had to curtail my training for a couple days. My motivation level is back to normal and since I still have 5 weeks of training to go before Willis, I think I can make some solid gains before the race. I honestly think that breaking the 15 minute barrier is possible this time around!

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