Caffeine and Ironman Training #IMLOU

Well, now that Jodie Swallow has retweeted and responded to this post, don’t be surprised if I get a bit cocky for a while.  Then again, I’m having a dietary meltdown and still can’t swim for ass, so you’re probably safe.

Speaking of, I had an interesting pool session last night, replete with a light head and dizzy spells.  It didn’t take me long to realize these aren’t the most enjoyable states to be juggling in water.

But, before you get alarmed, I’m pretty sure I know the source . . . caffeine.  Or more accurately, too much.

I used to drink pop (soda for you weirdos) as a kid in Wisconsin.  I would run around the Boy’s Club for hours, then eventually hydrate with a Mountain Dew.  It was heaven on my lips and the ultimate endurance drink for a 12-year-old playing air hockey and building ridiculous coat racks in the creepy basement work shop.

But somewhere along the line I decided not to drink pop, or coffee, or caffeine at all and this lasted throughout my college years — with the exception of all-night studying for finals, but even then I didn’t enjoy it and was mainly because I liked hanging in the union acting like a serious student.

And that non-caffeine lifestyle lasted, oh, um, well, until I started working for a living and looking for ways to lift me out of the unconscionable emptiness that comes from many jobs.  I was more of a Coke guy at this time, and was for many years to come.

I’ve had streaks where I’ve dumped caffeine for a few weeks and it’s always damn good stuff, but eventually work and lack of sleep or late night parties suck you back to the world of liquid crack.  And when I do something, I tend to go balls out.

Fast forward to yesterday and this bizarre, over-stimulated feeling I had after trying to fill a void by pounding coffee for four days.  I knew it was catching up and altering my moods, but it’s a drug man, and if you’re gonna be an addict, take the high higher!

It may sound glamorous, but it’s actually kinda jacked up.

My caffeine of choice has been coffee for about a year and I always drink too much.  That’s just what I do.  And I’ve always known that habit is making me weaker.  I can feel it in my bones and mind.  It’s a wispy and fragile feeling . . . definitely not how an Ironman-in-the-making wants to feel.

So, after last night’s the swim, I went home, made a healthy meal, and relaxed.  I woke up today with remnants of that haziness, but by mid-morning and a few peppermint teas, it had subsided.  The rest of my day has felt pretty solid and I think I may try another round in the pool in hopes I don’t feel like a blindfolded pinata player.

More than anything I feel too much caffeine reeks havoc on my muscles, veins, and brain.  I don’t feel alive or lucid.

I’m not saying I’m giving up caffeine, but I definitely need to take a step back and moderate my intake.  It’s a crazy stupid cycle of keeping you up at night, wrecking your sleep, then jolting your tired bones.  It’s one thing to give yourself a little caffeine boost, but quite another to shoot it intravenously into your tongue.

It’s not you, it’s me.

1 thought on “Caffeine and Ironman Training #IMLOU

  1. Kecia

    Caffeine and I are not friends…we are not even acquaintances…we are actually enemies. For whatever reason, my body responds so negatively to caffeine that I resist it since I don’t like how it makes me feel. Light headed and dizzy spells are just the beginning for me. I will eat dark chocolate from time to time, but no other caffeinated products. Good luck moderating your intake 🙂


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