Strength is Different
My focus this year has been on strength training at Capital City CrossFit and overall fitness that includes nutrition as a vital component. I now view food as fuel and have a better understanding on how certain foods help and hinder me. I know I'm stronger than I was last year. I'm banking on that strength to increase my endurance so that my body doesn't break down as quickly as it did last year.
Nutrition is Different
Last year when I was beginning to suffer - I was listening to about 20 people telling me to do about 30 different things. I was popping a variety of supplements, gu, magic water, sugar, grains, basically anything anyone handed me. All well-intended, but my mistake was not knowing how my body would react to certain things, or not knowing what my body needed at different times. I swelled like blow fish and suffered from extreme nausea. This year I have a clear nutrition plan - dried fruits, nuts, jerky, coconut chips will be used and the oreos, cornchips and fragile fruit will be left at home. I now know that grains, dairy, gluten and synthetic supplements like Gu doesn't make my body happy. Last year when we stopped to buy our trail food, I was literally buying anything that anyone else was buying - I had too much food, and I had tons of "wrong food" for me.
Schedule is Different
This year, I'll talk and look around - but I'll do it while walking. I intend to make stops very minimal. Let me restate that - I plan to hightail it like a scalded dog until I'm safely in the shade of the North Rim. Last year - as I was struggling - I was begging to stop and rest every few minutes. I understand now that frequent stopping is detrimental. My plan is to keep moving forward at every possible moment. Now I completely understand the lyrics of Rodney Atkins song, If your going through hell. In the song he sings of the need to just keep going - don't stop and if you are lucky you might get out before the devil knows you are there. I'm not sure of the background of this song or if Adkins is a fellow R2R2R trekker - but he certainly wrote the theme song for the effort.
Motivation is Different
Last year I was on a personal journey to honor the loss of my father. And while that was my conscious goal - I believe I was really on a subconscious manic-quest to draw an imaginary line and end a family cycle of poor health and indifference. This year, my motivation is to be a stronger teammate, suffer less and enjoy the experience more.